NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has signed the constitutional carry bill into law after the bill was passed in the Tennessee House last week.
The new law goes into effect on July 1.
The bill allows Tennesseans ages 21 and over and military members over the age of 18 to carry open or concealed handguns without a permit and also increases punishments for gun-related crimes.
For example, theft of a firearm will be considered a felony rather than a misdemeanor. The bill also mandates six months of jail time for the crime, an increase from the current 30-day sentence.
The bill was met with criticism from multiple law enforcement agencies, saying the bill would increase crime. Supporters argue the bill supports their 2nd Amendment rights.