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What conditions make it illegal to have a gun in Tennessee?

No one would argue about the importance of keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people. At the same time, many Tennessee residents believe in the right to arm themselves within the bounds of the law. It is when the line between these two concerns—disarming dangerous individuals and legally arming oneself—becomes blurred that problems can occur.

A good way to approach these issues and avoid being arrested on charges related to gun crimes is to look at both the federal and state gun laws. It is important to remain within the law on both fronts and to understand that one may overrule the other.

Below is a brief look at some of the conditions that make it a federal gun crime to have a firearm.

-- Convicted of a crime punishable by at least a year imprisonment

-- Addiction to or illegal use of controlled substances

-- Dishonorably discharged from the armed forces

-- Convicted of domestic violence

-- Ruled by a court to be mentally defective

-- Categorized as a fugitive from justice

In Tennessee specifically, you can be charged with gun crimes on the state level for many of the same federal conditions discussed above. Examples include criminal convictions, illegal substance use and fugitives from justice. It is also illegal in Tennessee to have a gun if you have been convicted of selling alcohol illegally.

If you think you have been wrongfully arrested for gun crimes, it is beneficial to seek advice from a criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer will be able to look at your case objectively and advise you about how to proceed with your defense.

Source: FindLaw, "Gun Laws," accessed March 10, 2017

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