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Firearms and The Law

 

Disclaimer: The materials set forth in this article are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.  Your reading of this article does not establish an attorney-client relationship with the author.  The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author only and may not reflect the opinions of CityView Magazine.

 

Nowadays it is difficult for people with differing opinions to have a cordial discussion about the subject of firearms, the Second Amendment and its place in America.  The large majority of such conversations inevitably morph into heated emotional debates with polar opposite positions being taken at every turn, each side unwilling to hear or consider, let alone respect the other side’s thoughts, opinions and suggestions.  Whether you are far right, far left, or somewhere in between, a little more education on the subject cannot hurt.

The Second Amendment and gun ownership are inextricably intertwined in the fabric of our nation and its history.  In Tennessee, chances are that there is at least one firearm within 500 feet of you at most times of the day.  Everyone should be incentivized to learn more about firearms issues, applicable laws, and at the very least, safety issues, no matter where they fall politically.

As an attorney, law enforcement officer and responsible gun owner, I believe that it is especially imperative that anyone who owns a firearm learn as much as they can about laws applicable to gun ownership, possession and use.  While I firmly believe that we as Americans have a Constitutional right to own and carry a firearm, this right must be exercised with great respect and extreme caution.  To flippantly own or, worse yet, carry or use a firearm is disrespectful to the Second Amendment and puts you and those around you in danger.  Knowing the law and receiving proper training is, in my opinion, an absolute prerequisite to properly exercising Second Amendment rights.

This article is not an opinion piece, nor is it meant to be political in nature.  Its purpose is to touch the surface of the who, what, where, when, why and how of owning, carrying and using a firearm in the State of Tennessee.  It also includes practical advice throughout, most of which I have gained over the years from my law enforcement experience and training.  My hope is that the article will convey the most basic “need to know” legal and practical information for anyone interested in owning and carrying a firearm and for those simply seeking a better understanding of the topic.

WHO May Own and Carry a Firearm in Tennessee?

Tennessee Code Annotated (“T.C.A.”) § 39-17-1307 generally prohibits a person from “going armed” within the State of Tennessee.  T.C.A. § 39-17-1308 lists some general defenses to the “going armed” statute.  Two of the most notable defenses apply to a person possessing a firearm in their residence or place of business (be mindful of employment policies and private property rights if the business and/or property upon which the business is located is not yours), via what is commonly referred to as the “castle doctrine,” and a person possessing a firearm while engaging in any lawful hunting activity.  There are two other notable exceptions to the “going armed” statute.

One exception applies to anyone with a valid Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit (or a handgun carry permit from a state that is recognized by Tennessee).  For a Tennessee resident to legally carry a handgun and ammunition for that handgun on their person within the State of Tennessee, that resident is required to obtain a Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit pursuant to T.C.A. § 39-17-1351 et seq.  Note that Tennessee does not issue a “concealed” carry permit, a common misnomer used for the Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit.  The Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security website contains very user-friendly information on how to apply for and eventually obtain a Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit.  The website also contains an updated list of all states that recognize a Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit, which are the same states from which out-of-state permits are accepted in Tennessee.  Non-resident Tennessee Handgun Carry Permits are also available for those travel to Tennessee frequently who either do not have a handgun carry permit (concealed or otherwise) from their resident state or whose resident state does not share reciprocity with Tennessee.

The other exception arrived in 2014 by way of T.C.A. § 39-17-1307(e), which spells out that any Tennessee resident that is not otherwise prohibited by state or federal law may possess a loaded firearm (handgun, shotgun or rifle) in a motor vehicle (including motorcycles) that they are in lawful possession of without the need to have a handgun carry permit, thereby extending the “castle doctrine” to motor vehicles.  Employer policies restricting firearms in employer-owned or leased vehicles must be complied with to remain under the protections provided by the statute.  In 2017, T.C.A. § 39-17-1307(e) was expanded to apply to the carrying of a loaded firearm (handgun, shotgun or rifle) in a boat.  While not a legal requirement, when carrying one or more firearms in a vehicle, with or without a handgun carry permit, it is always advisable to notify law enforcement of the presence and location of such firearms (without reaching for them and in a calm voice) if you happen to be pulled over.

Please note that state and federal law may prohibit certain individuals from being in possession of a firearm.  Even if you do not fall into this category of “prohibited persons,” you should still be well aware of the definition of “prohibited persons” as you may find yourself inadvertently violating the law should you ever lend or sell your firearm to such a person with knowledge of them having a condition that fits the definition.  Even having your firearm in close proximity to such a person if the firearm is not on your person could result in a violation of the law.  Remember, while ignorance of the prohibiting condition may serve as a valid defense, ignorance of the law is never a valid defense.

