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Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey defended the state's handgun carry law today, calling it "somewhat of a statistical anomaly" that permit holders have been accused in three killings this year. During a media availability, Ramsey said:
I would say it causes me concern, a lot of concern. But at the same time it is somewhat of a statistical anomaly. Obviously it causes you concern, but in this case you don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. I don't want to belittle the fact that this happened. But at the same time that probably would have happened whether those people had a handgun carry permit or not. So you can't punish 237,000 people based on what happened to three people any more than you can take everybody's driver's license away because somebody misused their driver's license and drove drunk. So you have to weigh the good with the bad and make a commonsense judgment on what's best to do in the state of Tennessee. Overall I hate that's happened, but at the same time you don't punish everyone because of that.
A reporter pointed out the Safety Department says 624 permits were revoked or suspended in 2007 due to felony convictions, arrests and court orders of protection (usually sought by victims of domestic abuse). To which, Ramsey replied:
Good. That's what they're supposed to be doing. That means it's working. Perfect. The fact that they're revoking them means it's working, not that it's not working. That's what you're supposed to do so that law-abiding citizens won't be thrown in the same bucket as non-law-abiding citizens.