Tennessee does not have REAL constitutional carry.

BY PGF
3 months ago

Source:

We are in early voting in Tennessee and there are lots of individuals running for governor and the state Legislature.  Many of them, including incumbents, are claiming that a) they are 2nd Amendment supporters and b) that they voted for “constitutional carry”.

Before you vote, know the truth.  The truth is Tennessee has NEVER had real constitutional carry in the last 200+ years and it does not today.

REAL “constitutional carry” means that it is not a crime to carry a firearm for a lawful purpose, such as self-defense.  Nor is it a crime to carry a firearm in most places – including public places – unless the place falls into a very narrow and limited exception.

Tennessee’s laws fail that standard.

First, Tennessee has Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-1307(a)(1) which says “A person commits an offense who carries, with the intent to go armed, a firearm or a club.”   That means it is a crime to carry any firearm in Tennessee “with the intent to go armed”.   That law is broad that it is even a crime to carry a firearm with the intent to go armed on your own property, in your own home, or even with a permit.  That is a true statement because Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-1308 makes each of those factors “defenses” to the criminal charge.   When something is a “defense” or an “exception” to a criminal charge, the burden is on the citizen to prove to a law enforcement officer or a jury that the individual’s conduct satisfied the elements of the defense.

Now, many police officers would not arrest or charge someone if they clearly could demonstrate the existence of facts supporting the defense – but the officer has the discretion to do so.

Even the 2021 “permitless carry” law, which many have erroneously referred to as constitutional carry” has at least 7 elements or conditions to its application.  Further, it is also written as an “exception” which means that the burden is on the individual to prove that the individual satisfies all of those conditions.

Second, Tennessee also fails the REAL “constitutional carry” standard because of part of what Bill Lee offered and the Legislature passed in 2021 in his “permitless carry” law.   As part of the 2021 law, they added Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-1307(g) which is the operative language of the permitless carry law.   However, it does not apply to everyone who can lawfully purchase or possess a firearm.  It only applies to handguns.  It only applies to individuals who can meet the other qualifications under that subsection – such as the age limit qualification and/or the provision that requires that the individual “is in a place where the person is lawfully present.”

Third,  Tennessee fails the REAL “constitutional carry” standard because of another part of what Bill Lee offered and the Legislature passed in 2021 in his “permitless carry” law.   As part of the 2021 law, they added Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-1307(h).  At least three subparts of (h) make it a crime for people who can otherwise legally purchase or possess firearms to carry those firearms “with the intent to go armed.”

Fourth, Tennessee fails REAL “constitutional carry” because it has many “prohibited places” statutes that make in crimes to possess firearms in some specific places (e.g., schools or public parks) but also any other place that might be “posted”.   The problem is that the 2nd Amendment never contemplated that these areas would be subject to government regulation.  In fact, the United States Supreme Court just ruled to that effect in June 2022 when it decided the case of New York Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen.  The Supreme Court essentially said if the right to carry or the manner or place of carry was not regulated by a law in 1791 (or in some instances in 1876) then it probably can’t be regulated constitutionally today.

REAL constitutional carry means that it is simply not a crime for someone who can lawfully possess a firearm to carry it for any lawful purpose – including self-defense.   REAL constitutional carry means that unconstitutional geographic and other restrictions on what, when and where you can carry a firearm do not exist.

So, be prepared when these elected officials and candidates start talking about Tennessee and whether it had constitutional carry.  If they can’t get that right, do they need to be in public office to protect your other rights?
Via WoG

Comments

  1. On November 1, 2022 at 4:11 am, Joe Blow said:

    I am a resident of TN. I do not trust Bill Lee. Consummate politician, panders to whomever his audience is, votes how he wants. He needs to go!

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This article is filed under the category(s) Gun Control and was published October 31st, 2022 by PGF.

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