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TENNESSEE COMPILATION OF SELECTED LAWS ON CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES, 2011 EDITION

TENNESSEE CODE ANNOTATED

Title 39 Criminal Offenses

Chapter 17 Offenses Against Public Health, Safety and Welfare

Part 13 Weapons

39-17-1319. Handgun possession prohibited - Exceptions.

(a) As used in this section and § 39-17-1320, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) “Handgun” means a pistol, revolver, or other firearm of any description, loaded or unloaded, from which any shot, bullet, or other missile can be discharged, the length of the barrel of which, not including any revolving, detachable, or magazine breech, does not exceed twelve inches (12²); and

(2) “Juvenile” means any person less than eighteen (18) years of age.

(b) Except as provided in this section, it is an offense for a juvenile to knowingly possess a handgun.

(c) (1) Illegal possession of a handgun by a juvenile is a delinquent act and, in addition to any other disposition authorized by law, the juvenile may be required to perform not more than one hundred (100) hours of community service work to be specified by the judge, and the juvenile's driving privileges shall be suspended for a period of one (1) year in accordance with the procedure set out in title 55, chapter 10, part 7.

(2) A second or subsequent violation of this section is a delinquent act and, in addition to any other disposition authorized by law, the juvenile may be required to perform not less than one hundred (100) nor more than two hundred (200) hours of community service work to be specified by the judge, and the juvenile's driving privileges shall be suspended for a period of two (2) years in accordance with the procedure set out in title 55, chapter 10, part 7.

(3) Any handgun illegally possessed in violation of this section shall be confiscated and disposed of in accordance with the provisions of § 39-17-1317.

(d) (1) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the juvenile is:

(A) In attendance at a hunter's safety course or a firearms safety course;

(B) Engaging in practice in the use of a firearm or target shooting at an established range authorized by the governing body of the jurisdiction in which such range is located or any other area where the discharge of a firearm is not prohibited;

(C) Engaging in an organized competition involving the use of a firearm, or participating in or practicing for a performance by an organized group which is exempt from federal income taxation under § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3)), as amended, and which uses firearms as part of the performance;

(D) Hunting or trapping pursuant to a valid license issued to the juvenile pursuant to title 70;

(E) Accompanied by the juvenile's parent or guardian and is being instructed by the adult or guardian in the use of the handgun possessed by the juvenile;

(F) On real property which is under the control of an adult and has the permission of that adult and the juvenile's parent or legal guardian to possess a handgun;

(G) Traveling to or from any activity described in subdivision (d)(1) with an unloaded gun; or

(H) At the juvenile's residence and with the permission of the juvenile's parent or legal guardian, possesses a handgun and is justified in using physical force or deadly force.

(2) For purposes of subdivision (d)(1)(G), a handgun is “unloaded” if:

(A) There is not a cartridge in the chamber of the handgun;

(B) There is not a cartridge in the cylinder of the handgun if the handgun is a revolver; or

(C) The handgun, and the ammunition for the handgun, are not carried on the person of a juvenile or are not in such close proximity to the juvenile that the juvenile could readily gain access to the handgun and the ammunition and load the handgun.

(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this part to the contrary, the provisions of this section shall govern a juvenile who possesses a handgun.

Acts 1994, ch. 802, § 1.

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