NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — A bill filed by Tennessee Republican lawmakers would lower the age to carry a handgun from 21 to 18.
House Bill 1158 was introduced by Rep. Chris Todd (R-Jackson) on Jan. 31. A companion bill in the Senate was filed on Feb. 2 by Sen. Frank Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains).
As introduced, the bill would modify the state’s 2021 permitless carry law. Current law allows Tennesseans to carry a handgun without a permit if they are 21 years or older or if they are 18 or older and have been honorably discharged from the military or are on active duty.
If passed, the legislation would remove the military requirements for 18 to 20-year-olds, allowing them to carry in public.
It would also lower the age to obtain an enhanced or concealed handgun carry permit to 18.
However, those under 21 would not be allowed to transport or store a gun in their vehicle while on a public or private school property, unless they are at least 18 and have been honorably discharged from the military or are on active duty.
Legislation introduced by Todd last year that would’ve lowered the carry age to 18 passed the House but never came up for a vote in Senate.
The new proposed law would go into effect on July 1 if passed by the General Assembly and signed by the governor.