New Laws: 29 Changes to Tennessee Law Coming January 1
Stiffer local brews, cheaper handgun permits and
other changes coming with the arrival of 2017 in Tennessee.
J.R. Lind (Patch Staff)
NASHVILLE, TN —
Tennesseans will be able to buy Tennessee-produced high-gravity
beers and buy cheaper lifetime handgun permits under two of the
new laws going into effect on New Year's Day.
High-gravity beer isn't illegal in Tennessee, so
to speak. It's been available for purchase at liquor stores and
bars and restaurants holding liquor licenses. But the strong
stuff has not been available for purchase in grocery stores,
convenience stores or at beer bars or growler fills which don't
hold a liquor license; what's more is that all that high-alcohol
beer is almost exclusively from out-of-state, as Tennessee
brewers had to obtain a distillery license to make anything
stiffer than 6.2 alcohol-by-volume.
On New Year's Day, however, Tennessee brewers
will be able to brew beer up to 10.1 ABV, a change that opens up
a variety of styles to in-state production. Plus, the stronger
stuff will be available for purchase anywhere with a beer
permit. It's the latest evolution in the change to the state's
beer laws that has led to a dramatic increase in the number of
craft breweries operating in the Volunteer State, largely
precipitated by a change in the state's wholesale beer tax in
2014, when the state began taxing beer on volume rather than
Also on January 1, the cost of a lifetime
handgun carry permit will drop dramatically from $500 to $300.
The price of a lifetime permit under the new law is fixed at
$200 more than the cost of a regular permit. Under another
change, active duty military or honorably discharged veterans
will be able to acquire handgun permits at 18, rather than 21.
People convicted for vehicular homicide where
alcohol or drugs were involved will be ineligible for parole
starting January 1. Robbing a pharmacy for the purpose of
obtaining a controlled substance will be considered an
enhancement factor for sentencing, as well.
Also, Tennessee students will be required to
pass a United States civics test before graduating high school.