2016 Tennessee Code
Title 39 - Criminal Offenses
Chapter 14 - Offenses Against Property
Part 4 - Burglary and Related Offenses
§ 39-14-414. Equal Access to Public Property Act of 2012 -- Protection of state property.
(a) This section shall be known and may be cited as the "Equal Access to Public Property Act of 2012."
(b) As used in this section:
(1) "Camping" means the erection or use of temporary structures such as tents, tarps, and other temporary shelters for living accommodation activities such as sleeping, or making preparations to sleep;
(2) "Camping" includes, but is not limited to, the laying down of bedding for the purpose of sleeping, storing personal belongings, making any fire, doing any digging or earth breaking or carrying on cooking activities, whether by fire or use of artificial means such as a propane stove or other heat-producing portable cooking equipment.
(c) An area of state-owned land may be designated as a camping area by the department, agency, official or officials responsible for the operation, protection or maintenance of the property in question. The area's designation as a camping area may be accomplished by means of signage, advertisement or other notice designed to make known its availability for the activity of camping.
(d) It is an offense for a person to engage in the activity of camping on property owned by the state knowing that the area on which the camping occurs is not specifically designated for use as a camping area by the department or agency responsible for such land.
(e) Any items associated with camping in violation of this section, including tents, portable toilets, sleeping bags, tarps, stakes, ropes, blankets, propane heaters, cooking equipment and generators, shall be subject to seizure and forfeiture by the appropriate state officials authorized to maintain and protect the land on which the camping equipment is found or other officials whose duties include enforcement of this section.
(f) A violation of this section is a Class A misdemeanor.
(g) Nothing in this section shall be construed as preempting or preventing a state department or agency with responsibility for state property from enacting or enforcing other lawful and reasonable rules, regulations, or statutes that concern the use of and access to state property. However, if any such rule, regulation or statute is in conflict with this section, it is the intent that this section shall prevail and the prohibition against camping on state property in areas not designated as camping areas be a uniform one.
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