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Thread: a question for the members

  1. #1
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    The south land

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    I did not know the best place to post this series of questions, but being from Tennessee, I thought it would be best to post them here.

    I am in the process of obtaining my weapons permit. I have a few questions.

    First, can an employer which has a "no firearms" policy for employees, but the employer is a business which is open to the public at all times, but which does not have a No weapons permitted sign up as required under T.C.A 39-17-1359--can this business legally prohibit employees from possessing a firearm in their vehicle, or on their person while at the same time permitting the public at large to carry on the premises? Would this constitute discrimination?

    Second, this goes to the methods of law enforcement--

    If a leo has stated that anyone he saw with a weapon in public would be put face first on the ground at gunpoint until he [the leo] found the persons permit--if this officer does this, has he committed a crime, or if it continues--meaning officers continue to do it routinely--does it or would it constitute a violation of my Constitutional rights? In the area I live in in East Tennessee--law enforcement has proven to be lacking in people skills, the statements from the officer I have spoken with leads me to believe that the police in this area are a little too fast to draw the gun--hence they are draw happy. I'm not looking to sue anyone--but I want to know what my rights are and what the limitations law enforcement has placed upon them when dealing with people who choose to exercise their Constitutional right to bear arms.

    I guess my question is better stated--at what point does actions from law enforcement, regarding drawing their weapons and putting you face down on the ground and disarming you become harassment and a violation of my civil/Constitutional rights? At what point would be become a crime? Since I have received some negative information from at least one leo here in this area, but according to the leo--others here are of the same opinion he is--I have been seriously worried that a trigger happy officer might confront me and shoot me and claim I was going for a weapon, even though I wasn't or assault me simply because he saw me with a weapon on my hip. I'm not kidding--I have seriously considered this as a distinct possibility, and it concerns me. Once I get my permit I intend on contacting the Sheriff and the Chief of Police and get a written statement as to their position on citizens carrying openly, and then intend on asking the same question of the District Atty. General for this district. I want it in writing if I can get it at all.

    I have looked in the Chp. 39 of Tennessee Code, but it tells nothing about restrictions placed on law enforcement when dealing with the public. I have also looked at 39-13-101 through 103 but don't know if this would apply to the police in this situation. Common sense would tell me that if they pull their weapon and point it at you without a legitimate cause--they have committed a crime?

    I am asking these questions because I have been lurking on this board reading through the posts--and I have realized that it seems a lot of leos really have no clue as to what the laws are regarding possession of firearms by citizens. This concerns me, which is why I intend on carrying a copy of the Atty. Gen. Opinion as well as applicable laws.

    I have read the Attorney Generals Opinion

    Third, I have considered obtaining insurance on myself in the event I am ever forced to use my weapon--I think the NRA calls it self-defense insurance? I'm wondering as to opinions about whether such insurance would be a good idea, or not.

    Fourth, can a business prohibit a person from carrying a weapon on their property even though they do not have a sign posted as required by 39-17-1359? A restaurant for example, or a shopping mall?

    Opinions? Suggestions?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Phoenix, Arizona, USA

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    Hi, It sounds like you have encountered some situations personally and have done some research on various acts by police and others. Given your post, I would suggest securing the advice of an attorney who deals in these types of matters. Not everyone is perfect and that includes police officers, judges, etc.

    Those with power will generally prevail until someone takes them to task. However, it's usually costly, time consuming and risky to take them on!

  3. #3
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Smyrna, Tennessee, USA

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    First, I am not a lawyer, this does not constitute legal advice, etc, etc....

    For your first question, in Tennessee employment is considered a voluntary contract. If you don't like the rules, you can leave. This means that private businesses can restrict your civil rights as a condition of employment in ways that would be unlawful if the gov't did it, and if you break their rules, you can be fired. If you are in a situation where you could afford to lose your job and sue for discrimination, then you should talk to a lawyer and see what your chances are.

    second Q: This may be a violation of your rights under the 4th and 6th amendments, if you presented no threat except for openly carrying in a legal fashion. Get an audio recorder, or have a buddy film it, and take it to a lawyer if it happens. You might have a cause of action.

    3rd Q: Outside of my areas of knowledge. Hopefully someone else has some experience with this.

    4th Q: You may go into anybusiness that is unposted or improperly posted. However, if 'someone who can speak for the owner' (ie manager, third key, but can even be any employee in some cases - see your lawyer for clarification) askes you to leave because you are carrying, if you refuse it's tresspassing. In general, it's also not a good idea to point out that their sign is wrong or not there. Without a sign, you can still CC most places and they never know it. (if you know that they are not OC friendly) but with a sign, OC and CC become criminal acts.

    Hope this helps,


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