Knoxville mayor releases statement against permitless handgun carry

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — City Mayor Indya Kincannon released a statement Wednesday speaking out against recently proposed legislation that would allow permitless handgun carry in Tennessee.

Last week, Gov. Bill Lee said he introduced legislation that would allow those 21 and older to carry a handgun with or without a permit.

Kincannon called the proposed legislation a threat to public safety and said she supported the right for law-abiding Tennesseans to own guns but also supported “common sense measures” such as requiring permits to publicly carry firearms.

Kincannon also said she had experienced gun violence first-hand.

Here is her full statement:

Public Safety is the fundamental role of city government, so when legislation is proposed that threatens public safety, it is my job to speak out.

Pending legislation would allow Tennesseans to carry a loaded handgun in public without a permit, which makes Knoxville residents and all Tennesseans less safe.

I have experienced gun violence first hand, as have too many Knoxville residents. I support the right for law-abiding Tennesseans to own guns, but I also support common sense measures like requiring permits to publicly carry handguns, training and guidance for safe storage to keep our children protected. Knoxville Police Chief Eve Thomas shares these concerns.

The proposed legislation is a step in the wrong direction. I urge our representatives in the General Assembly to vote no on permitless gun carry.

Indya Kincannon, City of Knoxville mayor

The proposed legislation was introduced as an administration bill, according to Lee.

Lee said the proposed legislation, “would significantly increase penalties on those who steal, or unlawfully possess a firearm, including a mandatory minimum sentence for those who steal a firearm.”

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