It’s 2009 all over again!
I’ve been covering the Tennessee legislature since 2008. Right now, I’m really glad I was there in 2009, given the selection of gun bills I’m seeing filed. 2009 was billed, “The Year of the Gun”. And in 2013, some of these bills are not quite so new.
Today, I’m looking at a bill that would close gun carry permit records. This move is coming after the much-publicized publication of a map of permit holder in a few New York counties. Of course, Tennessee had its own version of the controversy a few years ago when the Memphis Commercial Appeal posted a searchable database of Tennessee gun permit holders on its website. That database is still up today.
Because of the Commercial Appeal database, lawmakers in 2009 tried to pass a law to close the permits. As with many of the gun-related bills that year (guns in parks, guns in bars, etc) it was sailing through the legislature with few problems. However, some people then realized that they would no longer have access to the records for fundraising purposes and the bill was halted.
That bill is back. My colleague Dennis Ferrier also did a story today about the resurrection of the Tennessee Firearms Freedom Act, another bill from 2009. It passed, but the ATF issued an open letter to Tennessee firearms owners warning them federal law trumped the state law. Montana passed a similar law that is currently in court.
This year, the legislature will also have guns in trunks. That will replace 2009’s controversial “guns in bars” as the issue that pits gun owners against business owners. Guns in trunks also has a guns on campus aspect to it. However, I don’t see guns on campus as a 2009 issue, because it’s kind of been an every year issue.
So, could 2013 be the “Year of the Gun: Part 2″?