Subject: TWRA considering proposal to expand weapons available during "primitive" season

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May 22, 2017

Many TFA supporters are also interested in hunting.  As such, you may want to know that TWRA is seeking comments pursuant to the instructions set forth on requesting public input for the 2017-2018 hunting regulations. 
Several states that touch or are near to Tennessee have adopted regulations regarding expanded weapon choices for various commonly denominated big game seasons such as archery, black powder (muzzleloader) and modern firearm seasons.  Tennessee has similarly designated seasons.  Further, over time, Tennessee has changed the weapons that were approved for use in each such season without necessarily renaming the seasons except for clarity.
While the existing regulations provide for a modern firearm season, the black power/muzzle loader season was intended to allow hunting with a weapon class that was distinct from traditional modern centerfire firearms.  TWRA is being asked to consider the proposition of expanding the classification of weapons that would legal for use on game, particularly big game, in Tennessee.
You have the opportunity now to consider and comment to TWRA upon a rule change to allow other weapon classes to be used during the muzzle loading seasons which weapons are in line with or have less capacity than modern muzzle loaders to harvest game.  These proposals include one or more of the following:
  1. single shot rifles, single shot handguns (.35 caliber/9MM or larger) and single shot shotguns .410 or larger

  2. high-powered air rifles (.35 caliber or larger such as the Air Force Texan)

  3. spears such as the Atlatl (see, e.g.,
Each of these are weapons or weapons classes which either do not appear to be legal weapons in Tennessee at this time or which, if legal, can only be used during the modern firearms season(s).  Some believe that allowing these additional weapons to be used during the muzzle loader season would have a minor impact on the number of hunters or even the harvest rates but it could allow hunters in Tennessee to explore alternative weapon choices during a season when modern centerfire firearms are not in use.

If you are interested in this topic, please review the materials and comment to TWRA through its comment procedures.


John Harris
Executive Director
Tennessee Firearms Association

PS If you want to help us move to get rid of gun free zones, to enact constitutional carry, and to push back against an unwilling legislative leadership and an uncooperative administration, please consider this request to  join, renew and support the Tennessee Firearms Association.  Asking for your member support of TFA is a call to action both financially and, more importantly, a call to affirmative action of individual engagement in a real battle for the restoration of our rights.

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