The Tennessee House pushed forward with legislation that creates legal loopholes for gun dealers to sell firearms without a background check Monday night.
The bill would allow gun dealers who “occasionally” sell guns from their personal collection to forgo background checks. Tennessee does not regulate firearms sales between private individuals. Under federal law, unless the dealer transferred a firearm from their professional inventory to their personal collection within 12 months, they do not need to conduct a background check.
Earlier Monday afternoon, the Senate delayed action on the bill, deferring to the House to sort out the details of the legislation. Now that the House has passed its version, the Senate will take up the measure next week. If the legislation passes both chambers, it will head to the desk of Gov. Bill Haslam.
Haslam has been a proponent of keeping background checks in place in the past, but also has allowed other measures to become law that reduce restrictions on firearms, such as allowing guns on college campuses, in bars and in parks.
Jennifer Donnals, press secretary for Haslam, said Monday that he would review the measure when it came to his desk, citing an oft-used phrase that Haslam “would defer to the will of the legislature” until he gets the bill as passed.
Reach Kirk A. Bado on Twitter at @kirk_bado
Reach Jake Lowary at 615-881-7039 and on Twitter @JakeLowary.