Second Amendment Reemerging
The right to bear arms has long been a part of the American way of life, but recently the phrase has been reinserting itself into the everyday conversation via a pair of bills announced in the Midwest legislature last Thursday. Iowa and Tennessee seek to make it easier to carry firearms in everyday life, regardless of permit status.
Tennessee passed a bill through their state House, with Republican Governor Bill Lee’s assistance, that would allow citizens to carry weapons, concealed or not, whether or not they had a license to carry. The only major hurdle that would prevent one from being able to carry their weapon is a prior prohibition on that individual being allowed to purchase a weapon in their home state; no person on the Vermont “no gun list” would be allowed the option to carry in Tennessee simply due to this law. It is unclear yet how this would affect people who move residences.
While initially boasting no restrictions, the Tennessee state government did make a few adjustments to the original proposition, in hopes of easing passage through the Senate. They amended the bill to create a penalty where if a person with prior convictions of stalking or is deemed ‘mentally unfit' to own a firearm that can be counted against them as a misdemeanor.
Meanwhile, in Iowa, lawmakers seek to abolish the need for a permit to purchase or carry a firearm. This would not eliminate the existence of permits entirely as purchasers and carriers would still need them in other states should they travel to make a gun acquisition. Along the same vein, this new legislature would make it a felony to privately deal weapons with a party who has been prohibited from possessing firearms in the past.
Tennessee and Iowa seek to become the 19th and 20th states to add such laws to their state. Utah was the most recent to join the ranks with laws of this nature established in February. Governor Bill Spencer promised it as part of his election campaign and followed through with a signature on February 12.
Similarly, Idaho is pushing to pass a bill regarding concealed carry. Included in the bill is the opportunity for school staff to carry weapons, something they deem as necessary for the safety of the faculty and students. School faculty who wish to carry weapons would only be required to alert the school’s principal and superintendent of their possessed weapon. The legislature has passed the House and is seeking to use that momentum to push through Idaho’s upper chamber as soon as possible.
Contrarily, Roanoke, Virginia recently agreed to ban municipal properties – which may end up hurting them, as one of the state’s biggest gun shows is hosted there. The Berglund Center, home to several gun shows annually, will no longer be able to host. The center estimates losses in the six figures to themselves, as well as significant hits to small local businesses.
Coincidentally, many of these movements began shortly after Joe Biden and his administration made comments regarding increasing the difficulty of acquiring a firearm. The aforementioned propositions in Idaho, Iowa, and Tennessee were all announced within ten days of Biden declaring his intent to make gun ownership more difficult.