Haslam’s ‘policy maneuver’ kills Tennessee’s open-carry bill

No open carryLast week the Tennessee Senate passed SB2424 by a landslide vote of 25-2 last week. The bill would allow Tennesseans to openly carry handguns without a state-issued permit.

It’s reported the governor’s administration attached what was called a “$100,000 anchor” to the pending open-carry bill that’s stalled the legislation.

The reason for the cost would cover the state’s vendor to modify the design of the handgun permit cards. They would remove the open-carry language from the layout of the card. State permits currently allows Tennesseans to either carry openly or concealed. It’s reported the state has already pretty much finalized it’s budget and “shoehorning the extra expenditure into its ledger is unlikely.”

Guns.com reports, “The one-time cost associated with making changes to the permit for concealed handgun carry permits is estimated to be $100,000, advises the note, which was not an issue until after the bill was approved by the senate.

However, the note itself goes on to state that, “If the Department does not make any changes to handgun carry permit cards, the fiscal impact for the bill as amended is not significant.”

This move was called  an “unusual maneuver” according to knoxnews.com. This policy maneuver, through state legislative procedures, has effectively killed the legislation in Tennessee’s House Finance Subcommittee. They voted 10-1 to kill the bill.

Haslam’s move goes against the apparent stance he took while campaigning for governor in 2010. Knoxnews.com reports:

“The final days of that campaign were dominated by the furor created by candidate Haslam after he told the Tennessee Firearms Association that he would sign legislation into law to eliminate Tennessee’s requirements for carrying handguns in public.”

Haslam swiftly amended his comments because of the firestorm it created. He stressed at campaign appearances, he wouldn’t introduce any such measures. He also noted that a governor’s veto can easily be overridden by the Legislature. He made sure to stress he was “in favor of leaving the handgun permit requirements the way they are now.”

Unfortunately Haslam has no serious opposition for his re-election bid this year.


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