“In 2014, Tennessee implemented a law allowing gun owners to legally tote their loaded firearms in their vehicles even if they don’t have a state-issued handgun-carry permit,” wreg.com reports. “[Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings] said in 2013, before the law went into effect, there were only 378 guns stolen from cars . .. MPD recovered more than 2,700 stolen guns in 2016. ‘Laws have unintended consequences,’ said Rallings. ‘We cannot ignore that as a legislature passes laws that make guns more accessible to criminals that has a direct effect on our violent crime rate.'” So close . . .

The real problem here: Tennessee gun owners can’t take their guns with them when they leave their cars. I’m thinking it’s because TN gun owners can’t take their gun with them when they leave their vehicle. There are two reasons for that: TN’s onerous permitting process and the prevalence of “gun free zones.”

A box-fresh eight-year Volunteer State handgun permit costs $100, and $50 to renew. The applicant must “submit proof of the successful completion of a department approved Handgun Safety Course.” Those cost about $65 to  $75 — not including the gun. The class runs eight hours.

Memphis’ per capita income is $21,909 (33 percent of residents live below the poverty line). The time, expense and perhaps background check requirements of TN’s permitting process make it unlikely many gun-toting Memphis drivers have one, making it illegal for them to take their guns with them when they leave their car.

Even if Memphis drivers do have a permit, the existence of so-called “gun-free zones” makes it impossible (or at least legally inadvisable) for drivers to bring their gun with them.

While many Memphis businesses allow permit holder to carry on their premises — hats off to Kroger for resisting Moms Demand Action’s push to ban them in the stores — many do not. (List here.) The Wolfchase Mall and the tourist mecca of Beale Street, for example, are “gun free” zones.

Given there’s no good (and inexpensive) way to secure a firearm in a vehicle save locking it in the trunk, there are two ways to tackle Memphis’ unattended guns-in-cars thievery problem: make Tennessee a permitless or Constitutional Carry state so all gun owners keep their firearm with them at all times, and eliminate or at least reduce “gun free” zones.

TN gun rights advocates are working on the former — again, still. Getting rid of GFZ’s? That’s a cultural issue that will take decades to address. But getting out of denial is an excellent first step. Right Director?

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29 Responses to Tennessee’s “Gun Free Zones” and Permitting Process Trigger Gun Theft

  1. Simple solution to cut down on these thefts? Constitutional carry so the guns aren’t left in cars but carried by their owners.

    • You’d think that with a $5,000,000 salary Wayne lapierre would respond more quickly to stories like this. Better yet use that big expensive brain of his to predict outcomes and get ahead of the issues.

      But no. Instead the weak-kneed NRA CEO rubs elbows with like minds in cowboy hats while the real work to preserve our gun rights is left to the volunteers and patriots.

      • Do you really think the news network wanted to hear the NRA counterpoint? Do you think they (1) made an earnest effort to get response and (2) gave them enough time to respond?

        Congratulations you are naive enough to be manipulated by the media!

        Also, not his annual salary. He deferred a portion of his salary over a period of years (which was invested). Smart guy.

    • I wish! But TN is full of RINO’s including the governor. Literally the 3 biggest legislative issues on his agenda: “Free College”, double digit gas tax increase & expanding Obamacare (insureTN). The RINO’s will never let constitutional carry see the light of day, even with veto proof supermajorities of Republicans. They call the Conservatives “Rural Radicals”. Hopefully our next governor will be more like Matt Bevin and less like Bob Corker.

  2. I wish my “permitting” process was that onerous. Less than half the cost of the Land of Lincoln. And we got more than our share of GFZ…

  3. I wish there was a near-by uninhabited earth like planet…So we can all start over again, and boot these self proclaimed nanny state government officials we find ourselves appeasing in various states…Some worse than others…Statists, a simlar diease like Militant Socialist Liberal Progressives….

    • You mean ship the progtard turns out? Perhaps OZ would work for you plan. Lots of room in the Outback. Or perhaps Iraq or Haiti.

  4. FWW…. one of the many reasons the wife and I will be leaving the land of Lincoln. Moving south. Was actually down in the Nashville area a couple of weeks ago looking at places to move. Prices were good and people were very friendly.

        • As a fellow Southerner, if you do decide to move down this way from up yonder, there are a few things you need to be aware of. First, tea is sweet and should be able to double as pancake syrup. Second, “y’all” is a word and yes that is the correct spelling; meaning: ‘you all’ in various forms. Third, we don’t want our home to turn into another progressive Hole, so leave that s#1t up there. Finally, “ma’am/sir” is generally mandatory and is meant as a gesture of respect. We like most things the way we have em and would prefer you leave em as they are. Y’all have a nice trip and best of luck to you!

        • Can’t say I blame you. Move out to the country, more land for your money and you can piss and shoot outside your home.

  5. For whatever the motives, a couple of laws changed in 2017 regarding the handgun permits. One change was to alter the basic initial fee from $115 to $100. A second change was to make the permit’s duration 8 years. The renewal cost remained $50.

