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TN Gun bill exempt permit holders from background checks

Tennessee Senate Bill 207:

As introduced, allows a gun dealer to complete a firearms transaction with a handgun carry permit holder without requiring a criminal history record check, if the permit was issued or renewed within five years of the date of transaction

Good. However, the state losing $10 per transaction will likely have an impact on the bills passage.

17 Responses to “TN Gun bill exempt permit holders from background checks”

  1. Richard Says:

    We already have that here in North Carolina.

  2. Dragon Says:

    It will make the process easier, for sure.

    Not sure if that is good or bad.

    What do you do when the permit holder becomes a prohibited person during the latest issue period of his permit? Will the FFL be held liable for completing the transaction to someone who, just a few weeks earlier, had a restraining order issued for a domestic?

    Speaking as an FFL, I like to be able to point to the approval record (the record of the BG check) to be able to say “Hey, the State said it was OK to give him a gun. Not my problem that he tried to kill his ex-wifes horizontal mambo partner.”

    And as you said, the State of TN gets $10 per 4473. They also get $10 every time I run a stolen gun check when someone comes in and trades in a firearm, or puts one on consignment.

    Thats a boatload of money that the state will not want to give up.

  3. Ron W Says:

    What really needs to happen is to pass Constitutional Carry which is precisely PURSUANT to Article I, Section 26 of the TN State Constitution’s Declaration of Rights, an enumerated right to keep AND CARRY arms for self defense. It is UNLAWFUL to require a license, permit or fee to exercise a right!!

    Nothing can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws, or worse, its disregard of the charter of its own existence
    U.S. Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark – Mapp vs. Ohio

  4. Phelps Says:

    Wait, what? You have a CHL and still have to do a NICS check? It’s always been the other way in Texas (get CHL, no background checks while it is active.)

  5. Dragon Says:

    Ron W….nothing like “helping” the cause when you quote only part of the TN Constitutions Article..

    The complete text is:

    “Section 26. That the citizens of this state have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defense; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms with a view to prevent crime.”

    There you go. THAT is why we have Carry Permits in the State of TN. Because our State Constitution gives the Legislature the power to control the bearing of arms.

    TN is fine with folks owning firearms. You just can’t carry them IN PUBLIC on your person unless the State says you can. And that is EXACTLY what Article 26 says when you don’t take a snippet out of context.

    As for Constitutional Carry…that won’t do a damned thing for the BACKGROUND CHECKS, which is what Uncles post was originally about. Background checks are a matter of Federal Law, not State Law. The only time State Law comes into play is when the State implements its own background check scheme, as allowed by FedLaw.

    So…if a State says *Hey, we’ll do our own BG checks, and when we do the check for the CCW, that will also serve as our BG check for purchases*, then the FBI backs off and accepts that (The FBI is who runs NICS. The ATF only controls the flow of firearms. Since the BG Check is part of the flow of firearms from FFL to the Public, the ATF also has cognizance over the PAPERWORK that makes up the BG Check system.)

  6. Ron W Says:


    Thanks for quoting Article I, Section 26 because words in context do have meaning. We in Tennessee have a DECLARED right to keep and BEAR arms. “Bear” means carry in that context. You have NO RIGHT to armed self defense unless you have a right to carry the means in public, no more than if your right to speech in public was denied. The State only has delegated power to “regulate the WEARING of arms with a view to prevent crime”. Wearing refers to HOW ONE BEARS. So yes, the State may regulate how we WEAR our arms, i.e., holstered, or open or concealed,etc but with a view to prevent crime.

    The Fed thing is also a matter of DELEGATED POWERS. The Federal Gov’t has NO delegated powers enumerated in the Constitution re: the right of the people to keep and bear (CARRY) arms. ALL of that is reserved to the States and the People according to the 10th Amendment. The Federal Government’s delegated powers in this matter is RESTRICTED thusly:
    To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them AS MAY BE EMPLOYED IN THE SERVICE of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress; –Article I, Section8.16

    Delegated powers always come down from the greater authority to the lesser authority, that is from the People, the States and then to the Federal Government.

  7. Jim Brack Says:

    We already have that in Georgia as well. Plus it is only $5 to run a BG check at a gunshow if you don’t have a CL.

