NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Today, Everytown for Gun Safety launched an ad campaign to highlight the hypocrisy of lawmakers who claim to support law enforcement but ignore their opposition to dangerous permitless carry legislation like HB 786. HB 786 would strip the state of essential permitting and training standards for carrying concealed guns in public, allowing people to carry a loaded firearm in public without a background check or any safety training. Permitless carry legislation also allows extremists and white supremacists to evade background check requirements and safeguards to responsible gun ownership. The ad campaign consists of a mobile billboard and digital ads which will urge constituents to contact their lawmakers and demand that they reject this deadly legislation.
“You can’t claim to support law enforcement while also supporting permitless carry, which every major law enforcement agency in Tennessee vehemently opposes,” said Carol Frazier, a volunteer with the Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action. “With these ads, we’re reminding people that supporting law enforcement means protecting our permitting system, not gutting it.”
Organizations that have publicly opposed permitless carry legislation include the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations, the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association, the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police, and more.
Last session, broad coalitions of gun safety instructors, law enforcement officials, business leaders, elected officials, faith leaders, and healthcare executives helped block this deadly legislation. In Knoxville, Mayor Indya Kincannon, Police Chief Eve Thomas, and Councilwoman Seema Singh have opposed the policy. In Memphis, Police Director Michael Rallings, Mayor Jim Strickland, Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich, and the Memphis Crime Commission have urged lawmakers to reject permitless carry. In Nashville, District Attorney Glenn Funk and Mayor John Cooper have spoken out against the bill. The director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations also testified against the bill.
Ninety-three percent of Tennessee voters support requiring a permit to carry a loaded handgun in public — including 92 percent of Republicans and 91 percent of gun-owning households. Sixty-five percent of recent voters would be less likely to vote for Gov. Lee if he signed legislation that would eliminate the requirement to get a permit in order to carry a loaded handgun in public. More information about permitless carry is available here.