Tennessee weapons laws have evolved to reflect a stricter stance on gun crimes and violence over the past several years. Many of these crimes focus on the presence of weapons during the commission of other offenses or the possession of weapons in certain areas or under specific circumstances. Nashville weapons crime lawyer Bernie McEvoy understands how to approach weapons charges from the defense perspective and help his clients avoid unjust penalties. If you are facing a charge related to firearms or other weapons in Davidson or Williamson County, he will fight hard to keep your record clean.Overview of Tennessee Weapons Offenses
Tennessee weapons laws govern the use, possession, transfer, and sale of weapons, such as firearms, explosives, knives, and other items. Weapons crimes may be misdemeanor or felony offenses and can carry harsh penalties, including large fines and incarceration. Listed below are some common Tennessee weapons offenses.Prohibited Weapons
Tennessee has an outright ban on certain types of dangerous weapons. It is a crime to intentionally or knowingly possess, manufacture, transport, repair, or sell explosives, machine guns, short-barrel rifles and shotguns, knuckles, and other items for inflicting serious bodily injury or death without a common lawful purpose. Also included are any devices that reasonably appear to be explosives and that are used to cause alarm, known as hoax devices. Committing a prohibited weapons offense is a felony regarding most of the listed weapons. However, the law also provides for certain exceptions that allow for such use. If a weapons crime attorney in Nashville can show that an exception applies, they may be able to defeat the charge.Unlawful Possession of a Weapon
It is a misdemeanor offense to carry a firearm or club in Tennessee with the intent to go armed. For a conviction of unlawful possession of a weapon under this law, the prosecution must prove that the defendant carried the firearm or club with the intent to go armed. For example, it is not a crime to carry a rifle with the intent to go hunting. There are several defenses provided under Tennessee law that allow for the reasonable and authorized use of a loaded firearm, which may defeat a weapons possession charge.
Unlawful possession of a weapon is a felony offense for a defendant who has a prior felony conviction and possesses a handgun, or for a defendant who has a prior drug or violent felony conviction and possesses any firearm. In some situations, a domestic violence conviction or protective order may prevent a person from possessing a firearm under this law. This offense may also be charged when a defendant is accused of possessing a deadly weapon (other than a firearm) and intending to use it while committing or escaping from a dangerous crime, or when a defendant possesses any deadly weapon while intending to use it during a non-dangerous crime. Nashville weapons crime attorney Bernie McEvoy can help Tennessee residents fight any of these types of charges.Possession of a Handgun While Under the Influence
Even if you are authorized or have a valid permit to carry a handgun in Tennessee, it is illegal to possess it while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any controlled substance. It is also illegal to possess a firearm while consuming alcohol in a public bar or another establishment that serves alcohol. A violation is a Class A misdemeanor.Possession of Firearm During Commission of Felony
It is a Tennessee felony crime to possess a firearm with the intent to go armed while committing or attempting to commit a dangerous felony. Similarly, it is a felony to use a firearm during the commission or attempt, or an escape from the commission or attempt, of a dangerous felony. In many cases, possession of a firearm may be a lesser included offense of another crime.Hire a Criminal Lawyer to Fight a Weapons Charge
Nashville attorney Bernie McEvoy has over 25 years of criminal law experience and is well-prepared to defend against a firearms violation or another weapons charge. He can represent defendants in Franklin and Nashville, as well as other areas of Davidson and Williamson Counties. Schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options with a weapons crime lawyer in Nashville by calling (615) 255-9595 during the day, or (615) 804-8779 after hours or on weekends, or contact the Law Office of Bernie McEvoy online.