Facing a gun charge is a serious charge in Tennessee, and if you have a gun charge on your record, it could impact your life and the choices available to you for many years to come. If you are facing a weapons charge, you may not be aware of how serious a gun crime can be. It can derail your future and leave you with a criminal record that you’ll need to explain to employers. You shouldn’t try to fight weapons charges without a robust legal defense. Many people assume that all you need to possess a gun is a copy of the constitution, but that’s not true. Gun rights throughout the United States have stipulations that regulate the execution of the right to bear arms. Tennessee state law regulates the type of weapons open to legal possession, and the law also dictates how the weapons may be carried. If you were arrested for possession of a weapon, it’s important that you consult advice from a licensed attorney to understand what you are facing. It’s possible to mount a strong defense against weapons charges, but you shouldn’t delay.
Prohibited Weapons in Tennessee
If you aren’t facing a weapons charge, but you’re wondering if your weapon is legal, the following weapons are outlawed for citizens in Tennessee.
According to Tennessee Code 39-17-1302, Prohibited weapons:
(a) A person commits an offense who intentionally or knowingly possesses, manufactures, transports, repairs or sells:
(1) An explosive or an explosive weapon;
(2) A device principally designed, made or adapted for delivering or shooting an explosive weapon;
(3) A machine gun;
(4) A short-barrel rifle or shotgun;
(5) A firearm silencer;
(6) Hoax device;
(7) A switchblade knife or knuckles; or
Laws and Penalties for Gun Charges in Tennessee
All of the gun-related charges above are felonies that carry anywhere from one year in prison to up to 30 years. Gun charges are not always straightforward, and mistakes happen. It’s easy to misidentify weapons – leading to incorrect weapons charges. The prosecuting attorney has to prove that your weapon was illegal or that you weren’t allowed to be in possession of the weapon in question. So, the role of an attorney in these types of cases is invaluable. Unlaw carrying or possession of a weapon in Tennessee law applies to the unlawful possession of a firearm, club, or knife blade measuring 4 inches or more. A first offense of this crime is considered a misdemeanor. It carries a sentence of no more than 30 days in jail and a fine of no more than $500. Any subsequent violations of the same statute will be charged as a misdemeanor with an incarceration period of no more than six months. Unlawful possession charges can be elevated to a felony if the accused has been convicted of a felony or if the weapon was drawn and used in public. Possession of a gun while under the influence of alcohol is a misdemeanor crime that carries jail time of up to a year and a fine of $2500.
Developing Defense Strategies for Criminal Cases in Tennessee
Tennessee has a lengthy list of weapons charges, and if you are not familiar with Tennessee law, you could easily find yourself on the wrong side of the law. Being charged with unlawful possession of a weapon is a serious offense, and the attorneys at Patton | Pittman Attorneys are available to help you build a defense in your case. You can contact our law offices today to schedule a consultation on your weapons case, and we can help you sort out the details and develop a defense strategy. We have been practicing law in Tennessee for many years, and our attorneys have a combined 100 years of experience. Call us today at (931) 361-4477 to schedule a consultation, or you can use our online contact form to request more information.