Can a Misdemeanor Take Away My Right to Carry a Gun?

//Can a Misdemeanor Take Away My Right to Carry a Gun?

Can a Misdemeanor Take Away My Right to Carry a Gun?

bui boating under influenceThe short answer is yes. The State has prohibited possession and denied the purchase of firearms for people with misdemeanor convictions that would otherwise be legal to purchase, own, and conceal carry firearms. Some Tennesseans, never being informed their rights were being limited, have attempted to purchase firearms, and learned the hard way. Most have received a denial letter from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which reads as follows: “… a person who has been arrested and/or convicted for the use or possession of a controlled substance/alcohol within the past year; and/or a person with multiple arrests for the use or possession of a controlled substance/alcohol within the past five years with the most recent arrest occurring within the past year; or a person found through a drug test to use a controlled substance unlawfully, provided the test was administered within the past year are prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm for a period of one (1) year.”

This is a scary letter to receive. According to the language of this letter, a military man or woman comes back home and gets public intoxication on Broadway would be prohibited from possessing a firearm for one year if convicted. The example may be extreme, but it is a realistic example of the status of Tennessee law. Although our communities generally do not want dangerous people to have firearms, the extension of removing constitutional rights even for a limited time off those people which may have a little marijuana for personal use or have to much to drink walking around downtown, is going too far beyond the overall goal. Now, according to Tennessee Code Ann. § 39-17-1307, it is illegal to carry a firearm with the intent to go armed. There are exceptions to the application of this law involving any legally owned firearm within a vehicle or boat, and individuals twenty-one (21) years or age or with qualifying military service in legal possession of handguns in places legal to possession a firearm.

However, Tennessee law states it is unlawful to possess a firearm if you have been:

1. Convicted of a felony crime of violence,
2. Convicted of an attempt to commit a felony crime of violence,
3. Convicted of a felony involving the use of a deadly weapon,
4. Convicted of a felony drug offense,
5. Convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence,
6. Subject to an order of protection complying with the federal guidelines,
7. Prohibited from possessing a firearm under any other state or federal law,
8. Convicted of stalking
9. Convicted of DUI once within five (5) years or twice within ten (10)
10. Committed or hospitalized in a mental institution
11. Court appointed a conservator involving a mental defect
12. Otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm under 18 U.S.C. 922(g)

Regarding the sale or purchase of firearms, Tennessee law reads a little different. According to Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1316, it is illegal to sale a firearm to any person:

1. Convicted of stalking
2. Addicted to alcohol,
3. Ineligible to receive firearms under 18 U.S.C. 922(g),
4. Judicially committed to a mental institution or adjudicated as mentally defective, or
5. Convicted of a felony unless pardoned, expunged, or their civil rights are restored.
6. Not prohibited from possessing a firearm by T.C.A. 39-17-1307 (explained above)

Under both statutes, Tennessee generically refers to the federal prohibition to possession and purchase under 18 U.S.C. 922(g). According to the United Stated Code, 18 U.S.C. 922(g), it is unlawful for any person to

1. ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or
2. possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or
3. to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.

If that person:

1. has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
2. is a fugitive from justice;
3. is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance
4. has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution;
5. being an alien (is illegally or unlawfully in the U.S or admitted under nonimmigrant visa)
6. has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
7. having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his citizenship;
8. is subject to a court order that (complies with federal rules for Orders of Protection)
9. has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence,

Therefore, Tennessee is restricting and denying the possession and purchase of firearms when they believe those people are “unlawful users of or addicted to any controlled substance”. Do not be one of those individuals that find themselves in this situation. You may believe you can legally have a firearm in your home and then suddenly find yourself in jail because of it. If you ever find yourself in need of help with this issue, please give us a call. We will fight for you and fight for the protection of your constitutional rights.

Frank Lannom and Tyler Stansfield
2023-12-12T03:00:46+07:00 December 12th, 2023|Blog|0 Comments