On Tuesday, February 23, an "administration" bill was presented in the Senate Judiciary Committee that has the effect of cutting the existing handgun permit fees charged to Tennesseans by more than half over time. That bill, which is referenced as Senate Bill 2566, was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee members on a 9-0 vote with no significant debate.
John Harris, Executive Director of the Tennessee Firearms Association, stated, "The current permit costs $115 and is good for four years. This bill reduces the state fee to $100 and extends the permit to an eight year permit."
Public records obtained by the Tennessee Firearms Association from the Tennessee Department of Safety shows that from 2008 to 2014 the state of Tennessee has charged and collected $52,701,104 from citizens who were applying for state handgun permits.
However, those same state reports show that it only cost the Department of Safety $35,166,452 to fully administer that program.
More from the Tennessee Firearms Association:
John Harris, Executive Director of the Tennessee Firearms Association, stated that "the Tennessee Firearms Association is glad to see that the Governor has apparently acknowledged after six years in office that his administration has been materially overcharging Tennesseans on the cost of obtaining a handgun carry permit. Tennesseans should not be charged at all for simply wanting to exercise a fundamental, constitutionally protected right to carry a firearm for self-defense and it's probably a good sign when the government finally admits that it has been knowingly and substantially overcharging citizens for permits which the state requires before those citizens can even exercise their constitutionally protected 2nd Amendment rights."
"The legislation does not actually significantly reduce the cost for Tennesseans who desire to apply for a handgun permit," Harris continued. "The current permit costs $115 and is good for four years. This bill reduces the state fee to $100 and extends the permit to an eight year permit. The bill does nothing to eliminate the costs that citizens also have to pay for the state required all day training classes which are taught by private instructors which leaves the cost of the original permits at from $150 to $200 depending on the cost of the training course. Many citizens still cannot afford that kind of fee just to be able to exercise a fundamental right. Imagine how many people would not vote in the presidential primary if the state also decided to charge people for exercising the right to vote."