Clarification on TN Law

Clarification on TN Law

This is a discussion on Clarification on TN Law within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Does anyone know if you go backcountry camping in a TN state park, if you are allowed to carry a handgun in your pack if ...

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Thread: Clarification on TN Law

  1. #1
    New Member Array Drake's Avatar
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    Clarification on TN Law

    Does anyone know if you go backcountry camping in a TN state park, if you are allowed to carry a handgun in your pack if its unloaded? I have a CCW, and I have seen laws on how to transport guns through state parks, but I am not sure if those just apply to gun owners in general or even those with CCW permits.


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    I imagine rather you're transporting or laying in your sleeping bag, the laws are the same.

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    New Member Array Drake's Avatar
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    So in TN we are required to transport guns in state parks unloaded and the gun is locked separate from ammo. Your suggesting that we can probably do the same while hiking?

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    Member Array Magilla82ABN's Avatar
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    I would think it is the same as transporting but it would be nice to know
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    New Member Array Drake's Avatar
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    We will see if TN_Mike as anything to add.

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    Carry in Tennessee parks

    Tennessee Law appears to address the question. There's no indication that permit holders are exempt:

    "It is an offense for a person to possess a firearm . . . On the grounds of any public park, playground, civic center or other building facility, area or property owned, used or operated by any municipal, county or state government, or instrumentality thereof, for recreational purposes."

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    New Member Array Drake's Avatar
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    I saw that. But I was distinctly told that you can transport it in your car if followed the procedure above. So I just wanted some clarification. Backcountry camping in a state park with no firearm doesnt sound fun to me.

    If TN_Mike chimes in I would also like to know how HB2182 is doing, the one that would allow carry in state park. I heard it passed at senate last year but was deffered to 2008.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drake View Post
    So in TN we are required to transport guns in state parks unloaded and the gun is locked separate from ammo. Your suggesting that we can probably do the same while hiking?
    My point was even if you could transport it hiking unloaded, once you load it rather in your sleeping bag or where ever, it's illegal. I'm pretty confident you cannot have a firearm with you at all in a state park in Tn and if you do it has to be locked up in a car.

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    New Member Array Drake's Avatar
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    Right, but also in TN are laws that if you use the gun in self defense and it is found that the defense was justified, you cannot be convicted for carrying the weapon unlawfully if you are in an area that does not allow you to carry. So, lets say my wife and I are camping and I have the gun in my pack unloaded, ammo separate, someone tries to get in the tent, I take action, if the court finds that I used the gun in self defense justifiably, I cannot be convicted of illegal carry. At least that is what I was told by my instructor.

    "A person shall not be charged with or convicted of a violation under this part if the person possessed, displayed or employed a handgun in justifiable self-defense or in justifiable defense of another during the commission of a crime in which that person or the other person defended was a victim.
    "

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drake View Post
    Right, but also in TN are laws that if you use the gun in self defense and it is found that the defense was justified, you cannot be convicted for carrying the weapon unlawfully if you are in an area that does not allow you to carry. So, lets say my wife and I are camping and I have the gun in my pack unloaded, ammo separate, someone tries to get in the tent, I take action, if the court finds that I used the gun in self defense justifiably, I cannot be convicted of illegal carry. At least that is what I was told by my instructor.

    "A person shall not be charged with or convicted of a violation under this part if the person possessed, displayed or employed a handgun in justifiable self-defense or in justifiable defense of another during the commission of a crime in which that person or the other person defended was a victim.
    "
    I guess if thats the case, and it stands in a state park, then it comes down to rather you wanna take the risk or not. Once you load it, it's illegal. If by the small chance you have to use it , then ok, but the chances are, you won't.
    Then there's the arguement of will you have time to load it when you need it? Or will you keep it loaded and take the risk? I'm willing to bet you cannot have the gun with you at all while hiking and camping. Are you willing to take the risk of loosing your permit?

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    New Member Array Drake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kentuckycarry View Post
    Are you willing to take the risk of loosing your permit?
    Absolutely not. That is why I want a clarification. If it turns out you cant carry there at all whatsoever, I will take my family elsewhere for camping. Sure its probably a small chance that I will have to use it, but its a small chance I will have to use it everywhere I go and I still carry it (where legal).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drake View Post
    Absolutely not. That is why I want a clarification. If it turns out you cant carry there at all whatsoever, I will take my family elsewhere for camping. Sure its probably a small chance that I will have to use it, but its a small chance I will have to use it everywhere I go and I still carry it (where legal).
    Exactly.. Still carry "where legal". I'm not going to risk my permit by carrying somewhere that's illegal.

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    From Tennessee Code Annotated, 39-17-1311:

    It is an offense for any person to possess or carry, whether openly or concealed, with the intent to go armed, any weapon prohibited by § 39-17-1302(a), not used solely for instructional, display or sanctioned ceremonial purposes, in or on the grounds of any public park, playground, civic center or other building facility, area or property owned, used or operated by any municipal, county or state government, or instrumentality thereof, for recreational purposes.


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    New Member Array Drake's Avatar
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    Alright everyone, thanks. I will just sit back and hope that the new HB is passed thats up for discussion now concerning state parks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drake View Post
    So, lets say my wife and I are camping and I have the gun in my pack unloaded, ammo separate, someone tries to get in the tent, I take action, if the court finds that I used the gun in self defense justifiably, I cannot be convicted of illegal carry. At least that is what I was told by my instructor.
    I would think that if your gun is unloaded and someone is trying to get in your tent, it's a little too late to think about using the gun. The BG will be in your tent before you ever get the gun and ammo together. No matter what the legality of the situation happens to be, an unloaded gun is no better than a brick. If the gun is not loaded, I'd be reaching for the hatchet or machette instead.

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