Tennesseans could be a bit more discreet about carrying a handgun under a bill approved in the state House last night. The legislation would close carry permit records to the public.
The bill gives just one exception. If someone is suspected of being a felon or illegal alien – precluded from having a carry permit – the person’s information could be released. But there has to be some sort of evidence to show the Department of Safety in the form of a government document, such as a warrant or a restraining order.
Rep. William Lamberth’s bill is supported by the Tennessee Firearms Association, which wants to take down an online database. The Commercial Appeal newspaper has a searchable list of the names, birth years and zip codes of the state’s nearly 400,000 permit holders.
“Make it illegal to publish, but not necessarily closing the records. I think the way we have to get the records right now is adequate,” Lamberth said.
At this point, getting handgun carry permit records requires showing an ID and paying a fee.
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