Law enforcers want Tennessee gun law loopholes fixed

Law enforcers want Tennessee gun law loopholes fixed

March 20th, 2013 by Andy Sher in News

Gun tile

Gun tile

Photo by WRCB-TV Channel 3 /Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE -- Prosecutors, sheriffs and police chiefs are asking lawmakers to fix what they say are loopholes in Tennessee's handgun-carry permit monitoring process.

The Tennessee Public Safety Coalition says among other things, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the source of background checks, isn't always getting the information it needs from local officials.

Among other things, the bill would require psychiatric hospitals or other facilities handling involuntary commitments to notify court clerks of the action.

At the same time, the legislation would require court clerks send that information as well as information about felony indictments and domestic abuse to the TBI.

The information isn't always getting through right now, officials said.

The measure, sponsored by Rep. Vince Dean, R-East Ridge, is one of a raft of bills coalition members said are intended to address pressing statewide safety concerns.

One bill would begin regulating "pill mills" by putting time limits on narcotic prescriptions that pain clinics can dispense to a patient

Another creates the Child Protection Act, which hands out tougher penalties and also would allow district attorneys to try an alleged offender in one trial on multiple charges involving one or more than one child in more than one judicial district.

A fourth bill adds an assistant attorney general to each of the state's 31 judicial districts. Prosecutors say they've had no additional staff since 2006, despite passage of dozens more laws.

The coalition also is asking lawmakers to create an offense for criminal invasion of computer privacy and misuse of a computer.

Contact staff writer Andy Sher at 615-255-0550 or