Tenn. handgun instructors impacted by lifetime permit passage

A new gun permit law is changing the way a business owner conducts gun safety permit classes. For years, people in Tennessee would have to renew their permit every five years for $50. 

Those who want to own a gun until they’re 80 and who are 40 now would’ve had to pay $400 in a lifetime, whereas those who are in their 20s would’ve had to pay about $600. Now, those age 21 and older have the option of paying $500 and keep a license for life, but gun permit instructors say this could change their attendance rates in class.

Instructors say, like any skill, shooting a gun requires practice, and that’s what local business owners are relying on. Instructors like Jamie Spaulding have been teaching gun permit classes for decades and have seen the changes in legislation through the years. He says you only have to take the training class once and renew the permit periodically. Spaulding says the legislation changes always affect his class numbers, but he and his students have a passion to make sure they stay on target, “even if we didn’t require this class to have a handgun permit I would still have business from people who realize they’re not as good as they should be.”

Students like John Bright who have locked into the hobby and teaches his own students. Bright says, “shooting is a perishable skill so in a few years I may not be shooting as much as I am now.” He says as much as he doesn’t appreciate regulation and shelling out the extra cash, Bright says he won’t put down the gun himself. Bright says, “for me it’s family time, it’s relaxation, it’s my golf.”

But probably the most important to the two, keeping their Second Amendment rights within sight, “we live in an area where people are accustomed to firearms and generally know how to use them.”

The lifetime permit only applies for handguns, and permit owners would still have to pass a background check at application and periodically throughout their lifetime.

As for law enforcement, their licenses are approved through the government.

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