Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: Self-defense and gun rights protection bills pass in Tenn.

  1. #1
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Invisible Mode

    Post imported post

    More progress by the NRA andgun rightsadvocates...

    Tuesday, 05/08/07

    Self-defense bill passes both houses

    Staff Writer

    Legislation to give people more leeway in defending themselves when faced with a violent threat has passed both houses of the General Assembly.

    Passage of the measures has been hailed by gun-rights advocates, including the National Rifle Association. But others say the new law takes Tennessee in the wrong direction.

    Currently, Tennesseans can use deadly force when faced with the threat of death or serious injury in their own home.

    A bill approved by the Senate and House in the past two weeks extends those areas to include all homes and vehicles, regardless of who owns them.

    "We are so excited to get this legislation passed in Tennessee,'' said Rachel Parsons, spokeswoman for the NRA.

    Gun-control advocates say it's a bad idea.

    "I could regale you for hours about how that has gone hellishly wrong," said Zach Ragbourn, assistant director for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

    Ragbourn said laws like that presume the shooter acted in self-defense regardless of the circumstances. He pointed to a Florida case in which two men fired at each other, hitting a 9-year-old girl. Police could not prove who shot first, and both claimed self-defense.

    Another bill that passed both houses would prevent the governor or any local official from rounding up weapons or limiting their sale or transport in a state of emergency or disaster.

    Similar bills have become law in more than a dozen other states in reaction to the confiscation of guns in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

    The Tennessee bills will soon go to Gov. Phil Bredesen, who can sign them into law, veto them or let them be come law without his signature.

  2. #2
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Memphrica, Tennessee, USA

    Post imported post

    This was on WREG News Channel 3 today in Memphis.

    class="sectiontitle"Posted by Andy Wise
    style="font-size: 14px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"The 'Stand Your Ground' defense style="font-size: 9px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"var wn_last_ed_date = getLEDate("Aug 13, 2007 7:41 PM EST"); document.write(wn_last_ed_date);Aug 13, 2007 06:41 PM

    MEMPHIS, TN -- With a legal handgun carry permit and a clean criminal history, there is no limit to how and where you can kill someone in self-defense in Tennessee, according to a Shelby County judge.
    Shelby County Criminal Court Judge Chris Craft says the state's new 'Stand Your Ground' law, which went into effect May 22, not only gives "persons (with gun carry licenses) who are not engaged in criminal activity"limitless power to kill in self-defense, but it also strips criminals of their rights to self-defense, even against other criminals.
    "Hopefully, there will be a lot less drug-dealers killing each other...a lot other people who won't be, particularly gangs, that are shooting at each other," Craft says. "They won't be able to claim self-defense because they are breaking the law."
    "For the person who does not have a permit and is illegally carrying a gun, there is no more self-defense as I understand this statute," says Marvin Ballin, a Memphis criminal defense attorney.
    Under the law, Tennessee citizens who own guns but no carry permit may only use the guns in self-defense when they are inside their homes.
    The law allows law-abiding citizens with state handgun carry licenses to use deadly force in their homes, out in public, even in their cars. In fact, the only significant limits the law puts on a law-abiding citizen to defend himself is when the perceived threat is a law-enforcement officer or someone who is carrying or transporting a child.
    "It draws the line between permit-holders and non-permit-holders," says Kristen Bauer, a certified shooting instructor at RangeUSA ( in East Memphis, "and helping, you know, divide that difference between good and evil."
    The law also saysit will"...provide immunity from civil liability for a person who uses lawful force in defense of self, others or property..." In short, a private citizen could not be sued by an attacker or the attacker's family if the attacker is hurt or killed by the citizen'slawful act of self-defense.
    "Now wereally have a way to protect ourselves and not worry about legal court issues coming up later," says Bauer.
    At least one self-defense expert saysself-defense legal immunityhasbeenthe law in Tennessee for eight years. Tom Givens, owner and firearms trainer at Rangemaster ( in East Memphis,points to the Good Samaritan Act of 1999. The law, amended to state code dating back to1975, says any "...person who is injured while committing a barred from recovery of actual or punitive damages..."
    "As far as a criminal being able to sue you for injuring him while attacking you, it's already Tennessee state law," says Givens. "He can't do that."
    Yes he can, says Mike Roberts. Roberts, an attorney and law professor who was once the handgun instructor for the Shelby County Sheriff's Office, says immunity from civil liability is unconstitutional, and state law cannotguarantee immunity to citizens.
    "Immunity statutes are struck down left and right everyday," says Roberts. "The constitutional question is that people have the right of access to the courts. You can't ban me from being sued just because (I lawfully killed someone in self-defense)."

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts