CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Do local businesses have the right to turn people away for bringing handguns on the premises?
That is the question we set out to answer after the Tennessee Senate passed a bill Thursday allowing people to carry a handgun without a permit.
We spoke with a local business who says they’ll do what they need to in order to keep customers safe.
The new bill would give Tennesseans the right to carry a gun without the state's permission, but businesses would still have the right to decide if they want guns on their property.
Republican Senator Mike Bell broke down the bill for us.
The gun bill approved in the Senate is making its way through legislature. But team leader Caroline Curtis at Clumpies Ice Cream in Chattanooga will take full advantage of businesses rights regarding the bill.
"I feel as a business if somebody was carrying a weapon without a permit, we would probably post a sign saying don't bring that in here," said Curtis, "There's gonna be too many people too many children. There is no need for that in the climate these days."
"It's something that grants citizens the freedom and, what I would say, the recognized right in our Second Amendment to carry without having to ask permission of the state," says Sen. Bell, one of the co-sponsors of the bill.
Bell gives credit to Governor Bill Lee for the bill passing through the Senate.
Almost every year, maybe every year, we have bills similar to this. They just don't have enough votes to pass.
Tennessee Democrats met today to discuss the bill, and are not very keen on it.
Democratic Senator Jeff Yarbro says,
If the Governor thinks that making it easier for more folks to walk around armed is the biggest problem in the state that needs his centerpiece in his agenda, I really think he needs to spend more time around the state.
As for Clumpies, they just want to keep their customers safe.
"Hopefully there would be no need to bring a weapon into a ice cream store especially and overcrowded one as we are most days," said Curtis.
Governor Lee has supported removing the permitting and training process for getting a gun for over two years.
The bill still has to overcome some hurdles in the House before it heads to his desk.
According to Tennessee State Senator Heidi Campbell, more than 80 percent of Tennesseans are opposed to permitless carry.