Open carry in TN...State vs Local?

This is a discussion on Open carry in TN...State vs Local? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Talked to a City LEO buddy and he said open carry is illegal except by LE with badge displayed. I thought State law, which allows ...

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Thread: Open carry in TN...State vs Local?

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    Member Array shaggykb's Avatar
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    Open carry in TN...State vs Local?

    Talked to a City LEO buddy and he said open carry is illegal except by LE with badge displayed. I thought State law, which allows open carry, overrides city laws. Anyone have thoughts, opinions, proofs on this subject?

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    Member Array jarhead45's Avatar
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    At my CCW class this was brought up. Instructor said be more aware of the local laws as they can very from city to city. Nevada is an open carry state but try that in North Las Vegas or better yet try walking down the strip with a hawg strapped to yer leg. You will eat alot of concrete.
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    Unhappy It depends...

    It depends on your state... Colorado recently solved that problem by passing a a law that no municipality or similar government entity can pass a gun law that is more restrictive than state law... there are still a few exceptions (e.g.: University of Colorado still bans carry - but making it stick is based on a former Attorney General's opinion.)

    I looked at Handgunlaw.us and City of Chattanooga searching for details, but could not find anything to prove or counter the LEO's statement.

    Good luck.
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    Member Array MountainPacker's Avatar
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    Open carry

    Colorado does preempt local ordinances but that has nothing to do with open carry. Open carry is legal because the state is silent on the matter. There's nothing to preempt.

    A city can outlaw anything it likes, as long as it doesn't run afoul of state law. They can't ban CCW because the state expressly allows it. They can ban open carry because the state is silent on the matter.

    I believe that's the case for open carry in most states.

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    Member Array shaggykb's Avatar
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    I think you're right mountainpacker. TN is silent on the issue so that may be why Chattanooga city can ban OC.


    Anyone else?

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    VIP Member Array TN_Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaggykb View Post
    Talked to a City LEO buddy and he said open carry is illegal except by LE with badge displayed. I thought State law, which allows open carry, overrides city laws. Anyone have thoughts, opinions, proofs on this subject?
    Your LEO buddy needs to go back to school. Open carry is legal in Tennessee. It is legal everywhere in Tennessee. Our carry permit is NOT a Concealed Carry Permit, it is a Handgun Carry Permit for this very reason. The law was written as it is so that if you accidentally showed your gun or printed and someone noticed, you would not be charged with open carrying of a firearm. So, the law was written making open carry legal.

    Also, I am not sure but, I don't think that local gun laws can superceed state gun laws. For instance, my home town can not pass a law making it illegal for me to carry my gun in town because the state law takes precedence over local gun statutes.

    Again, your LEO buddy is wrong. I open carry quite often here in West Tennessee and this is the liberal more anti-gun end of the state.
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    Senior Member Array Duisburg's Avatar
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    ok, well power to delegate authority starts like this from smallest (weakest):

    Town
    County
    State
    Federal
    Judicial (they can override Federal with Judicial Review)
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    Many LEOs are not aware of the current state of the law. I called Nashville's Police Department a year or so back to find out if the Frist Center is a government-owned building (it is, so no carry there per Tennessee law), but the Nashville police officer on the other end of the line told me that I could be arrested for carrying my concealed handgun anywhere in Metropolitan Nashville/Davidson County, even with my permit, because I was carrying "with the intent to go armed."

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    Senior Member Array FlyboyLDB's Avatar
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    Tell your LEO buddy to talk to some handgun permit instructors or better yet, read the state's law regarding carry. The instructors will point him in the right direction. Carter's Shooting supply on Hwy 58 in Chattanooga(almost Harrison area) is a good one. Also let him read this event in Knoxville a few months ago. Gun owner receives apology from police chief : Local News : Knoxville News Sentinel

    I was at a gun store where there is an instuctor - one of this instructor's students was open carrying at a local sandwich shop. He got detained, he told the LEOs that his instructor had tought him it was legal to open carry. The LEOs said it was not - the LEO supervisor called the instructor to inform him he was teaching his students to break the law - he properly pointed out the law to them - the LEOs apologized with a promise to introduce training in this area. That was well over a year ago.