The most notable “prohibited persons” are individuals convicted of a felony (T.C.A. § 39-17-1307(b) and U.S.C. § 922(g)), alcoholics (T.C.A. § 39-17-1316), anyone adjudicated as mentally defective or committed to a mental institution (18 U.S.C. § 922(g)), anyone subject to an Order of Protection (after having a chance to appear, not simply ex parte) (18 U.S.C. § 922(g)), anyone who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (18 U.S.C. § 922(g)), and anyone who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence (18 U.S.C. § 922(g)).

One common misunderstanding is that an individual must be 21 years of age or older to possess a handgun.  A person must be 21 years of age or older to purchase a handgun from a Federal Firearms Licensed (FFL) dealer, but any adult (18 or older) may possess a handgun and purchase a handgun from a third party that is not a FFL dealer.  There are no age restrictions on possession of a rifle or shotgun in Tennessee (must be 18 or older to purchase from a FFL dealer), nor are there any restrictions on a third party that is not a FFL dealer transferring a rifle or shotgun to anyone based on age alone so long as the intended purpose for the transfer to the minor matches up with one of the approved purposes set forth in T.C.A. § 39-17-1303(b) (i.e. hunting, camping or sport shooting).  See 18 U.S.C. § 922(b), (c) & (x) and T.C.A. §§ 39-17-1319, 1303 & 1320 for more detail).

 

 

Photo by Keith Norris

WHAT May I Carry?

As discussed above, any person that is not otherwise “prohibited” may carry any loaded firearm of their choosing in their home, business, vehicle (including a motorcycle) or boat, with or without a carry permit, which may include a loaded handgun, shotgun or rifle, or all three (although carrying a rifle or shotgun on a motorcycle would be difficult and ill-advised).  However, one must have a Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit (or handgun carry permit issued from another jurisdiction which is recognized in Tennessee) in order to carry a handgun on their person while in the State of Tennessee.

While Tennessee law allows an individual to carry an unloaded rifle, shotgun or handgun on their person without a permit, so long as it is not concealed, it is not loaded, and there is no ammunition for the weapon in the immediate vicinity of the person or weapon (T.C.A. § 39-17-1308), doing so is not recommended and likely serves no legitimate purpose.

When considering what handgun to purchase for carry, the best gun to buy is the one that you are most likely to carry.  Factors to consider are ability to carry comfortably and safely daily, reliability and then capabilities/stopping power, and in that order.  Top picks for every day carry are the smaller semi-auto, striker-fired 9mm pistols (most notably Sig Sauer P365, Glock 43 and Smith & Wesson M&P Shield) or a .38 SPL or .357 MAG revolver (such as a Smith & Wesson J-frame), preferably hammerless or with a shrouded hammer.  With the semi-autos you gain capacity but sacrifice reliability (however, with those models mentioned, the sacrifice is minimal) and sometimes concealability, especially if you are a smaller framed person.  Small revolvers are ball bat reliable and very easy to conceal but have limited capacity (most carry 5 or 6 rounds versus the semi-autos which carry from 8 to 13 rounds with standard magazines), are not as accurate beyond 20 yards and are slower to reload for the average shooter.

Keep in mind that the size, capacity and caliber of the pistol that you choose to carry will significantly impact your abilities to address any deadly threat that may be presented.  While all civilian handgun carry is defensive in nature, when armed with a larger, higher capacity semi-auto in a caliber that is 9mm or greater, with proper training one is able to better respond to a deadly threat (especially if the perpetrator is armed with a rifle or shotgun and firing from distance) in a more offensive nature (i.e. addressing an active shooter in the mall) to “take the fight” to the assailant.  Opportunity to do so while armed with a 5-shot, snub nose .38 SPL revolver is limited, if non-existent, especially if the assailant is 20 yards or more away from you.  Following a defensive shooting incident, you rarely hear of someone complaining about how many extra rounds they had after the fight was over, how their sight radius was just too long, their weapon just too accurate at distance, their caliber just too effective or how uncomfortable their pistol was to carry just prior to drawing their weapon.  Keep in mind, however, that any pistol is better than no pistol, so long as you have the proper training (more on that later), therefore do not shy away from the snub nose revolver or ultra-compact .380 ACP semi-auto if these are the only handguns that you are likely to carry on a daily basis.

