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Are Tasers Legal in Tennessee? What You Should Know

When it comes to self defense, everyone has their own idea of an ideal weapon. Some of us are content with a can of pepper spray alone, while others will settle for nothing less than the decisive power of a firearm.

flag of tennessee
flag of Tennessee

One commonly overlooked self-defense tool is the taser. Tasers occupy something of a middle ground in the use of force continue, and they might be the perfect self-defense weapon for you.

The only problem is that tasers aren’t legal everywhere, at least not yet, and every state has its own laws governing them. How about Tennessee? Are tasers legal for civilians there?

Yes, tasers are completely legal for civilian use in Tennessee. They may be freely purchased, possessed, and carried with no permit needed. Note that some cities and other municipalities might have additional restrictions on these devices, however.

If you live in Tennessee, tasers are definitely going to be on the table as far as your self-defense options go. They are easily purchased and completely legal to carry as long as you aren’t carrying them for any criminal purpose. And, of course, so long as you do not misuse them!

Even so, there’s more you’ll want to know concerning Tennessee’s taser laws, so keep reading and I’ll tell you about them.

How are Tasers Classified in Tennessee?

Tasers don’t really have a specific definition in this state, but they definitely fall under the definition of “deadly weapon,” which Tennessee defines as anything that is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury either by its manner of use or that was designed or adapted to do so.

Tasers are often thought of as non-lethal weapons but a better term for them, and the proper one, is less-lethal weapon. That is because they’re less likely to inflict death or great bodily injury, but they still can!

Find those definitions for yourself in 39-11-106, excerpt below. Also, take a look down at 39-17-1302 for the list of prohibited weapons, and you will see that tasers, stun guns and other similar electroshock weapons are not on it.

39-11-106. Title Definitions

a. As used in this title, unless the context requires otherwise:

6. “Deadly weapon” means:

A. A firearm or anything manifestly designed, made or adapted for the purpose of inflicting death or serious bodily injury; or

B. Anything that in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury;

36. “Serious bodily injury” means bodily injury that involves:

A. A substantial risk of death;

B. Protracted unconsciousness;

C. Extreme physical pain;

D. Protracted or obvious disfigurement;

E. Protracted loss or substantial impairment of a function of a bodily member, organ or mental faculty; or

39-17-1302. Prohibited Weapons

a. A person commits an offense who intentionally or knowingly possesses, manufactures, transports, repairs or sells:

1. An explosive or an explosive weapon;

2. A device principally designed, made or adapted for delivering or shooting an explosive weapon;

3. A machine gun;

4. A short-barrel rifle or shotgun;

5. Hoax device;

6. Knuckles; or

7. Any other implement for infliction of serious bodily injury or death that has no common lawful purpose.

Are Stun Guns Legal in Tennessee?

Yes, they are. Stun guns, like tasers, are completely legal for civilian possession, carry and self-defense use in Tennessee so long as the device itself is legal and you may legally be in possession of it.

Can You Legally Open-Carry a Taser?

Yes, you can. Tasers and stun guns may both be carried openly in Tennessee with no issues.

Can You Carry a Taser Concealed in Tennessee?

Yes, concealed carry of a taser or stun gun is also legal in Tennessee, and you won’t need a permit in order to do so legally. Check out 39-17-1307 for more.

39-17-1307. Unlawful Carrying or Possession of a Weapon

d.1. A person commits an offense who possesses a deadly weapon other than a firearm with the intent to employ it during the commission of, attempt to commit, or escape from a dangerous offense as defined in § 39-17-1324.

2. A person commits an offense who possesses any deadly weapon with the intent to employ it during the commission of, attempt to commit, or escape from any offense not defined as a dangerous offense by § 39-17-1324.

3. Except as provided in subdivision (d)(3)(B), a violation of this subsection (d) is a Class E felony.

Are there Age Restrictions on Taser Ownership or Possession in Tennessee?

You’ll generally need to be at least 18 in order to purchase one in Tennessee, though people underage may still possess them for lawful purposes. Most retailers will not sell these devices to anyone under the age of 18.

What Do You Need to Do to Purchase a Taser in Tennessee?

If you want to purchase a taser or a stun gun in Tennessee, simply find a retailer that has them for sale.

Gun shops are always a great bet, as are police and security supply stores. Sporting goods stores that have a large selection of guns and related equipment are also worth checking in on.

Then, all you’ll need to do is complete a purchase form for an actual taser, and that might entail a background check.

Also, there are several Tennessee statutes that prevent felons and certain other disqualified persons from possessing deadly weapons.

Since tasers fall under that category if there is anything that prohibits you from owning a firearm you might not legally be able to possess a taser in Tennessee.

Is Training Mandatory for Taser Ownership in Tennessee?

No. No specialized training of any kind is needed in order to purchase or carry a taser in Tennessee. Training is required in order to obtain a concealed weapons permit, but as mentioned, the concealed weapons permit isn’t needed to carry a taser.

Where Can You Carry a Taser in Tennessee?

Tasers can go any place that other deadly weapons can go so long as they are legal under the circumstances.

Naturally, this means there is a pretty long list of places where you cannot carry one:

  • ❌ including courthouses and courtrooms,
  • ❌ treatment facilities,
  • ❌ the secured areas of airports,
  • ❌ other sensitive installations,
  • ❌ and any government building or office!
  • ❌ Also, you cannot carry a deadly weapon into a school or on to most school grounds under most circumstances.

When Can You Use a Taser to Defend Yourself?

The only time you can legally use a Taser on another person in Tennessee is if you are genuinely in fear for your life or in fear of serious bodily injury.

That’s because tasers themselves are considered deadly weapons, and any use of a deadly weapon, even one that is relatively low risk like a taser or stun gun, is a serious use of force!

For that reason, you must never use your taser on someone as a prank or to settle an argument, and if someone is merely harassing you or only committed simple battery then the use of your taser would likely be considered excessive force and you could be charged. Check out 39-13-103 and 39-11-504 for more.

39-13-103. Reckless Endangerment

a. A person commits an offense who recklessly engages in conduct that places or may place another person in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury.

b.1.Reckless endangerment is a Class A misdemeanor.

2.Reckless endangerment committed with a deadly weapon is a Class E felony.

39-11-504. Duress

a. Duress is a defense to prosecution where the person or a third person is threatened with harm that is present, imminent, impending and of such a nature to induce a well-grounded apprehension of death or serious bodily injury if the act is not done. The threatened harm must be continuous throughout the time the act is being committed, and must be one from which the person cannot withdraw in safety. Further, the desirability and urgency of avoiding the harm must clearly outweigh the harm sought to be prevented by the law proscribing the conduct, according to ordinary standards of reasonableness.

The post Are Tasers Legal in Tennessee? What You Should Know appeared first on Survival Sullivan.

By: Tom Marlowe
Title: Are Tasers Legal in Tennessee? What You Should Know
Sourced From: www.survivalsullivan.com/are-tasers-legal-in-tennessee/
Published Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2024 18:52:34 +0000


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