New Tn. Law Allows Gun Carry Permits Without Hands-On Training

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — A new Tennessee law takes effect tomorrow–one that only requires a 90 minute online video, instead of the 8 hour classroom training to obtain a handgun carry permit.

In Tennessee, applicants will now have two ways to get certified to carry a gun. The first is the current requirement of an 8 hour class, with a live fire component. It costs 100 dollars and allows open, or concealed carry.

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The second way is to watch a 90 minute video online, pass the test and pay a 65 dollar fee. That will only allow concealed carry.

Rep. Andy Holt, who sponsored the bill, says it allows people who didn’t have time for that 8 hour class, to legally carry a handgun.

“It’s a way to lower the barriers for individuals to, I think go ahead and be able to ascertain one of their constitutional rights, and that is the right to self protection,” said State Representative Andy Holt, (R) Tennessee, from District 76.

But some don’t like the idea of the lack of hands-on training for this new carry permit.

“I think that it is illogical for us to believe that individuals will ascertain this carry permit, this concealed carry permit and NOT seek training. And I would go on record and obviously say that I would encourage everyone to receive training,” said Rep. Holt.

Tammy Zirk operates ZirkOps training. She says that they will continue to offer the 8 hour classes. She says there are two ways to look at the new law.

“There are a lot of people out there, they’ve been shooting their whole life, they have good skills, good safety and manipulation skills, so for them, being able to go on line and take a 20 minute – 90 minute video and a test and get their permit, that’s great,” said Tammy Zirk, Co-Owner of ZirkOps Training.

But, Zirk says, there are others for whom it may not be such a good idea.

“But we have tons of people that come through our permit classes that have zero gun and safety skills, so hands on training in the class and on the range, even then it’s difficult to get them to a level that they can safely understand shooting and carrying their gun on their body or with them,” said Ms. Zirk.

If you do take the 90 minute video course, but need additional training, ZIRKOPS has a 3 hour basic handgun safety class that can get you up to speed.