2010 Tennessee Code
Title 39 - Criminal Offenses
Chapter 17 - Offenses Against Public Health, Safety and Welfare
Part 13 - Weapons
39-17-1350 - Law enforcement officers permitted to carry firearms Exceptions Restrictions Identification card for corrections officers.

39-17-1350. Law enforcement officers permitted to carry firearms Exceptions Restrictions Identification card for corrections officers.

(a)  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, any law enforcement officer may carry firearms at all times and in all places within Tennessee, on-duty or off-duty, regardless of the officer's regular duty hours or assignments, except as provided by subsection (c), federal law, lawful orders of court or the written directives of the executive supervisor of the employing agency.

(b)  The authority conferred by this section is expressly intended to and shall supersede restrictions placed upon law enforcement officers' authority to carry firearms by other sections within this part.

(c)  The authority conferred by this section shall not extend to a law enforcement officer:

     (1)  Who is not engaged in the actual discharge of official duties as a law enforcement officer and carries a firearm onto school grounds or inside a school building during regular school hours unless the officer immediately informs the principal that the officer will be present on school grounds or inside the school building and in possession of a firearm. If the principal is unavailable, the notice may be given to an appropriate administrative staff person in the principal's office;

     (2)  Who is consuming beer or an alcoholic beverage or who is under the influence of beer, an alcoholic beverage, or a controlled substance; or

     (3)  [Deleted by 2009 amendment.]

     (4)  Who is not engaged in the actual discharge of official duties as a law enforcement officer while attending a judicial proceeding.

(d)  For purposes of this section, “law enforcement officer” means a person who is a full-time employee of the state in a position authorized by the laws of this state to carry a firearm and to make arrests for violations of some or all of the laws of this state, or a full-time police officer who has been certified by the peace officer standards and training commission, or a vested correctional officer employed by the department of correction.

(e)  In counties having a population of not less than thirty thousand two hundred (30,200) nor more than thirty thousand four hundred seventy-five (30,475) or not less than one hundred eighteen thousand four hundred (118,400) nor more than one hundred eighteen thousand seven hundred (118,700), according to the 1990 federal census or any subsequent federal census, the authority conferred by this section shall only apply to law enforcement officers who are law enforcement officers for those counties or law enforcement officers for municipalities located therein.

(f)  (1)  The secretary of state shall, in consultation with the commissioner of the department of correction, design and issue to each requesting correction officer who is vested and employed by the department of correction, a state identification card certifying that the officer is authorized to carry a firearm pursuant to this section.

     (2)  Any corrections officer desiring an identification card shall notify the secretary of state and shall provide the officer's full name and residential address. Upon receipt of the request, the secretary of state shall notify the commissioner of correction of the request. The commissioner of correction shall verify to the secretary of state whether the requesting officer is vested and employed by the department of correction and shall so certify in a letter to be maintained by the secretary.

     (3)  If the secretary of state receives certification that a requesting officer is vested and employed by the department, the secretary shall issue the officer an identification card so certifying. The card shall be valid for as long as the officer remains vested and in the employment of the department of correction.

     (4)  A corrections officer issued a card pursuant to this subsection (f) shall carry the card at all times the officer is carrying a firearm. The card shall be sufficient proof that the corrections officer is authorized to carry a firearm pursuant to this section.

     (5)  If a vested corrections officer employed by the department resigns, is terminated, or is otherwise no longer employed by the department, the commissioner shall, within ten (10) days, so notify the secretary of state. Upon receiving the notice, the secretary of state shall revoke the identification card and send a letter of revocation to the corrections officer at the officer's last known address.

     (6)  (A)  A person who is no longer a vested corrections officer employed by the department of correction but who still has an identification card issued by the secretary of state shall have ten (10) days from receipt of the letter of revocation from the secretary of state to return the card to the secretary.

          (B)  It is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by fine only of fifty dollars ($50.00) for a person to knowingly fail to return an identification card as required by subdivision (f)(6)(A).

[Acts 2000, ch. 988, § 1; 2001, ch. 175, § 1; 2002, ch. 682, § 1; 2009, ch. 605, § 1.]  

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