Gun Bill Day in the House Civil Justice Subcommittee

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The House Civil Justice Subcommittee will take up nearly a dozen firearm-related bills this afternoon in what promises to be a long and lively meeting.

After over three hours on Tuesday afternoon, the Senate Judiciary still had not gotten to MaKayla’s Law. The chairman approached Senator Kyle, the bill sponsor, and asked if she’d agree to roll the bill a week since it was getting so late. So, the Senate version of MaKayla’s Law will be back in the Senate Judiciary Committee NEXT Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the house version of the bill (HB2058) will be heard today in the House Civil Justice Subcommittee at 3:00CST, along with nearly another ten gun bills – some good and some bad.  We hope our members will contact committee members of the house committee and urge them to vote for MaKayla’s Law and the other good bills and against the bad ones.

Of course, we support all of the good bills and hope to see them move out of committee, but are especially focused on trying to advance MaKayla’s Law. Take a look at all of these bills and, if you feel so inclined, take a few minutes to send an email or make a phone call. And, if you’re free this afternoon at 3:00, today’s Civil Justice should be quite interesting. Even if you can’t make it, you can watch live online here.

Here are the bills on the House Civil Justice Subcommittee calendar for today. As you can see, there are quite a few! Committee members information is at the below the list of bill. Please urge passage of MaKayla’s Law and the other good bills!

GOOD BILLS

HB 2546 *TURNER GUN VIOLENCE RESTRAINING ORDERS
Gun violence restraining orders (GVROs) are temporary restraining orders that apply specifically to firearms.  If an immediate family member or law enforcement officer feels that an individual is an imminent threat to themselves or someone else, they may petition a judge to ask for a GVRO.  The order would temporarily place the person on the prohibited purchasers list (so they would be unable to purchase a gun) and would allow law enforcement to temporarily remove firearms from the person’s possession.  We like to call this bill “Families Know First” because often, family members are the first to realize that a loved one may struggling with substance abuse and anger issues, and may be experiencing other exacerbating circumstances such as losing a job or ending a long term relationship, and may be making threatening statements and stocking up on guns and ammunition – all of which have been demonstrated to be predictors of gun violence.  The family of the Chattanooga shooter reported that they were quite concerned that their son was in trouble and they were concerned about his guns and asked him to get rid of them but he refused.  A GVRO would have provided a mechanism for them to have intervened.  GVROs are temporary and last 21 days. Family members can petition a judge for an extension and during the 21 days, the person under the order can go before the judge and make a request to have the order removed although the hope is that they would seek care from a metal health practitioner.  If someone attempts to file a GVRO under false pretenses, they all be charged with a misdemeanor.
This is a Safe Tennessee Project bill.

HB 2058 *JONES – MAKAYLA’S LAW
As you’re aware by now, this bill would hold gun owning parents responsible if they leave a loaded gun accessible to a child (13 and under) but only if the child discharges the gun and injures or kills themselves or someone else. This bill has picked up FOURTEEN co-sponsors in the House!
This is a Safe Tennessee Project Bill.

HB 2366 *STEWARTARMSLIST/ADVERTISING SALE OF GUNS W/OUT BACKGROUND CHECKS
This bill would make it illegal to advertise guns for sale if the gun is to be sold without a background check.  It is targeting armslist.com, an online gun exchange that operates exactly like a Craigs List for firearms.  The Chattanooga shooter bought his rifles through Armslist.  Even Bill O’Reilly has spoken out against Armslist.  For more information on Armslist and how easy it is for prohibited purchasers to find guns to buy, read this informative blog post.
This is a Safe Tennessee Project Bill.

HB 2365 *STEWARTBACKGROUND CHECKS
States that have implemented expanded background checks for all gun sales have seen 40%+ reductions in key areas such as gun suicides, women murdered by intimate partners, law enforcement officers killed on the job, mass shootings, and guns trafficked to other states.  Requiring background checks does nothing to prevent a law abiding citizen from going to a licensed gun seller and purchasing a gun.  And, while it is true that “bad guys will still find ways to get guns”, you have to wonder why we make it so easy to do so. And even though the NRA says that background checks don’t work, every year thousands of prohibited purchasers are prevented from buying guns when they fail a background check.  Interestingly, many notable Republicans and pro-second amendment leaders have supported background checks – President Reagan and Nancy Reagan supported Brady Background checks (President Reagan also supported mandatory waiting periods!); Paul Ryan and John McCain both supported background checks in the past and even Wayne LaPierre himself said that he support background checks after Columbine!
This is a Safe Tennessee Project bill.

