20-HB2536/SB2614 – Doggett/ Hensley

Bill Description

This bill provides that it is a violation of an individual's civil rights to infringe upon or deny an individual the full exercise and enjoyment of any right recognized and protected by Article I, Section 26 of the Tennessee Constitution (regarding the right to bear arms) or any right recognized and protected by the second amendment to the United States Constitution. This bill further provides that a violation of its provisions may be enforced by means of a civil action, which may be brought:
(1) In the county in which the action arose;
(2) In the county in which the individual resides; or
(3) If the action is brought against a state or local official, in the chancery court of Davidson County.
Under this bill, if the violation is the result of action by a government employee, the violation may also be prosecuted as the Class E felony of official oppression under present law. A knowing or willful violation of this bill by a government official will constitute grounds for ouster.
A person or governmental entity that violates this bill will be liable for:
(1) The actual damages caused by the violation or statutory damages of $500 per each day of the violation, whichever is greater;
(2) Punitive damages to be determined by the trier of fact; and
(3) Reasonable attorney's fees and court costs.
Also, a person or governmental entity that commits an act or engages in any pattern or practice in violation of this bill may be enjoined from further violations by a court of competent jurisdiction. An action for injunction may be brought by:
(1) A person whose rights have been violated;
(2) An entity that engages in advocacy for the protection and furtherance of said rights; or
(3) Any other person or entity that will fairly and adequately represent the interests of those whose rights are protected by the state or federal constitutions as set forth in this bill.
This bill specifies that it does not preclude any person or entity from seeking any remedies, penalties, or procedures otherwise provided by law.

TLRC Position

We fully support any and all protections of our right to bear arms. It is our means of self-defense against enemies domestic and foreign.

TLRC Observed Process

HOUSE CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS & SENTENCING SUBCOMMITTEE: Ayes Prevail
HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Ayes Prevail
Rec. for pass. if am., ref. to Calendar & Rules Committee 6/10/2020 …meaning it would go to the floor. In the meantime Action was deferred in Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill is dead.

Vote Result: Passed

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