  8. Jim Brack Says:

    In Georgia, if I read this correctly, the state is on the hook for a CL holder purchase (5 yr period) and not the FFL.

    Federal law does not require dealers to conduct a background check if a firearm purchaser presents a state permit to purchase or possess firearms that meets certain conditions. As a result, concealed weapons permit holders in Georgia are exempt from the federal background check requirement.6 Federal law does not require dealers to conduct a background check if a firearm purchaser presents a state permit to purchase or possess firearms that meets certain conditions.5 As a result, concealed weapons permit holders in Georgia are exempt from the federal background check requirement.6 (NOTE HOWEVER, THAT PEOPLE WHO HAVE BECOME PROHIBITED FROM POSSESSING FIREARMS MAY CONTINUE TO HOLD STATE PURMITS TO PURCHASE OR PERMIT FIREARMS AND PASS BACKGROUND CHECKS IF THE STATE FAILS TO REMOVE THESE PERMITS IN A TIMELY FASHION.)

  9. HSR47 Says:

    While it’s nice to see that Pennsylvania isn’t alone in it’s disregard for Federal law, it’s also astounding that there are multiple states that completely disregard this particular Federal exemption.

    Seriously, Question 23 is in Section B of the 4473 for a reason.

    @Dragon: Regarding permit holders who become prohibited, it is my understanding that most issuing agencies pursue the document itself as part of the ensuing revocation.

    Even if they don’t get the document back, pretty much every single such document that I have ever seen has a unique permit/license number.

    Thus, the simple answer would be for the state in question to maintain a dated, publicly accessible list of these unique permit/license numbers for all that have been revoked.

    Since the Federal NICS exemption only applies if you have a license/permit issued by the state where you’re trying to buy a firearm, that should make compliance even easier: All the FFL has to do is check his state’s public listing of revoked permit/license numbers.

    issued by the state in which the FFL is licensed to do business

  10. Dragon Says:

    @HSR47 –

    In TN, it is not a unique document number. It is the same docnum as your TN Driver License.

    The way it works in TN, it is the Dept of Safety that issues your CCW. The Dept of Safety also issues your Driver License (We don’t have a DMV here in Tennessee).

    In TN, when we FFLs run the BG check, we send the data to Nashville, which does its own search of:

    1) Family Court records
    2) Civil Court records
    3) Criminal Court records
    4) Checks the TN State database for bench warrants
    5) Checks Dept of Safety (Driver license) records for DUI convictions.
    6) passes identifying information to NICS in Washington D.C. the check on the Federal level.

    Yes, here in TN if you have a DUI conviction, you will fail the TICS check.

    All the above is why TN charges $10 per BG check…they generate money through the TICS (TN Instant Check System) to support and maintain the infrastructure to do their own BG checks on firearms purchases.

  11. KM Says:

    Welcome to the 21st century.

  12. Mike V. Says:

    Dragon, don’t forget that on top of the $10 per instant check, the state gets $15 from each HCP applicant to offset fingerprint background costs. IIRC there was a move made to reduce/eliminate that fee and it was bitterly fought by the Department of Safety and TBI (they were successful too). And they still poor mouth.

  13. Huck Says:

    We had that here in Wyoming for a while and then it was revoked. I never did find out why. 🙁

  14. Geoff Says:

    Why are these FFLs charging for a FREE NICS check either by phone or electronically? Or does have to do with STATE background check? It should not cost you anything to fill out the 4473. I have bought firearms from Walmart and Academy Sports and there was no FFL or 4473 fee.

  15. SayUncle Says:

    Tn law. We don’t do federal checks.

  16. Deaf Smith Says:

    “However, the state losing $10 per transaction will likely have an impact on the bills passage.”

    That is cause it’s all about money. Nothing more.

  17. Ron W Says:

    That’s right, Deaf Smith. Most politicians will use money or whatever as a pretext to trump their sworn duty to uphold our State’s DeclarTin of Rights or the U.S. Bill of Rights. Notice: Rights are DECLARED! They are not privileged bestowed by politicians!! As for our rights and our public servants; we OWN THEM! They don’t like being a public SERVANT? Get out!