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Opinion | Putting guns into the hands of teens will only make matters worse | Otis Sanford

Otis Sanford explains why he thinks passing a bill allowing those 18 and up to carry a gun in Tennessee without a permit was a waste of time.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — If you’re looking for an example of a colossal waste of time, look no further than the Tennessee House of Representatives. 

House members spent an inordinate amount of time Thursday debating and then passing a bill allowing 18-year-olds to carry a gun without a permit. But it was a meaningless exercise and House members knew it because the Senate Judiciary Committee had already killed the legislation for this year.

But that did not deter House Republicans who are bound and determined to put guns into the hands of as many people as possible.

Rep. Chris Todd of Jackson, who sponsored the bill, even argued that gun rights are ordained by God first – and then the Constitution. I don’t know what Bible he has been reading, but that’s beside the point.

Thankfully, not every Republican in the House is as reckless as Todd. 

Shelby County GOP House members Mark White and John Gillespie joined every local House Democrat in voting no, and while the final vote was 64-28 in favor of the bill, it was all symbolic. 

Senate Speaker and Lt. Gov. Randy McNally effectively killed the legislation weeks ago when he declared the General Assembly had done enough to expand gun rights. Thank goodness that because we have had enough of deadly gun violence. 

Putting more weapons into the hands of teenagers will only make matters worse.

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