NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 7, 2017) – A Republican-dominated Tennessee House subcommittee killed a bill that would have legalized the open carry of firearms without a permit by law-abiding citizens last week.

House Bill 40 (HB40) was introduced by Rep. Micah Van Huss (R-Jonesborough), along with 15 co-sponsors. The legislation would have expanded gun rights for residents of the Volunteer State, chipping away at current regulations on the books pertaining to firearm permits.

The bill would have legalized open carry of firearms without a permit by removing “restrictions that exist in violation of the State constitutional limits imposed by the people of this State on the State of Tennessee, which require that any government regulation on the wearing of arms must be based on reasonable and objective determinations that such restrictions are necessary to reduce crime.”

The legislation failed in the House Civil Justice Subcommittee by a voice vote with only Rep. Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah) and Rep. Debra Moody (R-Covington) requesting to be put on the record as supporters of HB40.

While passage of the measure may not have impacted federal law directly, it would have helped to foster an environment hostile to federal gun control.


While constitutional carry bills do not directly affect federal gun control, widespread passage of permitless conceal carry laws in states subtly undermines federal efforts to regulate guns. As we’ve seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, a federal regulation becomes ineffective when states ignore it and pass laws encouraging the prohibited activity anyway. The federal government lacks the enforcement power necessary to maintain its ban, and people will willingly take on the small risk of federal sanctions if they know the state will not interfere. This increases when the state actively encourages “the market.”

Less restrictive state gun laws will likely have a similar impact on federal gun laws. It will make it that much more difficult for the feds to enforce any future federal gun control, and increase the likelihood that states with few limits will simply refuse to cooperate with federal enforcement efforts.

State actions like HB40 would lower barriers for those wanting to the option of defending themselves with firearms and encourages a “gun-friendly” environment that would make federal efforts to limit firearms that much more difficult.

“Constitutional carry is a big step toward being able to exercise a natural right that has been infringed at all levels for far too long,” campaign lead Scott Landreth said.

The 10th Amendment

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”



Featured Articles

On the Constitution, history, the founders, and analysis of current events.

featured articles


Tenther Blog and News

Nullification news, quick takes, history, interviews, podcasts and much more.

tenther blog


State of the Nullification Movement

232 pages. History, constitutionality, and application today.

get the report


Path to Liberty

Our flagship podcast. Michael Boldin on the constitution, history, and strategy for liberty today

path to liberty


Maharrey Minute

The title says it all. Mike Maharrey with a 1 minute take on issues under a 10th Amendment lens. maharrey minute

Tenther Essentials

2-4 minute videos on key Constitutional issues - history, and application today


Join TAC, Support Liberty!

Nothing helps us get the job done more than the financial support of our members, from just $2/month!



The 10th Amendment

History, meaning, and purpose - the "Foundation of the Constitution."

10th Amendment



Get an overview of the principles, background, and application in history - and today.