Fri
Mar 13 2009
01:39 pm

WSJ.com

Under current federal law, anyone over 18 years old can buy a semiautomatic assault rifle from a licensed gun dealer as long as the buyer passes a background check verifying that he or she isn't a convicted felon or mentally ill, among other things. Unlicensed dealers, such as those at gun shows, may sell semiautomatic assault rifles to anyone of any age without conducting a background check.

Gun owners in Alabama are required to possess a license only for carrying a concealed handgun. Mr. McLendon had a concealed-weapons handgun permit, according to a spokeswoman for the Geneva, Ala., police department.

So he was legally carrying the handgun. And a law advancing in the Tennessee legislature would make it legal for someone like this killer to carry around loaded assault rifles, too.

In fact, the General Assembly is loaded up with new laws to make it easier for more people to obtain guns and permits and to carry them in more places. Regulations aren't working. Deregulation is not the answer.

StaceyDiamond's picture

guns

It was interesting in Knoxville that the inner city has the fewest gun permits but I would say the most gun crimes. I do not have a problem with guns and permits within reason.

R. Neal's picture

Key provision: "within

Key provision: "within reason."

Jon's picture

...and who will decide what

...and who will decide what is "With-in reason"?

R. Neal's picture

who will decide what is

who will decide what is "With-in reason"?

Supreme Court.

Jon's picture

I think the District of

I think the District of Columbia residences hoped the supreme court's within reason ruling would have stood...seems as if no one is happy no matter who rules what, when or where.

R. Neal's picture

seems as if no one is

seems as if no one is happy

Actually, I was OK with Heller. But you raise an interesting point that different communities have different problems.

knoxvegas99's picture

Check out the West Side

Check out the West Side Shopper-News on Monday.

Larry Van Guilder

Lobster's picture

Every time I see a story

Every time I see a story about something like this, I keep hearing the old Aerosmith tune in my head......."Lumpy's got a gun......" Apologies to Janie.

James Calloway's picture

So what is the point, Randy

The populace should be disarmed because of one nut ? This site gets less relevant by the day, except of course to the choir ..

Elrod's picture

How did a nut get a CCW permit?

That's the real question. I'm generally of the belief that if CCW permit-holders are saner and less criminal than the public at large, then there's no reason they shouldn't be allowed to carry weapons wherever they go. Did the Alabama gunman have a history of mental illness? Did the state perform a solid background check on him before issuing a permit? Does Alabama even require background checks on CCW permitholders?

R. Neal's picture

Commercial Appeal's analysis

Commercial Appeal's analysis of problems with TN handgun permit process:

Dozens with violent history have gun permits

But instead of legislators trying to fix it, we get stuff like this:

HB 2081 by Towns: Firearms and Ammunition - As introduced, authorizes persons over 65 to obtain a gun carry permit without having to complete a handgun safety course. - Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13.

*HB 2157 by Towns: Firearms and Ammunition - As introduced, waives handgun permit fees for persons over 65. - Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13.

HB 0489 by Tidwell: Criminal Offenses - As introduced, allows person who has permit to carry a handgun to carry gun in place where alcohol is served for consumption on premises if person is not consuming alcohol or is not otherwise prohibited by posting provisions. - Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13.

HB 0521 by Rich: Firearms and Ammunition - As introduced, allows persons with handgun carry permit to carry in public parks, public postsecondary institutions, and restaurants where alcoholic beverages are being served; allows judges and district attorneys to carry firearms where law enforcement can carry if they have permit or appropriate training. - Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13 and Title 70.

*HB 0798 by Campfield: Firearms and Ammunition - As introduced, authorizes full-time faculty and staff at public colleges and universities in Tennessee to carry handguns if not otherwise prohibited by law. - Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13.

*HB 0960 by Tindell: Firearms and Ammunition - As introduced, authorizes person with handgun carry permit to possess firearm in local, state, or federal parks. - Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13 and Title 70.

*HB 1395 by Evans: Firearms and Ammunition - As introduced, prohibits employers from prohibiting persons possessing a handgun carry permit from transporting and storing a firearm out of sight in a locked vehicle on any property set aside for vehicles. - Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13.

HB 1781 by West: Firearms and Ammunition - As introduced, restricts information required to be submitted by a participant in a handgun safety course and corrects reference to federal law; requires that documents required to be submitted for purchase of firearms that must be registered be executed by chief law enforcement within 15 days of request. - Amends TCA Title 4; Title 36, Chapter 3; Title 39; Title 40, Chapter 35; Title 45; Title 57; Title 58, Chapter 1 and Title 58, Chapter 2.

HB 1785 by West: Firearms and Ammunition - As introduced, requires persons licensed to sell firearms to adhere to the guidelines prescribed by the federal "Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act"; removes state prohibition against sales of firearms to certain persons. - Amends TCA Title 39. (Note: allows purchase of gun if prior felony was pardoned, set aside, or the felon had civil rights restored.)

SB 0554 by Norris: Firearms and Ammunition - As introduced, deletes requirement that the purchaser of a firearm give a thumbprint as part of background check process and that the TBI furnish thumbprint cards and pads to firearm dealers. - Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13.

HB 1801 by West Handgun Permits - As introduced, provides that "handgun carry permit" may be used interchangeably with "weapon carry permit" where applicable, thereby imposing any rights or duties that apply to persons with a handgun carry permit to persons who carry a lawful weapon. - Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13.

Nobody's picture

Open Carry Nation Wide

i beleive that our 2nd ammendment rights should allow me to carry a firearm without a permit. I know that out west it's legal to carry a firearm openly without a permit. Those same laws should be enacted across our great nation. One nation under God. Thank goodness that here in Tennessee those TBI folks do a great job doing background checks to keep the "bad guys" from obtaining a gun permit. However it doesn't prevent them from carrying illegally.

