Domestic violence is a serious issue affecting countless individuals and families nationwide, and Tennessee is no exception. According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, there were more than 77,000 reported cases of domestic violence in the state in 2020 alone. In many of these cases, firearms were involved, making the situation even more dangerous.
If you are dealing with domestic violence in Tennessee, it is essential to understand how the state's laws regarding firearms may impact your situation. Here is what you need to know:
Domestic Violence and Firearms: The Lautenberg Amendment
In 1996, Congress passed the Lautenberg Amendment, which made it illegal for anyone convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor to possess firearms. This federal law applies to all states, including Tennessee.
In Tennessee, a domestic violence misdemeanor is any offense that involves the use or attempted use of physical force or the threatened use of a deadly weapon against a current or former intimate partner, family member, or household member. This includes offenses such as assault, battery, and stalking.
The Impact of a Domestic Violence Conviction on Firearms Ownership
If you are convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor in Tennessee, you will lose your right to own or possess firearms. This means that you must surrender any firearms you own or possess and are prohibited from purchasing or receiving firearms in the future.
The prohibition on firearms ownership is not limited to convictions in Tennessee. If you are convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor in another state or federal court, you are still prohibited from owning or possessing firearms under federal law.
Protection Orders and Firearms
In addition to criminal convictions, domestic violence victims in Tennessee can obtain protection orders that may impact the abuser's ability to own or possess firearms. Under Tennessee law, a court may issue an order that prohibits the respondent from possessing firearms for the duration of the order.
If a protection order prohibits the respondent from possessing firearms, the respondent must surrender any firearms they own or possess. Violating a protection order prohibiting firearms possession is a serious offense that can result in criminal charges.
If you are a victim of domestic violence in Tennessee, it is important to seek help as soon as possible. Contacting a domestic violence hotline or a local domestic violence shelter can provide you with the resources and support you need to stay safe and protect your rights.
If you have been accused of domestic violence in Tennessee and are concerned about the impact on your firearms ownership, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand your rights and options. They can also guide you in defending against the charges and protecting your rights.
Contact Eldridge & Blakney, PC, for Help with Domestic Violence and Firearms Issues
At Eldridge & Blakney, PC, our experienced criminal defense attorneys understand the complexities of Tennessee's domestic violence and firearms laws. We are dedicated to protecting our client's rights and helping them achieve the best possible outcome in their case.
Contact Eldridge & Blakney, PC, today to schedule a consultation if you are dealing with domestic violence and firearms issues in Tennessee!