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    HKR
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    carrying "with the intent to go armed." [/QUOTE]

    Somebody will have to explain this one to me. I always carry with the intent to go armed, otherwise I'm not doing a very good job of carrying. In Georgia our "handgun permit" allows us to carry concealed or open, but I spend a great deal of time in both Tn and Al and I always go concealed when I leave Ga.

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    Back to the OP!

    This is how it is in TN. It really does not matter in TN what Nevada, Colorado or any other state law is as they do not apply in TN which is what the original post is about...TN law.

    http://www.tennesseefirearms.com/law.../AG_05-154.pdf

    This is a link to the TN Attorney General's Opinion on Open Carry.

    Print it and send it to the Sheriff's office. I keep a copy in my car all the time just in case an officer doesn't know the carry law of TN.
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    Member Array shaggykb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TN_Mike View Post
    Your LEO buddy needs to go back to school. Open carry is legal in Tennessee. It is legal everywhere in Tennessee. Our carry permit is NOT a Concealed Carry Permit, it is a Handgun Carry Permit for this very reason. The law was written as it is so that if you accidentally showed your gun or printed and someone noticed, you would not be charged with open carrying of a firearm. So, the law was written making open carry legal.

    Also, I am not sure but, I don't think that local gun laws can superceed state gun laws. For instance, my home town can not pass a law making it illegal for me to carry my gun in town because the state law takes precedence over local gun statutes.
    .
    Agreed. As read in Opinion No. 05-154 from the state Attorney General, It was not the intention of the legislature to require CC.
    The plain meaning of the statutes governing, or prohibiting, the carrying of handguns and other weapons indicates that, in situations where the legislature has permitted the carrying of handguns, the legislature intended to authorize the carrying of handguns both openly and concealed.
    The statutes governing the wearing and carrying of firearms neither expressly prohibit the permit holder from carrying a handgun openly, nor expressly require the permit holder to carry the handgun concealed.

    But, as shown in the footnotes of the very same Opinion, because the statute is silent, is the local statute really superceded? It almost seems like the local statute would be able to specify between OC & CC since the state statute did not. Just some thoughts. Someone please weigh in.

    footnotes:
    Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1351 sets forth the requirements that must be satisfied for the issuance of a carry permit to a citizen of this state. It also sets forth the requirements for honoring permits issued by other states on the basis of reciprocity. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1351(r). The grounds under which a police officer may hold
    and/or seize a handgun in the possession of a permit holder are listed in Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1351(t). The statute, however, is silent on whether a permit holder may carry a handgun openly.
    Other statutes which address the carrying of handguns and other firearms are also silent on the issue. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1307, which prohibits the carrying of weapons for purposes of going armed, makes no distinction between weapons carried openly and those which are carried concealed. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1308(a)(2) states that possession of a handgun carry permit is a defense to a charge of carrying a weapon for purposes of going armed, but does not specify whether the handgun must be concealed or carried openly.

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    Member Array citizen510's Avatar
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    2. As set forth in part 1, above, the holder of a handgun carry permit may lawfully carry his
    or her handgun both openly and concealed. Therefore, a permit holder should not be subject to
    arrest solely because the handgun is being carried openly.
    There is nothing, however, in any of the
    statutes cited in part 1 that would prohibit the arrest of a handgun permit holder for other crimes.

    This apparently applies to anywhere in TN that it is legal for a Handgun Carry Permit holder to carry a handgun. It does not matter what the opinion of the sheriff or other LEO is because the TN Attorney General has stated HIS opinion.
    It is not the Bill of Privileges. It is not the Bill of Permits. It is the Bill of Rights.

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    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    i may be moving to TN. i have a good job prospect there that i hope works out.
    from what i know, you can not carry concealed in a restaurant that serves alcohol. can u carry open there? i know in some states u can.
    guess since the permit is to carry concealed or open, do the "no carry zones" apply to open carry as well?
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    Good idea keeping the thread topic on Tennessee since any other state laws or restrictions would not be applicable to what is legal in TN.
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