Tennessee gun law proposal causes controversy

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Controversy surrounds a gun bill that making its way through the Tennessee State House.

It would lower penalties for those toting handguns without a carry permit.

According to the law, the ammunition would be confiscated, but not necessarily the weapon.

You can get a misdemeanor charge, a fine up to $500 and possible time behind bars if you carry a handgun without a permit.

Now changes are being introduced, and not everyone is on board.

The bill is creating quite a stir.

Tennessee representatives discussed legislation that would lower the first offence of carrying a handgun without a permit to $250.

A second amendment was also discussed that would allow officers to confiscate the ammunition of an offender, but not necessarily take the gun.

Representative Antonio Parkinson of Memphis spoke to us from Nashville via Messenger expressing his concerns.

He says the bill could encourage permit-less carry across the state and prevent an officer from confiscating a gun from a juvenile or a known gang member.

"If we are all law abiding citizens, which I would guess we are, then we don't need to lessen the penalty for those carrying without a permit. We need to increase the penalty for those carrying without the permit," Representative Parkinson said.

The Tennessee Firearms Association doesn't agree with the bill either, but not for that reason.

They say it confuses an already complicated law and creates a safety issue.

The debate is getting heated on our Facebook page too.

Dozens of people are commenting, including Keith Canada who says "If you buy it legally you should be able to carry it legally, permit or not."

Eric Hafner wrote, "This is a good common sense bill. Tennessee needs to lead the way."

The bill still has to be approved by the Senate and the governor.

Tennessee Firearms Association