Tennessee law signed blocking local red flag gun laws



(The Center Square) – Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill blocking local extreme risk protection orders in Tennessee this week, less than a year after proposing a statewide ERPO.

Senate Bill 2763 blocks any local statute regarding ERPOs from being enforced in the state.

“Permitting [a local ERPO] to happen would create chaos for gun owners and for the state and confusion for law enforcement, judges and prosecutors,” Sen. Janice Bowling, R-Tullahoma, said on the Senate floor.

Sen. Heidi Campbell, D-Nashville, said constituents have come to the state Legislature and been clear they want laws enacted to make the state safer in terms of guns.

“Yet we are going in a different direction, I guess, because we want to protect gun makers,” Campbell said.

Last year, Lee proposed a temporary mental health order of protection to prevent an individual from having firearms or ammunition for up to 180 days.

If a law enforcement officer or agency issues an order, then the subject of the order would be granted a hearing between three and five days from the date on the petition. If the subject of the order requests a delay, the hearing still must be held no more than 10 days after the order is filed.

“We all agree that dangerous, unstable individuals who intend to harm themselves or others should not have access to weapons,” Lee said at the time.

Lee’s proposal was not taken up in a Tennessee special session on public safety after a negative response from fellow legislators.

House sponsor Jody Barrett, R-Dickson, said the bill blocks the Biden administration’s attempts to work with local governments to infringe on the right to bear arms.

“This law ensures that Tennesseans’ Second Amendment rights are safeguarded against any attempts by the failing Biden administration and local governments to diminish our freedoms,” Barrett said. “And sends the message that we will not stand idly by as our liberties are threatened.”

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