Commercial Appeal – House passes bill on loaded long guns

From the article:

Nine days after an Alabama handgun-carry licensee shot and killed 10 people — three of them on the streets while driving his car — the Tennessee House approved a bill Thursday allowing handgun-carry licensees to carry loaded rifles and shotguns in their cars.

The bill awaits Senate action.

Handgun-carry permit holders may already carry, under current law, loaded handguns on their persons and in their vehicles. Current law also allows anyone to transport an “unloaded rifle, shotgun or handgun not concealed on or about the person” and with ammunition for the weapon “not in the immediate vicinity of the person or weapon.”

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Henry Fincher, D-Cookeville, said some authorities have enforced “immediate vicinity” as being in the same part of the car or vehicle as the guns.

Rep. Jeanne Richardson, D-Memphis, said, “At the risk of bringing down the ire of all my hunting colleagues, I just have to say this: I really don’t see what the problem is with keeping your gun in your car and the ammunition in the trunk. It’s a much safer plan. That’s probably why we have this law in the first place.”

The bill — plus another that passed the House on Thursday prohibiting the state from collecting any information on the guns used for training by applicants for gun-carry permits — are the first of several working their way through the legislature to reduce restrictions on handguns and to close currently public information about handgun-carry permits.

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