Tennessee ‘Moms Demand Action’
‘Everytown’ criticizes Gov. Lee for signing bill gutting handgun permitting system’s training requirement

Moms Demand Action volunteers in the Tennessee Statehouse briefing room. Recently, the group has criticized Governor Haslam for passing a bill that gun safety instructors from across the state have publicly opposed. (photo courtesy of Moms Demand Action)

The Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today criticized Governor Lee for signing HB 1264/SB 705 into law. The new law weakens Tennessee’s handgun carry permitting system and faced bipartisan opposition in both the House and Senate.

“People across our state (from gun safety instructors to gun safety advocates) came together this legislative session to oppose this reckless bill,” said Kat McRitchie, a volunteer leader with the Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “We have proven that Tennesseans respect and support the handgun permitting system. I am so disappointed at the blatant disregard Gov. Lee showed to his constituents as he signed this bill into law.”

Twenty-six states require live-fire training before obtaining a permit, including Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas. The law creates a new permit that strips the existing live-fire training requirement, replacing it with training U.S. requirements that could be satisfied with as little as a 90-minute online course. This allows a person to carry a handgun in public even if he or she has never fired a gun before.

Gun safety instructors opposed the bill in the media and in a press conference at the Capitol. Last month, Moms Demand Action volunteers delivered a letter signed by 35 gun safety instructors from across the state opposing the bill to lawmakers.

Gun safety instructors and Moms Demand Action volunteers aren’t alone in their objection to this new law. In fact, 79% of recent voters oppose weakening the safety training currently required under Tennessee law, including 75% of Republicans.