Tennessee House advances bills to loosen gun restrictions

Published 9:36 am Thursday, May 28, 2020

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NASHVILLE (AP) — The GOP-led Tennessee House on Wednesday continued committee work to advance several proposals that would allow public college students with permits to carry concealed handguns on campus and eliminate the requirement that residents obtain any permits to carry handguns generally, including for concealed weapons.
The action followed a long debate Tuesday evening in which a House committee spent more than two hours on a different version of the bill to eliminate the permit requirement, a proposal that Republican Gov. Bill Lee has backed but recently said wasn’t a top priority during the coronavirus outbreak.
The measure succeeded but must still clear the full House chamber. Changes to gun laws would also need sign-off from the Senate, which has indicated a far more limited scope of bills it plans to take up during the pandemic.
Another House panel dived into a sweeping anti-abortion bill, which would largely ban abortions at the detection of a fetal heartbeat, or about six weeks into the pregnancy.
In March, when the virus outbreak was just emerging in Tennessee, leaving hundreds of bills in limbo, lawmakers scrambled to approve a newly designed 2020-21 fiscal year budget. At that time, they promised to return to the Capitol later to address any further budget and legislative issues.

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