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Reader voices opinion on state’s gun permitting system

To the Editor:
As a gun owner, I feel comfortable with Tennessee’s permitting system which helps keep us safe by making sure that people carrying concealed handguns in public pass background checks and demonstrate responsible gun ownership. I believe this system is effective in curbing gun violence. A recent poll found that 93% of voters support requiring a permit to carry a loaded gun in public which includes 92% of Republicans and 91% of gun-owning households. Our own requirement for obtaining a driver’s license includes passing a driving test which helps ensure that along with the right to drive comes the responsibility to have a certain level of skill and temperament. We need to do all we can to make sure that people who carry guns in public places go through Tennessee’s permitting system.
Last session, gun safety instructors, mayors, business leaders, law enforcement officials, and faith leaders came out in great numbers against dangerous permitless carry legislation. When my grandchildren visit us in Tennessee, I will be fearful of taking them to parks, nature trails, campgrounds, even Walmart and other businesses if the proposed bill HB 18 is passed. How would I explain to them that this state is more dangerous than their large city in China where they live?
Finally, according to the Elizabethton Star, this bill carries an estimated $17.7 million price tag because it increases penalties on gun-related crimes and anticipates more incarcerations as a result. I hope Governor Lee continues to support our permitting system for gun safety.

Norma Morrison
Roan Mountain
(Carter County resident and taxpayer)