Change would allow handguns at Tennessee legislative complex

Friday, February 5, 2016, Vol. 40, No. 6

NASHVILLE (AP) - The leaders of the state House and Senate are moving to end a total gun ban at the legislative office complex.

Sen. Ron Ramsey of Blountville and Rep. Beth Harwell of Nashville, the Republican speakers of the Senate and House, said Thursday that they want the begin allowing people with handgun carry permits to be armed within the Legislative Plaza.

Ramsey said he had wanted to make the change at the start of the year, but that the Tennessee Highway Patrol, which runs security at the facility, wanted more time to make logistical changes.

It's unclear whether the change would require another checkpoint to be set up at the underground tunnel to the Capitol.

About 536,000 people have state-issued handgun carry permits in Tennessee.