Wherever you are, and whatever you do, whether traveling or enjoying leisure activities, it’s smart to understand the risk of each scenario and how you can lessen your probability of becoming a victim. Owning and carrying a self-defense weapon is one of the ways that you can protect yourself from an attacker. In this article, I will be illustrating some legal self-defense weapon that you can possess in Tennessee.
Stand Your Ground Law
The state of Tennessee is exercising the stand your ground law. Individuals don’t have to retreat before using force to defend themselves. Tennessee statute offers additional protection for defenders who are inside their residence, business, dwelling or vehicle, and someone has illegally and enters by force. However, using deadly force in the home, for example, when defenders use force against someone they knew or should have known was a law enforcement officer is prohibited. (§ 39-11-611)
Tactical Pen is Legal in Tennessee
The smooth writing tactical pens are not only a professional writing material but double as an effective self-defense weapon. Drafted after a traditional Kubaton, they are fast to position and use for a control device, pressure points or a seriously practical impact weapon.
There are many materials available for self-defense, but when you really need to stop an aggressor but want to do so without causing any much harm, there is no better tool than a tactical pen. Here’s a review of the StrikePen by ApeSurvival which you can get for free here.
Is it illegal to carry a knife in Tennessee?
Knife laws in Tennessee can be difficult to understand, due to the lawmakers unclear language and the Court’s hesitation to offer definitions of the terms used in the statutes. Here’s some good news for the great citizens of Tennessee! There really are no prohibited knives under new Tennessee Law and it is legal to carry a knife. The switchblade prohibition was struck down in July of 2014 (SB 1771). As of writing, below are the legal knives that you can have in Tennessee:
What is legal to own
- It is legal to own a Bowie knife
- It is legal to own a dirk, dagger, or other stabbing knife
- It is legal to own a disguised knife such as in a belt buckle or lipstick
- It is legal to own a stiletto
- It is legal to a switchblade
Blade Length Regulation
Since the 2014 change in Tennessee knife laws, there are now no limitations on knife length or knife-blade length. Before 2014, the law prohibited open or concealed carry of knives with blades longer than 4 inches, but that has since been replaced, making knife length generally unrestricted. Open carry of all types of knives of any length has been legal under Tennessee law. Knife-carry laws are not limited when it comes to open carry. The only exceptions are the restrictions concerning carrying on school property and the (often appealed) intent to go armed. So, carrying a knife in Tennessee is generally unrestricted – except, of course, on school property.
Are stun guns legal in Tennessee?
Stun gun or Taser in Tennessee can be bought without a permit, and the state does not restrict possessing or using electric weapons for self-defense. However, state and local laws on deadly or dangerous weapons might apply to stun guns and Tasers, depending on how they are being used. Stun guns and Tasers are created to temporarily incapacitate someone with an electrical current.
Still, these devices can occasionally cause serious injury or even death, depending on how they are being used and on the victim’s condition. So even though Tennessee’s weapons laws don’t explicitly refer to stun guns or Tasers, these devices could possibly be covered under state laws on the possession or use of a deadly weapon. The law defines deadly weapon as “Anything that in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury” 39-11-106. But still the jury is left to decide if a stun gun was a deadly weapon under the circumstances.
Tennessee Firearm Legislation
Tennessee protects the right to carry firearms under Article I, Section 26 of the state legislation, but this does not mean that everyone may carry a gun, or that you may always take it wherever you like. Tennessee prohibits any individual which is 18 years old below from knowingly possessing a handgun.
No individual may intentionally, knowingly or recklessly sell, loan or make a gift of a firearm to a juvenile. The provider may claim as a defense to prosecution that the firearm was loaned or given to a minor for the purposes of hunting, trapping, fishing, camping, sport shooting or any other lawful sporting activity, and the provider is not required to obtain a license under Tennessee gun dealer laws.
Prohibited People in Tennessee
Federal law prohibits certain individuals from purchasing or possessing firearms, such as felons, certain domestic abusers, and certain people with a history of mental illness.
Tennessee law prohibits the possession of a firearm by any person(39-17-1307):
- Convicted of a felony involving the use or attempted use of force, violence or a deadly weapon
- Convicted of a felony drug offense
- Convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence while remaining subject to the disabilities of such a conviction
- Possessing a firearm while subject to an order of protection
- Under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance (handguns only)
- Prohibited from possessing a firearm under any other provision of federal or state law
Concealed Carry Law
Tennessee prohibits the possession of a firearm in public with the intent to go armed, although handgun carry permit holders are exempt from this prohibition. People without a permit may also carry at the person’s place of residence, place of business, or premises. Tennessee law also authorizes individuals protected by a court order to carry without a permit for 21 days or while their application for a permit is pending.
Is pepper spray legal in Tennessee?
Tennessee laws connected to self defense do not restrict the possession or use of pepper spray for the purposes of self-defense. Pepper Spray is a legal self-defense weapon that you can own in Tennessee. For an individual to possess a pepper spray, he or she must be 18 years old and above who haven’t committed any felony. Pepper spray can be an alternative in circumstances where you may just want to get away from a dangerous position without having to consider the result of using an illegal weapon.
Here are some useful tips on how to use a pepper spray:
- Safe and Accessible Storing
- Understand the Safety Features
- Hold the Pepper Spray Correctly
- Be Aware of Weather Conditions
- Become Familiar and Comfortable with It