Shots Across the Bow

A Reality Based Blog


Who Says the Law Must Make Sense?

Here's one that'll have you scratching your head.

I can carry a gun to defend myself from an attacker because I went through the process of getting a license to do so. However, if I carry a stick so I can defend myself without killing my attacker, I can go to jail.

a) A person commits an offense who intentionally or knowingly possesses,
manufactures, transports, repairs or sells:
(1) An explosive or an explosive weapon;
(2) A device principally designed, made or adapted for delivering or shooting an
explosive weapon;
(3) A machine gun;
(4) A short-barrel rifle or shotgun;
(5) A firearm silencer;
(6) Hoax device;
(7) A switchblade knife or knuckles; or
(8) Any other implement for infliction of serious bodily injury or death that has no
common lawful purpose.

So I can carry a tire iron, but if I carry a chunk of wood with a taped grip, I'm guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. Unless it's a baseball bat or a golf club, in which case, I'm good.

I started researching this because I want to carry a serious, but non-lethal, weapon; one that I can use to defend myself without necessarily killing the bad guy. Just like dressing for cold weather, I think the layered approach to self defense works best. The old saying goes that when the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail. Sometimes a screwdriver or a wrench works better. The problem is that Tennessee Law makes it very difficult to legally achieve that layered defense. If I carry a stick with the intent of defending myself, I can be in violation of the law.

Reading further, I did find the following:

CODE: 39-17-1308
...(9) By any person possessing a club or baton who holds a certificate that the person
has had training in the use of a club or baton for self-defense that is valid and issued by a
certified person authorized to give training in the use of clubs or batons, and is not
prohibited from purchasing a firearm under any local, state or federal laws;

There are a couple of problems with this. First, I've only found one instructor that says he's certified by the State of Tennessee to teach baton classes and he's in Nashville. That's a problem I can deal with; as long as I have some way of verifying that his credentials are good and that Tennessee will accept his training, I don't mind driving to Nashville for a class. The real problem is that most of the law enforcement officers I've spoken to are completely unaware of this section of the law. One told me straight out that it didn't matter what certifications I had; if he caught me with a baton, he would arrest me for carrying an unlawful weapon.

Sure, I'd win the court case, but after significant expense. Even worse, you can bet that my record would be flagged and the next time I tried to renew my HCP, I'd have all kinds of fun.

The way the law is written, my best legal option is to carry no other weapon but my gun, and that's just ridiculous.
Posted by Rich
Guns • (1) CommentsPermalink

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Get a cane, research cane fighting, extremely
effective method of self defense.
Posted by Paul  on  07/21  at  11:08 PM

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