Welcome to OCDO. Check the TN state forum for some leads to the appropriate laws and interpretations that seem to be agreed on as holding true for Tn.
[quote]First one, what are my rights concerning use as protection for others, i.e. if I were out on a date with my girlfriend and a maniac attacked her without being provoked, etc?[//quote]
Generally speaking, you can use deadly force to protect an innocent third party to the same extent you can use deadly force to protect yourself. Check both your state laws and Tn/neighboring state case law to see how the courts interpret that.
If you had a felony conviction you would probably know it. Trying to buy a gun from a FFL with a felony conviction on your record is one way to find out, if you are not sure.Second, What exactly are the laws talking about as far as "not a felon, no mental illness, no history of drug addiction"? To be honest, I am ADHD, and have had priors for small misdemeanor drug offenses (marijuana). Nothing that was felony, mostly simple possession. These charges are SUPPOSED to be off of my record.
That mental illness stuff has to do with being involuntaroily committed to an inpatient MH facility for treatment after a hearing in some court. (Some statyes have expections that deal with voluntarily admitting yourself for in-patient treatment to avoid being committed by a court. Check your state laws.
Federal law (and perhaps your state law) counts current pot use as "history of drug addiction" as well as court committment for treatment of drug addiction. Again, check your local state laws for the details.
The answer to your specific question is "No, there is no way you can do that."Third, if I do decide to carry, legally within my rights, is there a way to check my criminal history online or through the local LE's? I would hate to go off into the matter thinking I was completely legal and find out I wasn't. Most of the aforementioned charges should have been expunged, but I would like to make sure beforehand.
You can check with the clerk of the court where you were convicted of the misdemeanor charges to see if they have been expunged.
What makes you think they should have been expunged? Convictions usually are part of your permanent record unless the court took speific actio to later expunge them - usually in response to a petition you filed asking for that to happen. Or did youy get a delayed/deferred sentence that included expungement on condition of no law violations/arrests/convictions for a certain period of time after your court hearing?
If you have questins and want to get an attorney to explain it to you without spending a lot of money check with your state bar association on how to use tjheir lawyer referral service. (Usually 30 minutes for a dirt-cheap fee.)
You ask about "decid[ing] to carry, legally within my rights". Does that in fact mean you already posses a handgun? See my above comment about trying to buy from a FFL.