Regardless of what type of handgun you may choose to carry, always remember to carry extra ammunition on your person if at all possible.  The need for an extra magazine is not always a matter of needing more rounds.  With many of today’s more reliable semi-automatic pistols, the magazine is typically the most unreliable component, usually due to springs that wear over time (which can be mitigated by rotating which magazines stay loaded).  If your magazine fails you and your pistol will not function correctly, you are out of luck if an alternate magazine cannot be quickly substituted.  Given the reliability of a revolver, the need for carrying additional ammunition is simply a matter of needing more ammunition, which can usually be carried on “speed strips” or “speed loaders” that are easy to throw in your pocket.  Being able to quickly eject spent cartridges, access your spare ammunition and insert fresh rounds becomes the challenge, but one can become efficient at doing so with enough practice.

WHERE May I Carry?

Let’s start with where you may not carry your handgun (because in all situations except for hunting and sport shooting, loaded rifles and shotguns cannot be carried on your person anywhere, period).  T.C.A. § 39-17-1359 provides private property owners the right to post notices on their property to clearly indicate that weapons are not allowed on their property.  Any and all persons, except for on duty law enforcement officers, must comply with this prohibition posted by the property owner, regardless of whether any such person has a handgun carry permit.

Property owners wishing to prohibit firearms on their property should pay close attention to the requirements for signage as set forth in T.C.A. § 39-17-1359, which in 2017 was revised to provide more standardized and objective requirements.  Many signs still in use today are non-compliant and ineffective for purposes of enforcing the statute.  Other 2017 amendments to that statute placed stringent requirements on local governments when firearms are prohibited in certain public areas, all of which are aimed at protecting those attendees that are stripped of the ability to otherwise protect themselves (by requiring the use of metal detectors and armed, trained guards at all entrances).

In 2010, Tennessee made national headlines due to what was commonly referred to as the “guns in bars” bill.  T.C.A. § 39-17-1309, which previously made it a crime to possess a firearm in an establishment that served alcohol (restaurant or bar) was repealed, leaving in place T.C.A. § 39-17-1321(b), which prohibits anyone carrying a firearm from consuming alcohol in any such establishment.  Note that T.C.A. § 39-17-1321(a) prohibits anyone that is “under the influence” of alcohol or any controlled substance from possessing a firearm.  There are many gray areas surrounding this statute, including the use of controlled substances prescribed by a licensed physician (see TN Attorney General Opinion No. 14-86), as well as anyone who has any amount of alcohol in their bloodstream with a loaded handgun on their person or in their vehicle, even if the level of intoxication would not result in violation of Tennessee’s DUI statute (T.C.A. § 55-10-401 et seq.).  All safety issues aside, my suggestion is to err on the side of caution and not possess a firearm while consuming alcohol or thereafter until all traces of alcohol in your bloodstream have completely dissipated).

The Tennessee legislature further expanded handgun carry rights in 2015 by amending T.C.A. § 39-17-1311 to allow handgun carry permit holders to carry their handguns in any public park, natural area, nature trail, campground, forest, greenway or waterway owned or operated by the state, a county, a municipality or any instrumentality thereof.  Furthermore, in 2017 our legislature made it clear that cities and counties can no longer generally prohibit handgun carry permit holders from carrying their handguns in those public places.  Please note that handgun carry permit holders are still prohibited from carrying their handguns into any of those public parks and areas if there is a school-related activity or athletic event taking place.  If you are a handgun carry permit holder carrying your handgun in any of these areas, and you discover that a school-related activity/sporting event is taking place, you must take reasonable steps to leave the area.  T.C.A. § 39-17-1311 also extends a handgun carry permit holder’s rights to carry a loaded handgun on their person while within any federal park or forest.  The coinciding federal law arrived by way of Section 512 of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (seems like a logical place to find such a law), entitled “Protecting Americans from Violent Crime,” which prohibits the promulgation and enforcement of any law that would prohibit an individual from possessing a firearm in any national park or forest so long as the individual is not otherwise prohibited from possessing such firearm and the possession of such firearm is allowed by applicable state law.

