Some Say a Tennessee Bill Will Encourage ‘Legal Vigilantism.’ I Sort of Agree
Just to be clear as I begin this story:
I am all about anyone legally owning a firearm, or multiple firearms, as long as you use it in an intelligent manner.
We see so many stories of people getting upset at someone over something very petty and inconsequential and pulling a gun out thinking that will prove dominance in the argument. That IS NOT how a legal and responsible gun owner uses their firearm. That's why this bill being introduced in Tennessee is not exactly the best idea and I think many East Texas gun owners would agree.
Two bills are being introduced in Tennessee, HB 254 and SB 2523, that would designate a person with an enhanced gun permit to be a member of law enforcement. This person, as long as their license is not expired, suspended or revoked could assist law enforcement in certain circumstances. To get this enhanced permit it would cost an individual $100 and they would have to take an eight hour course.
Beyond that there is not any further explanation of the intent of this bill. State Senator Joey Hensley did tell ABC News:
...the bill only allows you to carry a gun where police can, but it does NOT make you a police officer.
There not much to learn about this bill through the State of Tennessee website, either, just some dates and a general overview.
According to the news report, some are already not in favor of the bill as it could encourage "legal vigilantism." The Tennessee State Lodge for the Fraternal Order of Police is opposed to the bill.
While the intentions of this bill are good, I can certainly see how someone could take this too far. I know several gun owners and they tell me and know the power a firearm can hold. They also know how an improperly used firearm can be extremely dangerous.
There are some that own guns that think it's just a toy to wave around to show they are cool. These types of people would take a bill like this and think they are deputized or even think they are above the law.
I would think that responsible gun owners in East Texas would not want a bill like this in Texas. Let our trained police officers, who go through continuous training year after year for everything from driving to weapons to law changes, be the ones to enforce the laws, not some jack hole who took an eight hour class to get a card.