Norris Protects Privacy Rights of Gun-Owners

March 19, 2008

Norris Protects Privacy Rights of Gun-Owners

     NASHVILLE, Tenn. — While the United States Supreme Court is considering the constitutionality of handguns in our nation’s capital, multiple bills to preserve
Tennesseans’ right to bear arms have been debated this week in the State’s Capitol.  One of these bills, Senate Bill 3755 sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville), passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee with a 9-0 vote on March 18.  Senate Bill 3755 will add new sections to the Tennessee Code dealing with the confidentiality of information provided for the application and renewal of handgun permits.  The bill states that “information and records are confidential, not available for public inspection and may not be published in any manner”.

“The publication of such information has no legitimate purpose.  It violates an expectation of privacy and has a chilling effect on the exercise of Second Amendment rights,” said Norris.  This bill now makes it a class E felony to publish any records of permits.  The information may only be released to law enforcement agencies for the purpose of investigations.  Twenty-seven other states have laws protecting the privacy of handgun permit documents.  SB3755 is scheduled for a final vote by the full Senate on Monday, March 24.  Its companion, House Bill 3137, is being considered by the House Criminal Practice Subcommittee.

Senator Norris represents the West Tennessee Counties of Shelby, Tipton, Lauderdale, and Dyer.

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