One of the more common questions posed to me pertains to the right to possess a handgun on one’s person or in their vehicle while on school property.  T.C.A. § 39-17-1309 generally prohibits firearms on school grounds.  An exception contained within that statute applies to any nonstudent adult on K-12 school grounds if the firearm is contained within their privately-owned vehicle (not on their person if outside the vehicle), so long as the firearm is not handled.  Note that this exception does not apply to adult students, who are still prohibited from possessing a firearm on their person or in their vehicle while on school property.  Full time, non-student employees of higher education/postsecondary institutions may now carry a concealed handgun per T.C.A. § 39-17-1309(e)(11), so long as certain requirements set forth therein are strictly followed, which includes any notice requirements established by such institutions.  T.C.A. § 39-17-1309(e)(9) allows private K-12 institutions to establish their own policies regarding handgun carry on their campuses.  Also, T.C.A. § 49-7-163 has now extended the “guns in trunks” law (discussed below) to students and faculty of higher education/postsecondary institutions.

T.C.A. § 39-17-1313, commonly referred to as the “guns in trunks” law, allows a handgun carry permit holder to lawfully store firearms and ammunition in their personal vehicle parked on public or private property upon which firearms would otherwise be prohibited, so long as such possession is not otherwise prohibited by federal law (i.e. parking garage of a federal building), the vehicle is parked in a permitted location (i.e. not illegally parked), and the firearms and ammunition inside the vehicle are kept from ordinary observation and locked within the vehicle.  When first enacted, this statute only guaranteed that an individual could not be prosecuted criminally for possession of a firearm in their vehicle parked in an otherwise “no guns” parking lot.  Initially it did not address whether an employee could be terminated if the parking lot belonged to their employer and a properly posted sign or employment policy prohibited firearms on such employer’s property.  T.C.A. § 50-1-312 was later enacted to prohibit employers from discharging employees that comply with T.C.A. § 39-17-1313 if the reason for their discharge was due to their possession of firearms and/or ammunition in their vehicle.  Note that T.C.A. §§ 39-17-1313 & 50-1-312 only protects handgun carry permit holders carrying firearms in their vehicle from adverse action by their employer, not individuals carrying firearms on their person or in their vehicle without a handgun carry permit pursuant to T.C.A. § 39-17-1307(e), nor does it permit handgun carry permit holders to carry on their person while on any such property or bring their firearms inside any building on any such property.

In general, firearms may not be carried into any federal or state government building or courthouse, including U.S. Post Offices.

Should you ever find yourself deploying your weapon in a place in which firearms are prohibited by law, T.C.A. § 39-17-1322 provides an absolute defense to any of the illegal possession of firearms violations set out in Chapter 39, Part 17 of the Tennessee Code Annotated to a person who possesses, displays or employs a handgun in justifiable self-defense or defense of another during the commission of a crime in which the person protected was the victim.  Note that this only applies to Tennessee state law violations and would not be a defense to any violation of federal law.

WHEN May I Carry? 

My short answer is whenever you are not under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance.  Obviously the limitations set out above still apply.  Typically if you can make yourself carry a pistol in the same manner for 30 consecutive days, it will become habit and the discomfort noticed at the outset will dissipate.

WHY Should I Carry?

The short answer is, why not?  It is much better for you to have a firearm and not need it than for you to need a firearm and not have one, so long as you are properly trained.  Following that same reasoning, there is no reason for someone who has received no safety or practical training, or who does not understand the laws applicable to firearms ownership, possession and use to carry a firearm, as the possible detriments to that person and those around them far outweigh the potential benefits.

HOW May I Carry?

As discussed above, any adult that is not otherwise prohibited may carry a loaded firearm (handgun, rifle or shotgun) in their vehicle while in Tennessee without a handgun carry permit.  To carry a handgun on your person, you must have a handgun carry permit issued by the State of Tennessee or a state with reciprocity in Tennessee.  With such a permit, you can carry concealed or openly in Tennessee.  Tennessee Attorney General Opinion No. 05-154 specifically addresses the allowance of open carry in the State of Tennessee, clarifying that it is allowed so long as the individual has a handgun carry permit.  While you can carry openly, I would strongly recommend against it for your daily carry (excepting hunting trips in the woods and the like, where open carry may make sense for practical reasons).  In a self-defense situation, the element of surprise is in your favor if you have your handgun concealed, so long as you are able to quickly access it from such concealment.  Many people, especially those with no experience with or knowledge about firearms, are frightened at the sight of an openly carried handgun, a sentiment which many handgun carry permit holders do not understand but should be sensitive to.

