Lawmakers could be within just a few votes of letting Tennesseans carry a gun in the open without a permit.
The proposal passed the state Senate last week, and its House sponsor is taking an unusual step to try and force immediate action.
The man in charge of the bill in the House, Rep. Micah Van Huss, a first-term lawmaker from upper east Tennessee and Iraq war veteran who says he owns three guns, believes his bill to allow open gun carry is being stalled in committee, though he’s not sure by whom.
“I would not say members of leadership, because I do not know where it is coming from. But it sure does feel like someone is trying to kill the bill.”
So Van Huss will try an unusual move, invoking what’s called Rule 53. It would put his bill immediately in front of all 99 members of the House, but to make it work, Van Huss will need two-thirds of them to vote along.
And there’s one other hurdle the bill might have to clear, if it passes the House: The governor could veto it. That’s not an insurmountable challenge, though, because state lawmakers have already hinted they could come back in May for a quick veto-override session.