New handgun carry laws effective July 1st

Published 10:33 pm Thursday, July 1, 2021

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Elizabethton Police Department Chief Jason Shaw recently shared information on the new Public Chapter 108 otherwise known as permit-less carry law which went into effect on July 1, 2021.

Shaw tried to summarize the law and list some of the changes that came along with it.

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This new legislation adds an exception to the state law listed in Tennessee Code 39-17-1307, Unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon. This will allow a person 21 years of age or older, or 18 or older if serving in the military or honorably discharged from the military, that is not otherwise prohibited, to lawfully carry a handgun openly or concealed in a place they are lawfully present.

Persons that are prohibited from carrying handguns are, persons under of the influence of alcohol or drugs; convicted felons; convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence; a fugitive from justice; unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance; found by a court to be mentally defective or committed to a mental institution, or appointed a conservator due to mental defect; an alien as defined by US Code 1101(a)(26) illegally or unlawfully in the United States; person dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces; a person having renounced their US citizenship; subject to an order of protection; been convicted of stalking; has been convicted of the offense of DUI in Tennessee or any other state one time in the last five years or two times in the last ten years, prohibited from possession by any other state or federal law.

The new law did not change the fact it is unlawful to carry a handgun in the following locations: buildings housing judicial proceedings, public schools, school buses, property owned, operated, or while in use by a school, private schools where posted, anywhere under the influence of alcohol or drugs, consuming alcohol were alcohol is served.

The carrying of a handgun will still be prohibited in places if properly posted in accordance with current state law (39-17-1359).

Handgun Carry Permits are also still required to carry on properties with proper signage posted “Concealed Firearms by Permit Only” (39-17-1359); and public parks, playgrounds, civic centers, and public recreation buildings (39-17-1311).

The new law also makes theft of a firearm a felony and increases penalties for violations of certain firearm-related offenses.