2021 Tennessee Code
Title 16 - Courts
Chapter 15 - Courts of General Sessions
Part 4 - Powers and Duties
§ 16-15-405. Relief From Firearm Disabilities Imposed on Persons Adjudicated as Mental Defective or Judicially Committed to Mental Institution
- A person who is subject to 18 U.S.C. § 922(d)(4) and (g)(4) because the person has been adjudicated as a mental defective or judicially committed to a mental institution, as defined in § 16-15-303, may petition the general sessions court that entered the judicial commitment or adjudication order for relief from the firearm disabilities imposed by the adjudication or judicial commitment; provided, that the person may not petition the court until three (3) years from the date of release from commitment or the date of the adjudication order, whichever is later.
- A copy of the petition for relief shall also be served on the district attorney general of the judicial district in which the original judicial commitment or adjudication occurred. The district attorney general may appear, support, object to, or present evidence relevant to the relief sought by the petitioner.
- The court shall receive and consider evidence in an open proceeding, including evidence offered by the petitioner, concerning:
- The circumstances that led to the imposition of the firearms disability under 18 U.S.C. § 922(d)(4) and (g)(4);
- The petitioner's mental health records;
- The petitioner's criminal history;
- The petitioner's reputation; and
- Changes in the petitioner's condition or circumstances relevant to the relief sought.
- The court shall grant the petition for relief if it finds by a preponderance of the evidence and enters into the record the following:
- The petitioner is no longer likely to act in a manner that is dangerous to public safety; and
- Granting the relief would not be contrary to the public interest.
- A record of the proceedings, to be provided by the petitioner, shall be made by a certified court reporter or by court-approved electronic means.
- The petitioner may appeal a final order denying the requested relief, and the review on appeal, if granted, shall be de novo.
- A person may file a petition for relief under this section no more than once every two (2) years.
- Relief from a firearm disability granted under this section has no effect on the loss of civil rights, including firearm rights, for any reason other than the particular adjudication as a mental defective or judicial commitment to a mental institution from which relief is granted.
- When the court issues an order granting a petition of relief under subsection (d), the court clerk shall, as soon as practicable but no later than thirty (30) days after issuance, forward a copy of the order to the Tennessee bureau of investigation (TBI). The TBI, upon receipt of the order, shall:
- Immediately forward a copy of the order to the department of safety;
- Update the National Instant Criminal Background Check System database and transmit the corrected records to the federal bureau of investigation; and
- Remove and destroy all records relating to the petition for relief from any database over which the TBI exercises control.
- The TBI and the department of safety shall not use or permit the use of the records or information obtained or retained pursuant to this section for any purpose not specified in this section.
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