State leaders try to determine if gun permits should be revoked - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Andrew Douglas

State leaders try to determine if gun permits should be revoked

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Tennessee state leaders are going through thousands of records to see whether or not gun permits should be revoked.

Officials with the Tennessee Department of Public Safety are examining more than 13,000 orders of protection to see any subjects of those orders have a gun permit - including orders filed in Shelby County.

The right to bear arms has its limitations, mainly to convicted felons and those with restraining orders.  Monday, officials said they were going through new measures to enforce state laws on the books with the idea of taking away gun permits to those who shouldn't have them.

Anna Whalley of the Shelby County Crime Victims Center welcomed the search.

"If someone is the respondent on an order of protection, they are not allowed to have a gun the whole time the order of protection is valid," Whalley said.
 
According to Whalley, people who file orders of protection are vulnerable, and any new methods to take away gun permits from those who have restraining order against them are welcome.

"Victims are trying stay safe in any way they can, and knowing that the state is working with them and not against them would be a great help," she said.

The Department of Public Safety keeps track of all gun permits in Tennessee.  According to spokesperson Mike Browning, local law enforcement plays a critical role in letting state officials know who should and shouldn't be issued a gun permit.

"We are supposed to be informed by local sheriff's departments or courts when there are orders of protection filed, and that's not happening," Browning said.

The TBI is now compiling all orders of protection, which the Department of Public Safety then cross references with names on gun permits. Out of 13,000 orders of protection statewide taken out last month, less than 200 have gun permits, and could have them suspended or revoked.

Some gun owners, like Brandon McGowan, believe orders of protection don't always tell the full story.

"It could be a false pretense," McGowan said. "Could be a false claim against them."
 
Branden McGowan believes there should be some sort of appeal process before revoking or suspending a gun permit.

"It shouldn't be that easily taken away without some kind of official investigation and proven fact that wrong was done," he said.


Click here to send an email to Andrew Douglas.

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