JRWnTN's picture

Are we to believe that if

Are we to believe that if McLendon did not have a handgun permit he would have been deterred from murder and suicide? That he would not have risked being arrested for illegally carrying the pistol on his way to commit crimes punishable by life in prison or even execution?

RedDog's picture

Care to back this up? And a

Care to back this up?

And a law advancing in the Tennessee legislature would make it legal for someone like this killer to carry around loaded assault rifles, too.

I really doubt it...

Jon's picture

"Assault Rifles"...I love

"Assault Rifles"...I love the scary sanctimonious descriptions so called pacifistic anti gun nuts use to scare the general populous. Is there currently a law on the books prohibiting the carrying around of a, "Loaded assault rifle" or any rifle?

R. Neal's picture

TCA 39-17-1307, 1308.

TCA 39-17-1307, 1308.

Jon's picture

that only references

that only references handguns, no mention of long weapons.

R. Neal's picture

that only references

that only references handguns

So you didn't read it then. OK. Whatever.

R. Neal's picture

Care to back this up? See

Care to back this up?

See HB1801 above.

red dog's picture

yep - I see

yep - I see

lennisw's picture

Drunk drivers kill and wound more people

This hype about gun permits is just laughable. Ted Kennedy's car has killed more people than my gun has. The fact is that drunk drivers are far more likely to kill and maime innocent people than the right to carry has.
The right to own fire arms in general keeps governments at bay and the bad guys cautious about knocking down your door. In the UK the left used some horrible school shootings to ban virtually all private gun ownership. The results were radical increases of home invasions, rapes, and yes murder, because it is possible to murder with other weapons besides guns, no matter what CNN may tell you.
As to assault rifle bans, the second ammendment has nothing to do with hunting ducks, folks. I have a friend from Sweden who is in the Swedish army. I think he said that all able bodied males have to be part of the military from the ages of 16 to 65 years old. Anyway, Swedes are required to keep their weapon (a very well made, FULLY automatic) assault rifle and several thousand rounds of ammo in their houses.
In an emergency you report with your weapon and loaded battle packs in hand. You never hear of home invasions in Sweden. The Russians hated this idea big time. If you invade a country, this makes weapon confiscation nearly impossible. The Swedes learned a leason we should keep in mind when the Nazis invaded them.

Justin's picture

The Russians hated this idea

The Russians hated this idea big time. If you invade a country, this makes weapon confiscation nearly impossible. The Swedes learned a leason we should keep in mind when the Nazis invaded them.

Sweden was a neutral/non-belligerent country in WW2. They were never invaded by Germany or the Soviet Union. Sweden allowed Germany to transport troops, along with communications (and sold them iron ore) because they did not want to become involved in the war (its much more complicated than "not wanting to be involved in the war but I digress). The Wehrmacht wasn't the least bit afraid of an armed populace in Sweden.

JRWnTN's picture

"A complete democratic

"A complete democratic police state if there ever was one with a law against everything and two laws against most things."
And everything not forbidden is mandatory.

smalc's picture

Unlicensed dealers, such as

Unlicensed dealers, such as those at gun shows, may sell semiautomatic assault rifles to anyone of any age without conducting a background check.

Sensationalize much?

At the risk of being called a gun nut, I must say I get frustrated when I hear people refer to the gun show loophole. They are either ignorant of the gun laws or just being deceptive. It's really a private transfer loophole, but those in the know won't refer to it as such, it would alarm the masses. The BATF does go after unlicensed dealers, they got one in east Tn not too long ago.

Note: I am not particularly opposed to eliminating the "private transfer loophole" with certain provisions, and if it was fairly cheap and fairly painless.

Nobody's picture

Samson Shooter

As a resident who lives 12 miles from Samson, Alabama and a CC Holder, I will say that to get a Carry Permit in Geneva Co. Alabama is really easy. All you have to do is go to the courthouse and give them 20 bucks and they take your picture and laminate it to a piece of paper with the words Geneva Co. Pistol Carry Permit and you are good to go! Mr McClendon probably had that permit for years before he went nuts, but then again he never really was right. I have heard folks in Samson say "We do not really need those kinds of guns" I immediatly tell them the gun killed Nobody, he did, and I say to them that just because they do not own that kind of gun does not mean we need to ban it. This rual community is big into hunting and everyone has gins, just not AR-15's and such, but I remind them that a little boy in Jonesboro Arkansas killed all those folks with a Hunting rifle like the one thy own and that usually shuts them up.

The real question I always ask is whwere were the COPS? I mean McClendon was killing folks for 10 minutes in Samson and I can drive from one end to the other of Samson and getting caught at Both stoplights, I can drive through in less than 10 minutes. Where were the police in Samson? Just as I figured, the moment you need a cop for protection, they are only minutes. MANY MINUTES away...............They will come draw the chaulk lines around your body.

The deputy who's wife and baby were killed, attended my church, so I know some of them personally, and my prayers go out to Josh in these trying times.

Just wanted to add a 25 cent worth from someone close to what happened.

Nobody's picture

Its kind of funny really, so

Its kind of funny really, so many people saying it only happened because he had a cc permit. It only happened because no one else had a cc permit. If he had took out his gun and started shooting, only to be dropped by a bystander maybe no one would have died(except him of course).

KC's picture

I have heard folks in Samson

I have heard folks in Samson say "We do not really need those kinds of guns" I immediatly tell them the gun killed Nobody, he did, and I say to them that just because they do not own that kind of gun does not mean we need to ban it.

I'm sure they appreciate your sensitivity and sympathy.

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