Tennessee

Tennessee Law

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FIREARM PROHIBITIONS

Tennessee Domestic Violence Firearm Purchase and Possession Prohibitions

Tennessee prohibits possession of firearms by a person who:

  1. Has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence as defined under federal law and who is “still subject to the disabilities of such a conviction;”1or
  2. Is subject to an order of protection, at the time of possession, that “fully complies with 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(8)[.]”*2

TENNESSEE  CIVIL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ORDER OF PROTECTION FIREARM REMOVAL

Domestic Violence Civil Orders of Protection that Require Removal

The respondent to an order of protection that fully complies with 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(8) must terminate physical possession of a firearm.3

Individuals Who May Petition for an Order of Protection

The following persons who have been subjected to, threatened with, or placed in fear of domestic abuse, stalking, or sexual assault may petition for an order of protection:

  1. Domestic abuse victims;
  2. Stalking victims; or
  3. Sexual assault victims.4

“Domestic abuse victims” is defined to include:*

  1. Adults or minors who are current or former spouses;
  2. Adults or minors who live together or who have lived together;
  3. Adults or minors who are dating or who have dated or who have or had a sexual relationship;
  4. Adults or minors related by blood or adoption;
  5. Adults or minors who are related or were formerly related by marriage; or
  6. Adult or minor children of a person in a relationship described above.5

“Domestic abuse” is defined as “inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on [a domestic abuse victim] by other than accidental means, placing [a domestic abuse victim] in fear of physical harm, physical restraint, malicious damage to the personal property of the abused party, including inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by [a domestic abuse victim], or placing [a domestic abuse victim] in fear of physical harm to any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by the [domestic abuse victim.]”6

Removal Process

An order of protection that fully complies with 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(8) shall include the following disclosures:

  1. That the respondent is required to dispossess themself by any lawful means, such as transferring possession to a third party who is not prohibited from possessing firearms, of all firearms the respondent possesses within 48 hours of the issuance of the order;
  2. That the respondent is prohibited from possessing a firearm as long as the order of protection or any successive order of protection is in effect; and
  3. Notice of the penalty for possessing a firearm or for knowingly failing to surrender or transfer all firearms the respondent possesses as required by law.7

The court issuing the order of protection shall order and instruct the respondent:

  1. To terminate the physical possession of the firearms in their possession by any lawful means, such as transferring possession to a third party who is not prohibited from possessing firearms, within 48 hours;
  2. To complete and return an affidavit of firearm dispossession form which the court may provide or the respondent may obtain from the administrative office of the courts’ website; and
  3. That if the respondent possesses firearms as business inventory or that are registered under the National Firearms Act, there are additional statutory provisions that may apply which the court shall include in the content of the order.8

Return of Firearms to Respondent

The respondent may “reassume possession” of his or her dispossessed firearm(s) when the order expires or is otherwise no longer in effect.9

Penalties for Violation

It is a violation of an order of protection and a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by no more than 11 months and 29 days imprisonment, a fine of not more than $2,500, or both,  for a person to knowingly possess a firearm while they are subject to an order of protection that fully complies with 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(8).10

This page was updated May 6, 2020. Please note that data used are the most recent available data.