Since Tennessee’s GOP relaxed gun laws in 2013, nearly 30,000 firearms have been stolen from vehicles, according to a NewsChannel 5 analysis.
The “guns in trunks” law allows gun owners to keep their weapons in their vehicles without penalty for leaving them unsecured.
In 2013, there were just 46 guns reported stolen from motor vehicles in Tennessee, according to state data.
In 2022 alone, more than 5,000 guns were stolen from vehicles, often falling into the hands of dangerous individuals. Despite the rise in thefts and subsequent crimes, Tennessee Republicans have shown little interest in revisiting the laws.
“Listen, freedom comes with some dangers. That’s one of the things that made our country great is that we put the power in people’s hands,” said Rep. Jeremy Faison, the Republican sponsor of the 2013 legislation.
Last year’s mass murder at Nashville’s Covenant School — which left three 9-year-old students and three staff members dead — has brought renewed focus on the 10-year effort by Tennessee Republicans to allow more people to carry firearms with fewer restrictions.
Read more at NewsChannel 5.