Statistics show that most self-defense situations in which a victim employs the use of a firearm happen over the course of 3 to 5 seconds, consist of 3 to 5 shots fired, and occur within 3 to 5 feet (between the assailant and the victim).  Decisions to draw or not draw and to shoot or not to shoot are typically made in milliseconds.  Proper training is absolutely key to making wise and legal decisions with a firearm.  Anyone who plans on purchasing or carrying a firearm should receive proper training from a professional before loading up and carrying a firearm.  The Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit certified course barely scratches the surface of the level of knowledge that I feel is required of all individuals who want to responsbily carry a handgun and, unfortunately, many leave those classes with a false belief that they know all that they need to know to carry a handgun.  Even though I am a “gun guy,” I have tremendous respect for anyone that chooses not to own or carry a firearm because they do not feel as though they have received the proper training to do so.  Likewise, great respect is also due those who own and carry firearms who routinely practice and who keep firearms inaccessible to unauthorized third parties (children and adults).

One of my law enforcement firearms instructors always used to say, “train like you fight… fight like you train.”  What this means for most people is that when they train and practice they need to do so with the handgun(s) that they carry and depend on and, if possible, drawing from the same holster/retention system in which the handgun is most often carried.  This becomes a challenge considering that most carry guns are not as fun to shoot as larger target or tactical guns.  However, you must know your capabilities and limitations with the handgun(s) that you carry so as to know what can expect when responding to deadly force with such carry handgun(s).  Consider keeping detailed training records as evidence of your training regimen, as well as certificates for past courses taken, both of which may come in handy should you ever find yourself involved in litigation after being involved in a self-defense situation in which a firearm was involved, which is almost a guarantee these days.

Use of Deadly Force

T.C.A. § 39-11-602 defines “deadly force” as “force that is intended or known by the defendant to cause or, in the manner of its use or intended use, is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury.”  Needless to say, the use of a firearm against another clearly falls under the definition of “deadly force.”  Keep in mind that deadly force is never authorized to defend property (T.C.A. § 39-11-613 & 616).

Per T.C.A. § 39-11-611(b), deadly force may only be used in self-defense upon an objectively reasonable belief that imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury will occur, that the danger creating such belief is real or honestly believed to be real at the time and founded upon reasonable grounds (so long as the one using deadly force in self-defense is not, at such time, engaged in unlawful activity and in a place where they have a legal right to be).   T.C.A. § 39-11-612 allows the use of deadly force to defend another so long as, under the circumstances as the person acting in defense of such other person believes them to be, such other person would be justified in using deadly force in self-defense.  Tennessee is a “stand-your-ground” state, per T.C.A. § 39-11-611(b), which sets forth that there is no “duty to retreat” in the State of Tennessee, as such duty exists in other states.  T.C.A. § 39-11-611(c) clarifies that a person using deadly force within a residence, business, dwelling or vehicle is presumed to have held a reasonable belief of imminent death or serious bodily injury when force is used against another who unlawfully and forcibly enters (or has entered) and the person using deadly force in self-defense knew or had reason to know that an unlawful and forcible entry had occurred.

Tennessee actually provides civil immunity to those who justifiably use force in self-defense (T.C.A. § 39-11-622), in most circumstances.  Any person justified in using force in self-defense that is sued by an assailant or a third party in relation to the use of such force may collect reasonable attorney’s fees, costs, loss of income and expenses to defend any claims made in any such lawsuit.

It is good to remember that a self-defensive use of a firearm is simply to stop the threat, not eliminate/kill the assailant.  They may be seriously injured or even die from the shots that you fire and wounds inflicted, but that should never be the intent.  Once the deadly threat no longer exists, the justification for using deadly force in self-defense also no longer exists.  An otherwise justifiable self-defense use of a firearm can, within milliseconds, become aggravated assault or even murder, should a shot be fired after the deadly threat ceased to exist.  Unfortunately, one East Tennessee firearms instructor years ago would advise students to make sure to kill their assailant with proper shot placement, even going so far as to advise “execution type” shots after the assailant is down, so as to ensure that they would not be able to testify against them in connection with resulting criminal charges or civil liability claims.  I cannot stress how monumentally incorrect and criminal this advice was and still is.  To follow such advice is to convert what may otherwise be entirely justified self-defense to first degree murder.  My hope is that anyone that received such advice from the instructor at issue will read this article and stand corrected.

Also keep in mind that deadly force can only be used in self-defense in direct response to deadly force.  To the extent the force used by an assailant against a victim does not rise to the level of deadly force, yet the victim draws and possibly discharges rounds from a handgun, the victim has now become the assailant and may be found to have committed aggravated assault or murder (if the assailant is killed).

