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Three Tennessee bill proposals affecting firearm ownership, sales, education

Several bills in the Tennessee General Assembly could have an effect on gun owners, gun sales, and actions taken when a firearm is discharged. PHOTO: MGN

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--Several bills in the Tennessee General Assembly could have an effect on gun owners, gun sales, and actions taken when a firearm is discharged.

Although the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Tennessee legislators do agree on a bill creating a tax exemption for the purchase of gun safes, other bills working through the legislature are likely to lead to debate.

SB2430/HB2575 - Tort Liability Reform

Introduced by Sen. Sara Kyle (D-Memphis) and Rep. Mike Stewart (D-Nashville), the bill would authorize civil action against the seller of a firearm if the firearm is sold or transferred without a background check and the firearm is then used in a crime resulting in injury to others, property, or results in wrongful death.

SB2609/HB2550 - Firearm Education for High School

Introduced by Sen. Delores R. Gresham (R-Somerville) and Rep. Dawn White (R-Murfreesboro), the bill would require the state board of education to develop academic standards to design a firearm education course offered as an elective for high school students.

SB1341/HB0884 - Carrying in Tennessee

Introduced by Rep. Judd Matheny (R-Tullahoma), the bill would authorize a valid carry permit holder to carry a firearm any time, and anywhere in Tennessee as long as the permit holder has not been consuming or is under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.

The bill also bans carrying during judicial proceedings, if there is a gun free zone, if it is violation of federal law, or if it is on school property and the principal or proper staff person has not been notified.

One big obstacle facing the bill is federal compliance. In the fiscal note of the bill, it could cost the state over $436 million in federal funds because it would place the Department of Education and Department of Children's Services out of compliance with federal guidelines.

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