Weapons charges in the state of Tennessee can bring serious penalties, and if police charged you with a crime involving firearms, you need to develop a strong defense. If you do not take the opportunity to strategically defend yourself in the face of these charges, you could end up with the harshest consequences the law has to offer when it comes to weapons convictions.
Here is a basic overview of weapons laws in Tennessee, as well as some possible defenses.
Tennessee laws covering weapons
As in all states, Tennessee has specific laws that govern the legal purchase, possession, and storage of many types of weapons, including guns and knives. You must have a permit to carry firearms in the state. Weapons offenses include illegally possessing a concealed weapon, illegally selling weapons, brandishing a firearm in public, illegally discharging a gun, or possessing a handgun while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You may think in good faith that you are doing something the law permits, when in fact you are violating the law.
Defenses against weapons charges
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives explains that there is a wide range of defenses.
For example, you may be able to show the weapon was not in functioning condition, or that you were using it to protect livestock from a predator. Self-defense and defense of another person are also legitimate reasons to possess or use a firearm. You may also have a valid defense if you took the weapon away from an aggressor threatening to use it against someone else.
Because of the many possible situations where a person could receive a weapons charge, this is not an exhaustive list of potential defense strategies. If you have been charged with a weapons crime, consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.