Wear a Mask, Carry a Gun, No Problem
Make sure you understand that wearing a mask is not a crime, even if you are carrying a gun in Tennessee
Have you heard rumors that if you are a lawful, rule-abiding citizen who has a permit to carry a gun, you will be arrested and charged if you carry a gun while wearing a mask? But that is all these are – just rumors. Wearing a mask is one way to keep yourself and others safe while the coronavirus continues to circulate, and no, you cannot get arrested for wearing a mask and carrying a gun, assuming you have a legal permit to carry.
The Law in Tennessee
Probably the most important thing that you should take away from this blog is that there is no statute in Tennessee that makes it illegal for a person who is carrying a firearm to also wear a mask. This fact has been discussed in an article published by FOX 17 news. This means that while you could get in trouble for not wearing a mask if you are required to do so, or you could get in trouble for carrying a firearm illegally, the two things have no relationship to one another.
As explained in the FOX article linked above, even if there was a statute of this nature, it would not be enforceable under the current circumstances, as government emergency orders have made mask-wearing mandatory in certain situations. In other words, carrying a weapon is no excuse to not wear a mask.
What are the Gun Laws in TN?
Whether openly or concealed, you are required to have a permit to carry a firearm in Tennessee in most circumstances. Even if you have a permit to carry a concealed handgun, however, a concealed handgun cannot be carried while you are under the influence of alcohol, or during judicial proceedings, on school properties, at public parks , on playgrounds, at military institutions or airports, in buildings where the owner has prohibited possession of a gun, in other buildings or areas prohibited by federal law, or other prohibited places. There are exceptions that apply. Again, your right to carry has much more to do with having a legal permit and where you carry than whether or not you are wearing a mask.
Penalties for Gun Violations
Carrying a firearm without the proper permit can result in criminal charges. Depending on the circumstances, this can be a Class C misdemeanor all the way up to a Class B felony under the law. There are a variety of gun and weapon offenses that could result in criminal charges, including possession of a handgun following a felony conviction, or possessing a dangerous weapon with the intent to use it in a crime.
Learn More About How the Law Applies to Your Situation in Tennessee
If you have run into a legal problem and need a lawyer to help you, I believe I can help. I am Judy Oxford, Attorney at Law, and you can count on me to defend you if you are facing criminal charges in state court about gun ownership and gun rights, and yes, explain that there is no offense related to carrying a firearm while wearing a mask.
To learn more about the law that relates to your legal problem and how I can help when you need to hire a lawyer, please send me a message online or call my law office directly today. I look forward to working with you!