Tennesseans will now be allowed to carry guns inside lawmakers' newly remodeled office building, according to a new policy.

In a joint statement, House Speaker Beth Harwell and Lt. Gov. Randy McNally said Wednesday any Tennessean with a valid gun permit will be allowed to bring their weapons inside the Cordell Hull building.

"Permit holders wishing to carry their firearms into Cordell Hull will be required to present their permit at security," McNally and Harwell said.


The duo said a "thorough" screening process will be done to ensure those with weapons have a valid permit. They did not say what the screening process will involve.

"Once that validity is established, a permit holder will be allowed exercise their Second Amendment while visiting their state government," the legislative leaders said.

The Cordell Hull building, which is in the final stages of remodeling, is expected to be open to the public in the next two weeks. The building will house offices for lawmakers and legislative committee and hearing rooms.

The possibility of allowing Tennesseans to carry guns inside lawmakers' buildings was first broached in 2016 when then-Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey said he would like to see a change in policy.

Weapons are not allowed in the current home for lawmakers inside Legislative Plaza and the War Memorial Building.

At the time Ramsey discussed the idea, Gov. Bill Haslam balked, saying through a spokeswoman that he thought the idea would lead to complications and that Haslam "feels strongly that guns are not carried in the Capitol."

It is not immediately clear if Harwell and McNally's new policy will have any impact on the current prohibition of weapons inside the Capitol.

A spokeswoman for Haslam did not immediately respond to a request for comment.