MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings went to the state capitol in Nashville to plead with lawmakers to stop their plan to allow people to carry guns without permits.
Still, the bill passed its first hurdle.
Rallings pointed out he's a supporter of the right to bear arms, and a lifelong member of the NRA.
However, he's worried unlicensed guns will make Memphis more violent. He also said the COVID-19 pandemic aggravates the situation.
"I fully support the Second Amendment, but we face the challenge of managing the coronavirus pandemic across the state and across the world, and the last thing Tennessee needs is gun legislation that will allow for permitless, unconstitutional handguns that are either concealed or unconcealed without a permit,” said Rallings.
Despite Rallings' plea, The House Judiciary Committee passed the bill.
It now heads to the Republican-dominated Finance Committee, where it's expected to pass.
There are two more House committees, and then, the full Senate before the bill makes it to the governor’s desk.