27 Feb 2020

More than two hundred years ago our the founding fathers gave us our constitution. The basis of for the formation of this country. And the liberties guaranteed to us by the constitution are sacred. And we have a responsibility to uphold the framework that those founding fathers established. They firmly believed that to protect the inalienable rights that they set out, they needed to ensure that citizens had the right to bear arms. Which was cemented in the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment is clear and concise and secures the unfringed right of law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.

I am proud to be joined by members of the general assembly who have helped lead the way on this important issue. My office has worked closely with Lt. Gov. Macknalley, Speaker Sexton, Leader Johnston and Leader Lamberth and we appreciate their hard work.

As we are introducing this as an administration bill, there are some on this stage who have championed this issue for many years. To them and every legislator standing with me today in defending the rights of Tennesseans. Thank you.

Today I am announcing that we will be joining 16 other states in this nation by introducing a constitutional carry law in the state of Tennessee. This law would extend the constitutional right to carry a handgun to all law-abiding citizens with or without a permit, who are 21 and older except in restricted areas.

Now with the freedom and Liberties guaranteed to us and the Second Amendment also comes a great responsibility. To steward them wisely and to protect our citizens. Here in Tennessee there was an 85% increase in guns stolen from unguarded cars and trucks over a two year period in 16-17. In light of this reality we need to be increasingly vigilant and also enacting laws that strengthen our ability to protect our citizens.

That is why the legislation I am proposing will significantly increase penalties on those who steal or unlawfully possess a firearm. Including a mandatory minimum sentence for those who steal a firearm. The bill is not only focused on protecting our Second Amendment liberties but also on increasing safety for all Tennesseans.

This legislation is about increasing freedom for law-abiding citizens and implementing harsher penalties for criminals.