Understanding Gun Laws
While many states are changing their laws to allow open carry with or without a handgun license, there are still laws in place for certain weapons that can get a person arrested. A weapons charge bail can be expensive, depending on several circumstances, including if the defendant has a handgun license.
In July 2021, the state of Tennessee passed a law for open carry without a permit is legal if certain criteria were met by the person. So, what are weapons charges in Tennessee now? The Volunteer State has mile gun control laws compared to many states, but they do have requirements to purchase a gun, starting with a background check that must be run and passed, but there is not a waiting period to obtain the gun.
A person could find themselves posting a weapons charge bail if they are found in possession of the following in certain situations:
- Machine guns
- Short-barrel rifles
One example would be that any person in possession of a machine gun must follow compliance with one of the limited exceptions under federal law. In Tennessee, what are weapons of offense? It is deemed a felony crime for anyone to possess a firearm and have an intention of committing a crime, like an attempt of commission of an escape, or the act of a dangerous felony.
Other reasons you may need to post weapons charge bail are:
- A person that has a valid permit to carry or authorization to possess a weapon and is under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.
- A person consuming alcohol in public while in possession of a firearm will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.
What is an example of assault with a deadly weapon?
Each state has their own description of what is considered a deadly weapon, which will determine what weapons charge bail amount the judge sets at arraignment. The State of Tennessee deems a deadly weapon to be any object that can cause a death or can cause serious bodily injury. The State of Tennessee has ruled that body parts, like feet and fists are not a deadly weapon. What is seen to be a deadly weapon in Tennessee that could have a weapons charge bail posted is a rope that could strangle another person or even a baseball bat or metal pipe that can be used to strike another person.
What is the charge for carrying a concealed weapon?
Yes, this state that is somewhat lenient in handgun laws does have some basics to be followed. A vague description in the Tennessee statute reads that the unlawful possession of a weapon can include:
- A firearm
- A knife with a 4” or longer blade
- A club or device that can be used as club
A first offense of unlawful possession of a weapon charge, bail will be determined by the judge for this Class C misdemeanor. The potential sentencing can be a maximum of 30 days jail time with a maximum fine of $500. A second offense for weapons charge bail will be determined by the judge for this Class B misdemeanor. Sentences could lead to a maximum of six months jail time plus fines to be determined by the judge. Other circumstances a defendant could face may be a felony weapons charge bail when a firearm was involved while in a public place or if a previously convicted felon.
In Tennessee, what are the different types of weapons charges?
The state’s laws govern the use, possession, sale, and transfer of weapons, including firearms, knives, explosives, and other items. Weapons charges bail can be for a misdemeanor or felony offense subject to harsh penalties. Those penalties include significant fines and incarceration for the following weapons offenses:
There are specific types of dangerous weapons that is considered a crime to possess intentionally or knowingly, or sale, manufacture, repair, sell, or transport:
- Machine guns
- Short-barrel rifles
- Other items that can inflict serious bodily injury or death
Unlawful Possession of a Weapon
Misdemeanor weapons charge bail may be required for carrying a club or firearm in the state with intention of causing harm. It is unlawful for anyone with a prior felony conviction, or for a defendant with prior drug convictions or violent felony convictions, to possess a weapon. A domestic violence conviction in some situations may also prevent possession of a firearm.
Possession of a Handgun While Under the Influence
Even with authorization or a carry permit, you will be posting weapons charge bail for having possession if you are consuming or under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a controlled substance.
Possession of Firearm During Commission of Felony
Possession of a firearm with the intention to commit or attempt to commit a dangerous felony is itself a felony under Tennessee law.
In Tennessee, concealed weapons criminal charges are as follows:
A first violation of illegally carrying a firearm without a valid gun permit is a Class C misdemeanor. Penalty will include a maximum fine of $500 and maximum 30 days incarcerated. A second violation is a Class B misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $500 and a maximum of 6 months incarceration.
In Tennessee, Federal weapons charges mean that a person arrested for any of the following will be faced with posting felony weapons charge bail:
- An explosive or explosive weapon is a Class B felony with punishment of maximum 30 years in prison
- Machine gun is a Class E felony with punishment maximum of 6 years in prison
- Short-barreled shotgun is a Class E felony with punishment maximum of 6 years in prison
- Firearm Silencer is a Class E felony punishment maximum of 6 years in prison
With open carry possible in Tennessee, is a gun charge serious? Absolutely, and if you’re not following the letter of the law, you can find yourself waiting to learn your weapons charge bail amount during an arraignment.
It is important to hire a defense attorney when facing something this serious. They will know how the system works, lead you through the process and can often design a defense that knows how to get assault with deadly weapon charges dropped or reduced so that your punishment isn’t as severe.