Practical Takeaways

A firearm shall only be drawn on a person when deadly force can be justifiably used in self-defense against that person.  The brandishing of a firearm should never be used as a way to de-escalate a situation, for the reasons stated above.  On the other side of that issue, just because a firearm has been drawn does not mean that it has to be fired.  To the extent you draw your handgun in response to being presented with deadly force, fully prepared to fire upon the assailant if needed, and your drawing of the handgun immediately deescalates the situation such that you are no longer threatened with deadly force (i.e. the assailant turns and runs or drops the weapon that they previously held in their hand), the deadly threat has thankfully stopped short of you having to fire a round.  The handgun will go back into the holster just as easily as it came out and should happen as soon as you are able to do so in a safe manner, which may not be until law enforcement arrives.

Make sure that your purposes for carrying a firearm are for the protection of you and those family and friends around you, not to carry out vigilante justice any time the opportunity presents itself or to show that you are prepared to do so (i.e. open carry of a handgun).  One with a vigilante justice mindset can quickly find themselves involved in a bad situation for which they are not prepared or trained.  Leave enforcement of the law to trained law enforcement professionals.  Be a good and cooperative witness.  If you happen to take action and law enforcement, on or off duty, arrives and announces their presence, your job is over.  Furthermore, you are a suspect until they have determined otherwise, so do not be surprised if they are not “friendly” to you until they can sort out assailant(s) versus victim(s).  Cooperation from you from that point forward is crucial to your safety and the safety of the officers who responded to the incident.

Shots Fired

I always recommend that those who carry firearms have the name and contact information (preferably cell numbers) for at least three local criminal defense attorneys stored in their cell phones.  Aside from telling law enforcement any facts that they must know immediately for your safety, their safety and the safety of others, my typical advice is that whichever of those attorneys is contacted and retained should be the only person that you speak with following any brandishing or use of a firearm against another in self-defense, even if you feel like you did the right and legal thing and even if it has to be hours or days after the incident.  Most people want to talk when they feel like they have done nothing wrong, but immediately following such an intense situation is not the time to tell your story.  In such instances, you can politely let law enforcement know that you are asserting your Fifth Amendment right to counsel and would like to speak to your attorney before answering any questions that they may have.  Incorrect statements made or omissions of material information as a result of the adrenaline dump that most individuals involved in a life or death situation would experience could significantly impact your position in any criminal charges or civil liability claims that may be brought against you as a result of the incident.  While the prepaid legal options that are offered at various handgun carry permit classes are better than having nothing, I typically advise against these as, in most instances, the insurance company picks an attorney for you and they may be the cheapest, not most qualified option.  If I am ever forced to use a firearm on someone in justifiable self-defense, I want to be assured that I have the best legal counsel available to assist me, and I recommend you do the same.

Conclusion

If you are a firearms owner (or plan on being one) and you carry a firearm (or plan on doing so), I am hopeful that you finish this article having more knowledge of applicable laws and that you desire to be a more responsible firearms owner/carrier going forward.  If you are adamantly opposed to firearms, I trust that you will know how serious some individuals such as myself take their Second Amendment right to bear arms, and that all “gun people” are not crazy.

Choosing to own or carry a firearm is easy.  Doing it safely, responsibly and legally is the challenge.  Accept the challenge and continue pursuing as much knowledge and training as you can.  Your life or that of another may depend on it one day.

Kyle A. Baisley, Esq. may be contacted with questions, comments or concerns by email at kbaisley@lrwlaw.com.

QUOTES:

It is of the utmost importance that Knox County firearms owners know as much as they can about gun safety and all state and federal laws that regulate ownership, possession and use of them.  This will makes our community safer and allows law enforcement officers to more effectively and safely perform their jobs.  I would urge each and every gun owner to obtain as much training as they can and stay current with new laws as they are implemented.” – Tom Spangler, Sheriff-Elect, Knox County, Tennessee Sheriff’s Office

Gun ownership is an important right, but it comes with great responsibility.  Every gun owner has a duty to know the law as it relates to gun ownership and the use of firearms in self-defense.  Recent changes in Tennessee’s stand-your-ground law makes this even more important.  Citizens who properly educate themselves and act accordingly will be protected under the law.  On the other hand, my office will continue to aggressively prosecute those who possess and use firearms illegally.” Charme P. Allen, Knox County, Tennessee District Attorney General

 

 

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