NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE — State Rep. Jody Barrett (R-Dickson) has introduced HB 2032, a bill that would enable individuals with enhanced gun licenses to carry firearms into businesses that currently prohibit them. Barrett argues that this measure is necessary because most gun license holders are responsible citizens. The bill proposes to eliminate the offense of possessing a weapon in a business that restricts firearms and to remove penalties for certain firearms violations. This change is partly motivated by concerns about the risks posed when guns are left unsecured in cars or homes, where they could potentially be stolen by criminals.
Rep. Barrett stated that under the proposed law, if an employee notices a customer with a gun and feels uncomfortable, they have the right to ask the individual to leave the premises. Failure to comply would result in a charge of trespassing. The bill thus aims to balance the rights of gun permit holders with the concerns of business owners and employees.