Tennessee State Capitol

A variety of new state laws have taken effect in in January including a new type of concealed carry firearm permit and new grant opportunities for volunteer fire departments. Some of the most impactful laws are detailed below.

GUNS

The new law renames the existing handgun carry permit as the "enhanced handgun carry permit" and creates a new "concealed handgun carry permit." 

Concealed handgun permit holders must complete a 90-minute online video training course that requires no hands-on training with a firearm, while enhanced permit holders are required to have more rigorous hands-on training.

According to the TN General Assembly website, the permits differ in several ways including allowing an enhanced permit carrier to carry a handgun however they choose, while the concealed handgun carry permit will only authorize the holder to carry in a concealed manner.

An applicant for an enhanced handgun carry permit must submit fingerprints, which are used by the TBI and FBI for criminal history background checks, while an applicant for a concealed handgun carry permit will only be required to undergo a name-based criminal history record check.

The law also requires concealed handgun permit applicants to submit two sets of fingerprints, which will be sent to the TBI and the sheriff of the county in which the applicant resides. 

The sheriff will then provide the department with any information regarding the truthfulness of the applicant's answers to eligibility requirements, and the TBI will conduct searches and records checks as provided for in present law.

The concealed permit has a $65 fee which does not include the price of the required course, while the enhanced permit has a $100 fee.

Five third party vendors have been approved by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security to provide the digital courses including Tier One Tactics, Clarksville Guns and Archery Tennessee Carry Permit Online School, USCCA 90 Minute Concealed Carry Course, CCP Express and Tennessee Concealed Handgun Carry Permit.

More information about the specifics of the new law can be found here.

OPIOIDS 

A law that requires an electronic prescription to be submitted by a doctor to a pharmacist for all schedule II substances, including opioids, has been delayed from Jan. 1 2020 to Jan. 1 2021.

According to the state, the law also requires all pharmacy dispensing software vendors operating in the state to update their systems to allow for partial filling of controlled substances, which is why the implementation of the law was delayed.

More information about the specifics of the law can be found here. 

HEALTHCARE

The “Tennessee Right to Shop Act” went into effect as a law that requires health insurance companies to show the prices of services before treatment, offer health care incentives and allows patients to know out-of-pocket costs are upfront.

More information about the law can be found here. 

Another new healthcare law, “requires the state group insurance program to cover a physician prescribed hypofractionated proton therapy protocol to deliver a biological effective dose by paying the same aggregate amount as would be paid for the delivery of the same biological effective dose with IMRT for the same indication.”

The law requires certain conditions to be met on behalf of the medical provider and the patient.

Hypofractionated proton therapy is used to treat tumors and cancer.

More information about the law can be found here. 

ELDER ABUSE

The new law changes the penalty for knowingly physically abusing or grossly neglecting an impaired adult which results in serious mental or physical harm from a Class D to a Class C felony and creates new offenses based on specifics of the types abuse and severity of the injuries inflicted on an elderly person.

More information about the law can be found here. 

VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENTS

A new law creates the volunteer firefighter equipment and training grant program, which will provide annual grants to select volunteer fire departments to be used for the purchase of firefighting equipment or to meet local match requirements of federal grants for the purchase of firefighting equipment and training.  

More information about the law can be found here. 

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