Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on Wednesday conducted a ceremonial bill signing for his permitless carry legislation before a crowd at the Beretta plant near Gallatin. 

"Proud to be at @Beretta_USA to sign our constitutional carry bill today," Lee noted on his official Twitter account. "This legislation is a win for law-abiding Tennesseans, public safety, & #2A rights. Constitutional carry is long overdue in our state, & I'm grateful for our partners in the General Assembly."

The measure, Senate Bill 765, had already been approved by the Republican governor in April after it was sent to his desk by wide margins. 

The new law, set to take effect in July, codifies both open and concealed carry of a handgun if certain conditions are met. For example, the person must be at least 21 years old – or 18 if in the military – be carrying a gun that meets the state's definition of a handgun and have not been convicted of misdemeanor stalking or recent DUIs. It also boosts punishments for the theft of a firearm from a misdemeanor to a felony.

The new state-of-the-art Beretta factory in Gallatin was established in 2016, shifting some operations to the gun-friendly Volunteer State from more restrictive Maryland. Tennessee is already the home of the Barrett Firearms rifle works. In a further expansion of the gun industry in the state, Lee last month welcomed Massachusetts-based Troy Industries, who is leaving that anti-gun Commonwealth for friendlier digs in Clarksville, Tennessee. 

Banner photo: "Governor Lee signs constitutional carry at Beretta, 6/2/21" via the Tennessee Governor's Office.

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