Tennessee legislators are on the verge of passing a series of bills that would greatly expand the number of places where people who hold licenses to carry loaded handguns can take their weapons, reports The Tennessean. Democratic leadership had stymied such efforts for years, but that has changed with Republicans now holding a slim majority. Taken together, the measures would be the biggest liberalization of the state’s gun laws since the passage of the carry permit law 15 years ago.
The bills’ passage could be a major step toward an even greater loosening of the restrictions on handgun owners, activists on both sides of the issue say. Gun-rights advocates say the measures are long overdue corrections to the state’s firearm laws – fixes that they hope will lead lawmakers to fundamentally rethink how Tennessee treats gun owners. Much of the attention has been placed on measures that would let handguns be carried into restaurants where alcohol is served.