June 17, 2024

Recapping a Busy, but Successful Legislative Session in the Volunteer State

Article Contact: Conner Barker,

Why It Matters: With no shortage of bills this year having the potential to either positively or negatively impact Tennessee’s hunters and anglers, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) is pleased to report a successful legislative session in the Volunteer State. CSF worked closely with the Tennessee Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus (Caucus) and in-state and national partners to protect Tennessee’s time-honored sporting traditions by defeating anti-sportsmen and misguided legislation and supporting pro-sportsmen legislation.


  • House Bill 2762, sponsored by Caucus Member Representative Rusty Grills, and Senate Bill 2223 protects the financial privacy of Tennessee’s hunters and recreational shooters.

House Bill 1867 and Senate Bill 1876 would have prohibited the hunting of sandhill cranes despite healthy sandhill crane populations in Tennessee and much of the Eastern United States. Regulated hunting, guided by the science-based management that is a core tenet of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation poses no threat to sandhill crane conservation. In contrast, there is no scientific data that supports ending the Tennessee sandhill crane season. This emotionally-driven attempt to prohibit sandhill crane hunting was soundly defeated thanks to unified opposition from CSF, the Caucus, and in-state and national partners. CSF spearheaded a coalition letter opposing the pair of bills.

House Bill 1618 and Senate Bill 1942 would have allowed for the baiting of Tennessee’s wildlife on private land. This pair of bills attempted to circumvent the TWRA’s public input process used to promulgate science-based regulations, which is in-line with the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation’s recommendation for wildlife policy formulation. CSF submitted comments opposing the pair of bills which would have circumvented the regulatory process for making decisions on baiting and instead legislatively dictate various allowances. Thanks to opposition from the sporting community, both bills failed to advance and died in their respective chambers.

Governor Sportsmen’s Caucus Member Governor Bill Lee signed Senate Bill 2223 into law, which protects the financial privacy of Tennessee’s hunters and recreational shooters. With the ability to purchase firearms and ammunition at the center of our time-honored traditions, legislation to support sportsmen and women’s financial privacy when purchasing sporting purchases is critical. This legislation prohibits payment card networks from requiring or incentivizing the use of a Merchant Category Code that distinguishes a firearm retailer from other retailers. CSF provided testimony in support of the legislation.

In addition to achieving multiple policy wins during the 2024 session, the Caucus also hosted a well-attended Policy Breakfast. Over 30 legislators attended, and TWRA biologists discussed Tennessee’s then-proposed deer and turkey management plan. The Caucus also elected a new bench of Caucus Leaders including: National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses Executive Council Member Representative Jesse Chism, Representative Chris Todd, Senator Paul Rose, and Senator Steve Southerland.

CSF thanks the Tennessee Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and its strong in-state and national partners for their work to protect Tennessee’s sporting heritage during the 2024 legislative session.

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