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New laws going into effect in Tennessee

JACKSON, TN (WNBJ) - The state of Tennessee has passed some new legislation, which officially took effect yesterday. These new laws covering a variety of topics from gun permits to criminal justice.

After spending the first four months of the year in session, the Tennessee General Assembly approved 200 new laws.

Two hot-button issues for many people around Jackson are permitless carry and the new criminal justice laws. The permitless carry law allows adults aged 21 and older to carry a handgun without a permit.

The owner of WHMC Guns in Humboldt voices his opinions on the new law.

“Well, the constitution grants us the right and the ability to defend ourselves and it really doesn’t even grant the right. It acknowledges the right that we have, a God-given right, to defend ourselves, our family, and the things that are important to us. So, this new law merely acknowledges that right that already exists," Lance Sherer, the owner of WHMC Guns.

Another regulation up for discussion is the new criminal justice laws. One of those includes the resources for inmates reentering society, which removes the fee to set up a payment plan to have a driver’s license reinstated and increases reimbursement rates for local jails that choose to expand classes and resources offered to inmates.

The president of the Jackson-Madison County NAACP believes this new law left out some valuable points.

“It should be one that should have included the right of citizenship. Reentry means the right to citizenship, full- citizenship. If the law says, you have committed a crime, the law found you guilty and sentenced you. So, once you paid your time and restitutions back to the state, then all your rights should be restored. We make things difficult because we are using, unfortunately, human beings as cash cows in a lot of these cases with our reckless institutionalized system,” said Harrell Carter Jr., the President of the Jackson-Madison County NAACP branch.

The state of Tennessee passed other bills such as if an inmate is in possession of a cell phone in prison, he or she will receive a Class E Felony and could possibly be fined up to $3,000 dollars.

Another bill passed was the Transgender Athlete Ban, which requires athletes in public middle school and high school to play on the team corresponding with their sex at birth.

I encourage all Tennesseans to research these new laws and make themselves aware of these new changes.

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