Gun control advocates see a "sea change" in Tennessee gun politics

Apr 26, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  It was a tough session for gun rights supporters in the just completed Tennessee General Assembly.

Several bills Second Amendment activists hoped to see pass failed instead.

John Harris is the Executive Director of the pro-gun Tennessee Firearms Association. Harris says he is “extremely disappointed” in the fate of gun legislation this session.

Harris says it’s clear to him that the current Republican leadership of the Tennessee Legislature has no intention of further easing gun restrictions.

“What we’ve seen this year, once again is, a lot of bills were introduced that were good bills, and they’ve either been amended to make them bad bills, or they’ve been shut down, or derailed in sub-committees, frequently on as few as three or four votes.”

Among the bills defeated this year was a measure that would have essentially allowed Tennesseans to carry guns openly anywhere, anytime. A second bill that failed to pass would have allowed guns to be carried without a permit.

Another would have drastically reduced penalties for carrying without a permit. A fourth measure would have allowed guns in some areas of airports.

Linda McFadyen-Ketchum speaks for the Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. She says the group believes 2018 is a turning point in the gun debate.

“We are seeing a sea change, and I believe our legislators are too. I think that is part of the reason that these bills did not go anywhere.”

McFadyen-Ketchum says her organization only wishes that change wasn’t coming at the cost of lives lost in now routine mass shootings.