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Bogus fiscal note threatens Tennessee open carry bill

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After the Tennessee Senate cleared a measure on Tuesday, Senate Bill 2424, which would allow people who are legally entitled to carry a firearm in Tennessee to carry their weapon in a holster that is publicly visible without a permit, Senator Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville) reported on Facebook that a new $100,000 fiscal note has been attached to the legislation that could very well kill the bill. The reported reason for the note is that the Tennessee Department of Safety has come up with a bogus legal fiction that says that the department must change the language on Tennessee concealed-carry permits from "Handgun Carry Permit" to "Concealed Carry Permit." The legislation's sponsor, Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mount Juliet) made it known in a Facebook comment yesterday that she is not amused.

"The bill had language that said they did not have to change the permits," Beavers wrote in a comment on Senator Campfield's Facebook page. "The new fiscal note said they would change them because it was the department policy. They say in the fiscal note that they were changing the wording to concealed carry permit. We have a carry permit that includes both concealed and open carry. That is why it is called a carry permit. To put concealed on the permits would be against state law."

The bill's House sponsor, Rep. Micah Van Huss (R-Jonesborough), is reported to be working on an amendment that would forbid changing the wording on Tennessee carry permits if this legislation were to pass.

With the House and Senate both preparing to vote on the budget, the General Assembly could recess by Tuesday next, with the possibility of a veto override session reportedly being kept open for now.

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