(a) It is a defense to the application of § Code Sec. 39-17-1307″>39-17-1307 if the possession or carrying was:

Terms Used In Tennessee Code 39-17-1308. Defenses to unlawful possession or carrying of a weapon

  • Club: means any instrument that is specially designed, made or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by striking a person with the instrument. See
  • Code: includes the Tennessee Code and all amendments and revisions to the code and all additions and supplements to the code. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Firearm: means any weapon designed, made or adapted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or any device readily convertible to that use. See
  • Handgun: means any firearm with a barrel length of less than twelve inches (12²) that is designed, made or adapted to be fired with one (1) hand. See
  • Immediate vicinity: refers to the area within the person's immediate control within which the person has ready access to the ammunition. See
  • Law enforcement officer: means an officer, employee or agent of government who has a duty imposed by law to:

    (A) Maintain public order. See

  • Person: includes the singular and the plural and means and includes any individual, firm, partnership, copartnership, association, corporation, governmental subdivision or agency, or other organization or other legal entity, or any agent or servant thereof. See
  • Rifle: means any firearm designed, made or adapted to be fired from the shoulder and to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed metallic cartridge to fire a projectile through a rifled bore by a single function of the trigger. See
  • Shotgun: means any firearm designed, made or adapted to be fired from the shoulder and to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell to fire through a smooth-bore barrel either a number of ball shot or a single projectile by a single function of the trigger. See
  • State: when applied to the different parts of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the several territories of the United States. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Unloaded: means the rifle, shotgun or handgun does not have ammunition in the chamber, cylinder, clip or magazine, and no clip or magazine is in the immediate vicinity of the weapon. See

(1) Of an unloaded rifle, shotgun or handgun not concealed on or about the person and the ammunition for the weapon was not in the immediate vicinity of the person or weapon;

(2) By a person authorized to possess or carry a firearm pursuant to § 39-17-1315 or § 39-17-1351;

(3) At the person’s:

(A) Place of residence;

(B) Place of business; or

(C) Premises;

(4) Incident to lawful hunting, trapping, fishing, camping, sport shooting or other lawful activity;

(5) By a person possessing a rifle or shotgun while engaged in the lawful protection of livestock from predatory animals;

(6) By a Tennessee valley authority officer who holds a valid commission from the commissioner of safety pursuant to this part while the officer is in the performance of the officer’s official duties;

(7) By a state, county or municipal judge or any federal judge or any federal or county magistrate;

(8) By a person possessing a club or baton who holds a valid state security guard/officer registration card as a private security guard/officer, issued by the commissioner, and who also has certification that the officer has had training in the use of club or baton that is valid and issued by a person certified to give training in the use of clubs or batons;

(9) By any person possessing a club or baton who holds a certificate that the person has had training in the use of a club or baton for self-defense that is valid and issued by a certified person authorized to give training in the use of clubs or batons, and is not prohibited from purchasing a firearm under any local, state or federal laws; or

(10) By any out-of-state, full-time, commissioned law enforcement officer who holds a valid commission card from the appropriate out-of-state law enforcement agency and a photo identification; provided, that if no valid commission card and photo identification are retained, then it shall be unlawful for that officer to carry firearms in this state and the provisions of this section shall not apply. The defense provided by this subdivision (a)(10) shall only be applicable if the state where the out-of-state officer is employed has entered into a reciprocity agreement with this state that allows a full-time, commissioned law enforcement officer in Tennessee to lawfully carry or possess a weapon in the other state.

(b) The defenses described in this section are not available to persons described in § 39-17-1307(b)(1).

[Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 1; 1990, ch. 1029, § 7; 1993, ch. 200, § 1; 1996, ch. 1009, §§ 20, 21; 1997, ch. 476, § 3; 1999, ch. 295, § 1; 2003, ch. 144, § 2.]