Failure Of Handgun Permit Bill Creates Stir

On April 3, 2008, in News 2008, by Mark Norris

Bill Would Have Closed Permit Record To Public Reported by Cara Kumari, WSMV.com April 3, 2008 NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A controversial gun bill failed in the state Legislature on Thursday, but how it failed is causing a stir on Capitol Hill. The bill would have halted handgun permit records from being made available to the […]

Bill Would Have Closed Permit Record To Public

Reported by Cara Kumari, WSMV.com
April 3, 2008

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A controversial gun bill failed in the state Legislature on Thursday, but how it failed is causing a stir on Capitol Hill.

The bill would have halted handgun permit records from being made available to the public.

“The law, in the case of handgun permits, doesn’t even specify what the federal government requires in the case of nondisclosure of Social Security numbers,” Sen. Mark Norris said.

“The bill not only closed records but made it a crime for anyone to publish them. So it was a very broad bill and it got into a very dangerous area of constitutional law,” said Rep. Rob Briley.

On Wednesday, a supporter of the bill brought it up while Rep. Rob Briley and Rep. Janis Sontany were out of the room.

They both oppose the measure. So, without them it passed easily — but not for long.

House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh came in later and announced a new member to the committee. Rep. Karen Camper had just been sworn in an hour before.

After Camper was sworn in, the bill was brought up again, and this time Briley and Sontany were back in the room. Camper and Naifeh also cast votes, and on the second go-round, the bill died.

“I didn’t think that ought to be done, especially when it had been found out that there had been some felons who had gotten gun permits before,” said Naifeh.

The senate sponsor of the bill said he still hasn’t given up hope of passing it this year. He said he is looking at his options.

Two weeks ago, Naifeh voted to kill gun-related bills. He said he is not anti-gun but that voting against closing the records was the right thing to do.