2017 Legislation


According to the Violence Policy Center, Tennessee currently (2017) ranks fourth in the nation in terms of the number of women killed by men and is consistently ranked in the top ten most violent states for women. Offenders with a history of domestic violence are five times more likely to murder an intimate partner when a firearm is present in the home.

Tennessee Defendants who have been convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor are currently prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm under both state and federal law. Although this fact was verbally communicated to defendants prior to the entry of a guilty plea, the notice provided to defendants was deficient when compared to the information provided to respondents in civil Order of Protection proceedings.

The new law uses the existing notification and procedures in the Order of Protection context and applies it to convicted domestic violence offenders. By implementing these procedures in the domestic violence misdemeanor context, this law will ensure that every defendant is given information to understand the consequences of a guilty plea or conviction and provide greater protection for victims. 

The new law also requires convicted offenders to fill out a dispossession form (under penalty of perjury) listing all of the firearms in their current possession. 

For full text of Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-13-111 and 40-14-109, visit LexisNexis.


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