NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – The Tennessee Legislature is considering a bill that would expand the definition of law enforcement officers when it comes to certain gun license holders.
The bill is HB 2554/SB2523, and it’s raising eyebrows.
The bill was introduced on January 3 and would expand the definition of “law enforcement officer” to include a person who has been issued an enhanced handgun license; provided that the license is not suspended, revoked or expired, for the purposes of authorized gun-carrying under certain circumstances.
Experts say that could be a problem because there is a huge difference between advanced handgun license holders and Tennessee law enforcement officers.
“There is a huge contrast between the hours of training,” said Melvin Brown, a retired Metro Police lieutenant.
Brown said eight hours of training is required for an advanced handgun license. Officers and deputies have 12-24 weeks at the training academy and an additional 40 hours annually.
“And in 40 hours that was eight hours of firearms training,” Brown said.
“What if you had to be a sworn law enforcement officer to bring a gun into a state court. This would extend it to where anyone has eight hours of training and has a lifting license. tall can bring a loaded gun into state court?” Brown said.
The bill would essentially amend a Tennessee law that would give businesses the right to ban guns in buildings.
“If I read it right, it is expanding the definition as it relates to being able to carry a gun or have certain types of ammunition in private places that have the legal right to ban law enforcement officers,” Brown said. bring. “The law gives the legislature the power to authorize businesses to ban non-law enforcement personnel from being armed. But if law enforcement can be armed, but they I would like the same privilege to be available to anyone who can go through 8 hours of training and get a permit and not have to train anymore,” he added.
Brown also believes a lack of proper training could be seen in stressful situations in places where handguns are not allowed, if this measure is passed.
“If someone gets up in a movie theater and starts shooting, I’ll ask you, how many people do you want to stand up and start shooting back? One or two law enforcement officers or just anyone who’s already got one or two of them. 8 o’clock Brown said.
The retired law enforcement officer said his advice to the bill’s sponsors is to talk to police departments, sheriff’s offices and citizen groups.
“To hear both sides discuss for the sake of the state fraternal police order, the Tennessee sheriff’s union and the sheriff’s union, they may or may not agree. And some civic groups about crime, they have may have a different opinion,” Brown said. “And if they merge all of those ideas, they can come up with a bill that doesn’t do more harm than good, but without that input we could very well end up with an end product.” can do more harm than good.” he added.
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