Handgun permit fine bill fails in the Senate

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A bill seeking to reduce penalties for carrying a handgun in public without a state-issued gun permit has failed for the year.

The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Frank Niceley of Strawberry Plains failed when a motion to hear it in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday did not receive a second.

Under current law, people caught carrying a handgun without a permit face a fine of up to $500 and possible jail time.

The bill would have dropped that punishment to a fine of up to $100 for a first offense and $250 for the second offense, with no jail time. It also would have required that people be cited instead of arrested for the first and second violation.

Niceley is vowing to bring the bill back next year.