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Of Bradley County Tn.


JANUARY  2011

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The Evolution of Tennesse's
Handgun Carry Permit

THE GRAPEVINE
A Reader Comment Blog

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by Ashley Murphy

Imagine coming home from work, putting on some comfy clothes, loading up in your favorite recliner and catching up on the events that have unfolded in your "absence." You open the local newspaper and flip to your favorite news station. Within a matter of minutes, you're bombarded with various headlines announcing that the Tennessee House and Senate have just passed a vote to seize the firearms of all Tennessee residents; and if you don't comply with the demand, your world will be limited to tiny cells and metal bars.

While many hope they don't live to see this day happen, our ancestors got a good glimpse of it about 150 years ago. During the brief Confederate control of Tennessee Legislature Governor Isham G. Harris ordered Maury County citizens to surrender their firearms on December 21, 1861. Anyone who failed to comply could have been subjected to a fine up to $50 and three months in jail.

Only those who were not going into the military were subject to the surrender. The guns being surrendered were going to stock the Confederate Army to use in battles. Those who willfully surrendered their guns were given a receipt for the value of the firearm, to be paid later, of course. While the Governor's intention may have seemed to be in good faith, it seems highly unlikely that avid supporters of the Second Amendment today would sit by and watch idly as their right to bear arms and their only form of protection were ripped out from under them.

While times have changed from over a century ago, the concept of the Legislature to control the rights of its people to keep and bear arms doesn't seem to have changed significantly. Gun control slowly evolved over the decades and prior to 1989 Tennessee was a limited "open carry" state. The "open carry" classification allowed for citizens to openly carry a gun, as long as it was classified as an "army or navy" pistol and carried completely open, such as in the hand. The statute that was in place didn't allow for citizens to even holster their weapon, whether it was visible or not.

It was in 1989 that Tennessee overhauled the state handgun carry laws to a "may issue" permit. This was placed in the charge of the Sheriff's Department and said that a handgun carry permit "may" be issued to authorize "any person" to carry. But that still left big definition gaps. In addition, this law did not require a sheriff to issue a civilian permit, and the permits that were issued were only good in the issue county.

It wasn't until 1994 that Tennessee became a "shall issue" state, but this was a very minimal change that still left a lot of problems with the legislature. With a "shall issue" law, the sheriff was required to issue a handgun carry permit to any applicant who was qualified, unless there was firm evidence that suggested the applicant should not be allowed a permit. Problems still unresolved were the way applications, fees, background checks were handled. They all varied by each of Tennessee's 95 counties and it was not always guaranteed that a person would ever see their permit. This lead to yet another implementation of the handgun carry law.

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What Do You Think?
SURVEY

Smart Meter, Dumb Idea?

New devices promise to cut energy use by giving consumers more
information. Critics say they aren't worth the cost.


Would you support Cleveland Utilities installing "Smart Meters" into customers homes if they pass on the cost  in the form of higher utility bills?
(See story on this page)


[Cleveland Utilities has announced the installation of Smart Meters that will eventually be implemented into every home, business and building of its customers. Many people in Cleveland have had opposition to this. However, at the beginning of December 2010, it was announced that Cleveland Utilities planned to start installing 500 of these Smart Meters as part of a test phase. The full "deployment" would be effective in March of 2011.]

by Rebecca Smith
The Wall Street Journal
www.wsj.com


Not everyone thinks smart meters are such a smart use of money.

Utilities are spending billions of dollars outfitting homes and businesses with the devices, which wirelessly send information about electricity use to utility billing departments and could help consumers control energy use.

Proponents of smart meters say that when these meters are teamed up with an in-home display that shows current energy usage, as well as a communicating thermostat and software that harvest and analyze that information, consumers can see how much consumption drives cost -- and will consume less as a result.

Such knowledge, however, doesn't come cheap. Meters are expensive, often costing $250 to $500 each when all the bells and whistles are included, such as the expense of installing new utility billing systems. And utilities typically pass these costs directly on to consumers. CenterPoint Energy Inc. in Houston, for instance, recently began charging its customers an extra $3.24 a month for smart meters, sparking howls of protest since the charges will continue for a decade and eventually approach $1 billion.
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Totals for this survey will be tabulated at the end of January 2011.
Click here for results after January

The People News
PO Box 3921
Cleveland TN. 37320
(423) 559-2150  Fax 559-1044

Pete Edwards, Editor - Publisher

Ashley Murphy, Assitant Editor
Copyright 2011 (All rights reserved)

To continue reading about Smart Meters, please click here.

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Newest Addition to The People News...
The Grapevine!

The People News is adding something new. We wanted to expand our website in order to give you, the reader, a voice about local happenings. Of course, if your thoughts involve state, national, or international issues then we want to hear those as well!

Thoughts, ideas, questions, concerns, complaints or praises about whatever happens to be on your mindů we want to hear it all!

Simply visit the new feature, a comment blog called The Grapevine
, to start sharing your thoughts about our continuously updated stories. If you don't want to share, feel free to browse to see what others have to say.

Just remember... You Heard It Through The Grapevine!

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