HB 2452 *TOWNSSAFE STORAGE SIGNAGE AT ALL LICENSED GUN SELLERS
This bill would require all gun sellers to display Department of Safety signage that outlines the guidelines for safe storage of guns.  The signs would simply be letter sized PDF files that can be printed and displayed at the point of sale.  The idea of course is that as a purchaser is waiting for their background check, they would read the sign and be reminded of the vital importance of storing guns safely.
This is Safe Tennessee Project bill.

HB 1967 *CLEMMONSRESTRICTS PEOPLE CONVICTED OF CERTAIN STATE & FEDERAL CRIMES FROM OWNING BUSINESS THAT SELLS FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION
Although you would think this is already a law, it isn’t.  Clearly, it only makes sense that someone who is prohibited from purchasing firearms should not be in the business of selling firearms.
The Safe Tennessee Project supports this bill.

HB 1458 *HARDAWAY – INCREASES PENALTY FOR FIRING GUNS FROM VEHICLES
In addition to drive-by shootings, this would also apply to road rage incidents.  So far this year, there have been at least two incidents of people being shot while driving on the interstate in Memphis.
The Safe Tennessee Project supports this bill.

HB 1409 *CLEMMONSPROHIBITS GUNS IN PARKS FOR TICKETED EVENTS; PROHIBITS GUNS IN ARENAS, STADIUMS, & PLACES WHERE PRO TEAMS PLAY, PRACTICE, TRAIN
The intent of this bill is to clarify language in the controversial guns-in-parks law passed last year.  Last summer, the attorney general opined that, as written, the guns-in-parks law would not allow any entity renting or using a public park for an event to prohibit firearms.  In other words, a concert promoter using a public park for a ticket concert would have to allow permit holders to bring guns into the concert area.  The attorney general’s opinion also said that this interpretation of the guns-in-parks law would also apply to public spaces owned by the city – such as arenas and stadiums.  Clearly, such an interpretation presents a number of issues from public safety concerns to fears of losing contacts with promoters and professional sports teams
The Safe Tennessee Project supports this bill.

BAD BILLS

HB 2033 *FAISONPERMIT HOLDERS CAN SUE PROPERTY OWNERS
This bill would allow a permit holder to sue a business owner if the business prohibited guns and the permit holder is injured or killed as a result of the actions of another customer or employee, wild and vicious animal, or natural or man-made hazard.  Yes, you read that correctly.  This bill has already PASSED committee in the senate and will be up for a floor vote TODAY.  Not only is it hard to imagine how such a case could be prosecuted, it’s also unclear how a gun could protect a permit holder from a patch of ice or a tornado.  It also is pitting gun rights against property rights.  Property owners should have the right to choose whether or not they wish to allow guns in or on their property.
The Safe Tennessee Project opposes this bill.

HB 1751 *BYRDALLOWS EACH SCHOOL BOARD TO ALLOW PERMIT HOLDERS TO CARRY GUNS ON CAMPUS AND WHILE TRAVELING TO SCHOOL EVENTS
This bill would allow each school board and each private school to choose to allow permit holders to carry firearms on the school property and while traveling to school events.  Considering the number of accidental shootings in our state (we are 9th in the country for accidental shootings and so far this year, our accidental shooting incidents are TRIPLE where they were at this time last year), the idea of having guns on school campuses and especially on school buses, in very concerning!
The Safe Tennessee Project opposes this bill.

HB 2425 *GOINSREDUCED HANDGUN PERMIT AGE FROM 21 TO 18.
To obtain a permit, you take a day long class that includes a basic overview of gun safety, gun laws, and some time on a range.  Once you have a permit, you can carry your handgun, usually concealed, in public and anywhere guns are not expressly prohibited.  Bills we have seen in the past, this year, and expect to see again next year, seek to expand the places permit holders can carry.  Any law that would require schools – K-12 and college – to allow permit holders to carry guns would apply to all permit holders so if this bill passed, this would mean 18-year-old permit holders would soon be able, if the NRA gets its way, to carry guns on their schools campus.  If this bill passes, it means 18-year-old permit holders can bring guns to parks and bars and restaurants.
The Safe Tennessee Project opposes this bill.

HOUSE CIVIL JUSTICE SUBCOMMITTEE
Meets at 3:00CST – Legislative Plaza Room 31

Jim Coley 615-741-8201
rep.jim.coley@capitol.tn.gov

Bill Beck 615-741-3229
rep.bill.beck@capitol.tn.gov

Mike Carter 615-741-3025
rep.mike.carter@capitol.tn.gov

Sherry Jones 615-741-2035
rep.sherry.jones@capitol.tn.gov

Jon Lundberg 615-741-7623
rep.jon.lundberg@capitol.tn.gov

 

 

 

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