Under the guidelines of a new law signed by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, those seeking to obtain or renew a concealed carry license in Tennessee can now opt for a lifetime permit for $500.
The measure, which saw broad bipartisan support in a session rife with controversy over gun rights bills, passed the state House by 90-3 and the Senate by a margin of 30-2 on April 15 before being signed by Haslam last week.
“There are over 500k Carry Permit Holders in TN or roughly 1:12 citizens,” Sen. Frank Nicely (R), the Senate sponsor of the legislation, wrote in a statement to social media on the state’s concealed carry program. “There are only 1:2,000 law enforcement officers. Law abiding citizens who have passed background checks and have firearms use training are security enhancements, not threats.”
The new law, SB 0700/HB 0745, creates the option for a lifetime handgun carry permit for any state resident 21 years of age or older. The one-time application and processing fee of $500 grants the holder a permit that is not subject to renewal. In its original form the measure called for a $750 fee, but this was reduced in committee debate.
The current fee is $115 for the first five years and $50 for renewals every five years after. A fiscal analysis of the bill, which predicts about 5 percent of the state’s half million permit holders will go for new option, cites the likely primary reason is to grandfather against future increases in renewal fees.