    However, a second law reduced the cost of the “lifetime” permits from $500 down to $200. That means, if you want to get a lifetime permit on an initial application the cost will be the base fee of $100 plus the additional lifetime fee for a total of $300.

    The other change was that at renewal a person could opt to pay $200 for a lifetime permit rather than $50 for an 8 year renewal.

    • So, do the math…

      $50 * 4 = $200 (cost of a lifetime CWP). Each $50 is good for 8 years. 8 * 4 = 32 years.

      Of course, the original $100 permit is good for 8 years as well. So, for $300, you can get:
      40 years of conceal carry in TN or
      Lifetime conceal carry in TN

      Since you can’t possess a firearm until ~20 years old, you’d be 60, and living in TN the whole time, before you BROKE EVEN! Yeah, that sounds like a hell of a deal… So really, for $300, you are betting that the cost will increase over time (eg, due to inflation), versus TN adopting constitutional carry, or national reciprocity, or SCOTUS striking down these ‘infringements’, or that you would move out of state. Doesn’t seem like a good ‘deal’ to me, but hey, to each their own..

      These fees should be, IMHO, considered the same as a poll tax – illegal. It disenfranchises the poor. I though liberals and progressives were all about things that disenfranchises the poor.

  6. Usually states have two sets of laws.
    One for long guns and one for handguns.
    Allowing a constitutional carry in the state would probably only apply to handguns.
    Some of the guns in the video were long guns.
    I doubt allowing a constitutional carry for handguns would do anything
    to prevent the theft of long guns in cars.
    I think one way to reduce the number of guns stolen from cars is
    to require all guns be “secured” by either in gun safes or
    chained or locked by bicycle cables.
    For sure, I’ll bet cars are being watched by gun thieves in the parking lots of
    gun-free zones.
    One rule. Don’t get out of your car to put your gun in the trunk.
    If they can break in your car, they can easily get in your trunk.

  7. >>in 2013, before the law went into effect, there were only 378 guns stolen from cars.
    >>.. MPD recovered more than 2,700 stolen guns in 2016.

    Yhea, but in 2016 how many guns were stolen from cars? Your “recovered guns” number has nothing to do with that, unlike the 2013 number. In other words your two numbers are so disparate they’re completely useless for any conclusion.

    Now, going to the orginal article they state that 851 guns were stolen from vehicles last year. You should have used THAT number in your article. As written it really makes no sense.

    O2

  8. This is why I don’t frequent gun free zones if it can be helped. Nor leave my gun in the car if im in a parking lot regardless of signage which carries no weight to speak of in Floriduh. I used to keep a holstered gun under the dash when I lived in NY and never felt comfortable.
    Therefore it went with me even in NYC. Funny thing about my living in NYC back in the day.
    Wear a sports coat or suit and have a belt holstered gun. Ask a cop for directions. Coat blowz open revealing gun. That happened to me a few times. I was never questioned by any LEOs back then. Look the part and you weren’t treated as a criminal. Cant say how or what would happen today. But makes me go ‘Hymmmmm’.

  9. Tn is a very gun friendly state. There is a little more to why this law was passed in 2014.

    A number of businesses in the state enacted polices preventing employees (including those with permits) from having weapons on them on even in there car while on company property. This did not sit well with many given the number of people in the state who work very late or start work very early. Our law makers passed this law which extended castle doctrine to include a persons car for any legal gun owner, invalidated these company policies, and shrunk the size of gun free zones.

    It’s not suprising tha thefts from cars has gone up given this. Years ago TN passed a no guns in bars or restaurants. After the law was passed LEOs noticed massive increases in gun thefts from bars. This law was effectively nullified because the LEOs proved it was causing more problems then it solved and our law makers responded.

    There is an above normal level of common sense used in this state by most government entities.

  10. Examine closely . . . “. . . before the law went into effect, there were only 378 guns stolen from cars . .. MPD recovered more than 2,700 stolen guns in 2016.”

    Those two clauses have absolutely no connection to each other. IOW, the number of guns “stolen from cars” cannot be compared to “the number of stolen guns recovered”.

    More click-bait.

  11. These rules are carry overs from the days of the Obama Regime when the little corporal had control of DOJ, ATF, FBI, etc. It amounts to nothing less than class warfare on the economic level. Those who probably need personal defense are the ones least able to afford to jump through all the hoops.

  12. If a total of 2000 guns were stolen and they retrieved 2700, that means that they are already of the curve and shold have it caught up in a few decades.
    Better yet, allow for constitutional carry, so that the driver can just holster the weapon or drop it in his pocket before he even parks the car.

  13. I don’t understand the resistance to “gun free zones”. It is a really fine idea, just needs some fine tuning as per the definition. Any gun free zone must be “required” to have 24/7 armed security with metal detectors at every entrance, multimillion dollar liability insurance, and safe and secure storage for customer weapons, also covered by theft insurance up to 10 grand per Cabot, or whatever. That is the kind of shit we run into constantly, why are we not demanding it as well?

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