Tennessee residents will see the price of a handgun permit drop during the new year.
A bill sponsored by Rep. Mark Body and Sen. Mae Beavers will reduce the fee for a lifetime handgun permit in Tennessee from $500 to $200 for existing permit holders. A lifetime permit will cost new applicants $315.
A lifetime permit does not expire and remains valid unless the holder no longer meets the requirements for a permit. A criminal record check will be conducted every five years.
Another new law will require graduating high school seniors in Tennessee to take a U.S. civics test prepared by the local school board. The test must consist of 25-50 questions taken from the civil test administered by the U.S. citizenship and immigration services.
The bill was amended to not make passing the test a requirement for graduation. A score of 70 percent is required to pass.
A new law will create an enhancement factor for the sentencing of any defendant who committed robbery, aggravated robbery or especially aggravated robbery on the premises of a licensed pharmacy in order to obtain, sell give or exchange a controlled substances or other illegal drugs.
Another new measure will delete the requirement that a person's driver’s license be suspended for an additional like period if convicted of driving on a suspended or revoked license; allows a court to order issuance of a restricted driver license contingent on the person participating in a payment plan for any unpaid fines or costs.
Another new law makes a person who commits vehicular homicide where alcohol or drugs were involved ineligible for probation.
Yet another new law authorizes certain off-highway vehicles that have top speeds over 35 mph and non-straddle seating for up to four passengers, to be operated on county roads; authorizes issuance of off-highway license plates for each category; establishes equipment and safety requirements for the vehicles.
For a list of other laws taking effect in 2017, visit capitol.tn.gov/legislation/publications/effective%2001-01-2017.pdf.