Possession of a Handgun While Under the Influence in TN

If you are a firearm enthusiast, you probably value your right to bear arms. After all, firearms allow law-abiding citizens to protect themselves, their families, and their homes from criminals. Research has shown that when citizens are armed, and criminals know it, they will usually avoid the properties that are protected by armed homeowners and business owners.

There are strict state and federal laws in place to ensure that armed citizens are not careless. For example, there are certain places that citizens cannot carry guns, such as at schools, courthouses, airports, police stations, and other places firearms could be a danger. These laws are designed to keep our communities safe. Additionally, it is illegal in Tennessee for someone under the influence of alcohol or drugs to possess a handgun.

Possessing a Handgun While Intoxicated

Under Section 39-17-1321of the Tennessee Code, it is against the law to possess a handgun while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance (e.g. marijuana, cocaine, heroin, LSD, mushrooms, etc.). For example, someone can be drinking beer, and then he or she decides to go target shooting at an outdoor range while under the influence – this is one way to break the law.

Under Sec. 39-17-1321(b), it’s not only illegal to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol and possess a handgun, it is also illegal to bring a firearm into an establishment, such as a bar, restaurant, or nightclub, that serves alcohol to the public on the premises, and to consume alcohol. In other words, one can’t be drinking in a bar and possess a gun.

Possessing a handgun while intoxicated is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable a maximum fine of $2,500, or no greater than 11 months and 29 days in jail, or both.

Have you been accused of possessing a gun while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or bringing a gun into a drinking establishment? If you’re facing weapons charges in Clarksville, we urge you to contact our firm to request a free case evaluation.

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