AG Sees No Constitutional Problem with Handgun Carry Fee

Responding to a request from Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper has opined that the state’s $115 fee for a handgun carry permit does not impose an unconstitutional burden on a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms under either the state or federal constitution.
The short version of Campfield’s question:
“Do the fees charged for obtaining a handgun carry permit or the fines imposed for unlawfully carrying a weapon impermissibly burden the right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the United States and Tennessee Constitutions?”
The short version of the answer:
“No. A permit fee that defrays expenses incident to regulating the exercise of a constitutional right does not per se infringe that right. Fines for unlawful weapon possession do not burden the constitutional right to keep and bear arms but instead penalize violations of a legitimate regulatory measure.”
The penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm is $500 and up to 30 days in jail.

The full opinion is HERE.

One thought on “AG Sees No Constitutional Problem with Handgun Carry Fee

  1. Eric Holcombe

    “…regulating the exercise of a constitutional right…”
    Huh? So it’s constitutional to charge a tax to pay for the unconstitutional infringement of a constitutional right?
    How is that not an infringement again? And why all the hand-wringing over photo-IDs for voting? Just charge a tax like we do for the 2nd Amendment! The Dems could call it a 15th Amendment tax.
    Your local government experiencing budget shortfalls? No problem, just charge a 1st Amendment tax for the regulation of “free” speech or worship or the press (assembly has already been taken in many localities).
    Who “selects” the AG again? Since when has following the constitution meant anything to them?

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