CHAPTER NO. 1121

SENATE BILL NO. 1148

By Haun, Williams

Substituted for: House Bill No. 237

By West, Cross, Ridgeway, Goins, Pleasant, Sargent, Sharp, Stulce, Bittle, Burchett, Boyer

AN ACT To amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 55, Chapter 4, to authorize the issuance of special plates bearing the logo of National Rifle Association.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE:

SECTION 1. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 55-4-202(c)(3), is amended by adding a new item thereto, as follows:

( ) National Rifle Association;

SECTION 2. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 55-4-203, is amended by adding a new item thereto, as follows:

National Rifle Association -- twenty-five dollars ($25.00).

SECTION 3. Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 55, Chapter 4, is amended by adding the following language as a new, appropriately designated section:

(a) Owners or lessees of motor vehicles who are residents of Tennessee and who are members of the National Rifle Association, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles, and paying the regular fee applicable to the motor vehicle and the fee provided for in Section 55-4-203, shall be issued a special license plate, either for an automobile, or a truck of one-half (1/2) or three-quarter (3/4) ton rating.

(b) The application for such license plates shall be accompanied by proof satisfactory to the commissioner certifying the applicant to be a member of the National Rifle Association.

(c) The special plates provided for in this section shall be issued in conformity with the provisions of Section 55-4-202, shall be of the colors and contain the logo of the National Rifle Association, and shall be designed in consultation with the Executive Director of the National Rifle Association, the Director of the Motor Vehicle Division and the Commissioner of Safety. The special plates shall include a unique identifying number, whereby the total characters do not exceed the sum of six (6); provided, that no two (2) recipients shall receive identical plates.

(d)(1) The provisions of this section shall not be construed to mean that any eligible person shall be prevented from exchanging a regular type plate for one of special design; provided, that the fees prescribed under Section 55-4-203 are paid.

(2) The whole or part of the fee for a special registration plate shall not be refunded for the exchange of a regular plate.

(e) Additional special license plates may be obtained by any eligible person upon payment of the regular license fee for plates, as prescribed under Section 55-4-111, plus the payment of the fee prescribed in Section 55-4-203.

(f)(1) Special plates issued pursuant to this section may be transferred to another vehicle of the same weight class owned or leased by the same person upon proper application being made therefor and approved by the Department of Safety.

(2) It is unlawful for any person to whom such plates have been issued to knowingly permit them to be displayed on any vehicle, except such as authorized by the department.

(g) The funds derived from the sale of National Rifle Association special license plates, less the costs the state has incurred in designing and manufacturing such plates, shall be deposited in a special fund in the general fund to be used exclusively for grants by the Executive Director of the Wildlife Resources Agency for gun safety programs.

(h) Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 55-4-201(b)(1)(B), the special license plates authorized by this section shall be issued subject to the following requirements:

(1) A minimum order of at least five hundred (500) plates.

(2) If the plates authorized by this section have not qualified for initial issuance by July 1, 2000, such plates shall not be issued and the Commissioner of Safety shall notify the Tennessee Code Commission that this section of Tennessee Code Annotated authorizing the issuance of such plates is, on the basis of such inactivity, to be deemed obsolete and invalid.

(i) The provisions of subsection (h) shall apply equally to the renewal of the special license plates issued pursuant to this section; provided, however, if such plates fail to meet the minimum requirements of subsection (h) for two (2) successive renewal periods after the initial issuance of such plates, such plates shall not be reissued or renewed, and the Commissioner of Safety shall notify the Tennessee Code Commission that this section of Tennessee Code Annotated authorizing the issuance of such plates is, on the basis of such inactivity, to be deemed obsolete and invalid.

(j) If the plates authorized by this section have not qualified for initial issuance by July 1, 1999, such plates shall not be issued and the Commissioner of Safety shall notify the Tennessee Code Commission that this section of Tennessee Code Annotated authorizing the issuance of such plates is, on the basis of such inactivity, to be deemed obsolete and invalid.

SECTION 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 1998, the public welfare requiring it.

PASSED:

May 1, 1998

APPROVED this day of 1998

Pursuant to Article III, Section 18, of the Constitution of the State of Tennessee, the Governor had Senate Bill No. 1148 in his possession longer than ten (10) days, so therefore the bill becomes law without the Governor's signature.