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Castle doctrine question

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I got an email back from Senator Ketron with the opinion of his legal department... 



Sen Ketron:
Below is our opinion on his questions:
(e)  (1)  It is an exception to the application of subsection (a) that a person is carrying or possessing a firearm or firearm ammunition in a motor vehicle if the person:
       (A)  Is not prohibited from possessing or receiving a firearm by 18 U.S.C. 922(g) or purchasing a firearm by 39-17-1316; and
       (B)  Is in lawful possession of the motor vehicle.
    (2)  As used in this subsection (e):
       (A)  Motor vehicle has the same meaning as defined in 55-1-103;
       (B)  Motor vehicle does not include any motor vehicle that is:
           (i)  Owned or leased by a governmental or private entity that has adopted a written policy prohibiting firearms or ammunition not required for employment within such a motor vehicle; and
           (ii)  Provided by such entity to an employee for use during the course of employment. 
Above is the statutory provision about which Mr. (DaveTN) is concerned and these are this questions:
(1)     Does 39-17-1307 (e) (1) (A) prohibit 18-20 year olds from possessing a handgun in their vehicle?  We believe § 39-17-1316 prevents an 18-20 year old from carrying a handgun in his car in spite of § 39-17-1307(e).  The exception in (e) says you cannot be prohibited from purchasing a firearm by § 39-17-1316 in order of (e) to apply.  That section is Tennessee law concerning who can purchase a handgun. Under federal law, a person much be 21 to purchase a handgun.  That is from a licensed firearms dealer as Mr. (DaveTN) points out and not a private transfer.  Federal law also makes it unlawful for a person who is not a dealer to sell or transfer a handgun to a person younger than 18 and requires that a person be at least 18 to lawfully possess a handgun. The law appears silent on how old you would have to be to make a legal private transfer but you would have to be at least 18 to possess a handgun.  Although § 39-17-1316 does not apply to private transfers it says that for § 39-17-1307 to apply, the person must not be prohibited from purchasing a firearm under § 39-17-1316, which applies to licensed firearms dealers.  Because an 18-20 year old cannot purchase a handgun from a licensed firearms dealer under federal law, so the 18-20 year old does not meet one of the exceptions of set out in § 39-17-1307(e) and therefore, the exception in (e) would not apply to the 18-20 year old regardless of how he or she obtained the handgun.

(2)    Can 18-20 year olds possess a long gun in their vehicle?  It is difficult to give a definitive answer to Question 2.  Section 39-17-1307(a) says it is an offense for a person to carry any firearm (long gun or handgun)  but subsection § 39-17-1307(e) is an exception to unlawful carrying or a firearm under those specific circumstances. Even though a person 18-20 could buy a long gun under § 39-17-1316, they could not buy a handgun.  Thus there is an argument that the exclusion in § 39-17-1307 does not apply to the 18-20 year old because they are prohibited from purchasing certain firearms under § 39-17-1316 (handguns).

(3)    Does the 21 year old handgun transfer limitation by Federal law imposed on licensed firearm dealers apply to transfers by Tennessee residents in private transfers? We can find nothing in Tennessee law that sets an age requirement for purchasing a firearm in a legal private transaction.  However federal law does prevent a person under 18 from possessing a handgun and does prevent a person from selling transferring a handgun to someone under 18 years of age.  Tennessee law (§ 39-17-1320 prohibits giving a handgun to a juvenile (which presumably means a private transaction involving the sale or transfer) and § 39-17-1319 makes possession of a handgun by a juvenile a delinquent act, presumably whether acquired by private or dealer transaction.  Without it specifically stating it anywhere, by inference a person would have to be 18 to purchase a handgun under a private transaction or a  purchase a firearm other than a handgun from a licensed dealer to comply with federal law and Tennessee law.

Because this is a confusing area that requires many inferences to be made, we recommend that getting an AG opinion on this is probably the only way Mr. (DaveTN) is going to accept the answer.



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And yet to keep the water muddy, TN permits 18-20 yo to obtain a HCP and thus carry in their POV.

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Seems to me that 3 pages of comments by gun owners about the interpretation of a change in a gun law is an indictment of the legislature that passed a bill that isn't plain to a reasonably educated person.    Reminds me of the joke "What do you have with 100 attorneys on the bottom of the ocean?   A good start"   Could add politicians and cover the few who are not attorneys.    Sorry if I offend any attorneys but it sure seems they complicate the language of our laws, either directly or indirectly with their court cases

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When it comes to any part of the 2nd Amendment and it's deifinition when has a Federal, State or local government ever written a law in plain English so any layman can understand it? I would be willing to bet 90% of most policemen or any level of Law Enforcement can't actually explain in layman terms what any law reads so when in question they just arrest you and let the judge and the courts decide what the law interpets.(That is if they are able to translate it) Do I think they do this on purpose?   Of course they do like,  chances R said, "just to keep the water muddy."

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