Tennessee Laws on the Use and Carrying of Batons

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I am NOT a lawyer and am not giving legal opinions.  The following information is copied directly from the State of Tennessee website and is the code of law for the state.  I believe that if you want to carry a baton, you need to be familiar with baton law.  Law also changes, so please check the most recent version of this code.





Since in my state it is illegal to carry a club or baton, I like to use a tactical pen to use for wrist locks and strikes.  with proper training they are a very effective weapon and aren’t as legally suspect.
39-17-1307. Unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon.

(a) (1)  A person commits an offense who carries with the intent to go armed a firearm, a knife with a blade length exceeding four inches (4″), or a club.

(2) An offense under subdivision (a)(1) is a Class C misdemeanor, except it is a Class A misdemeanor if the person’s carrying of a handgun occurred at a place open to the public where one (1) or more persons were present.

(b) (1)  A person commits an offense who possesses a handgun and:

(A) Has been convicted of a felony involving the use or attempted use of force, violence or a deadly weapon; or

(B) Has been convicted of a felony drug offense.

(2) An offense under subdivision (b)(1) is a Class E felony.

(c) (1)  A person commits an offense who possesses any deadly weapon with intent to employ it in the commission of or escape from an offense.

(2) An offense under subdivision (c)(1) is a Class E felony.

[Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 1; 1990, ch. 1029, § 6.]

39-17-1308. Defenses to unlawful possession or carrying of a weapon.
(a)  It is a defense to the application of § 39-17-1307 if the possession or carrying was:

(1) Of an unloaded rifle, shotgun or handgun not concealed on or about the person and the ammunition for the weapon was not in the immediate vicinity of the person or weapon;

(2) By a person authorized to possess or carry a firearm pursuant to § 39-17-1315 or § 39-17-1351;

(3) At the person’s:

(A) Place of residence;

(B) Place of business; or

(C) Premises;

(4) Incident to lawful hunting, trapping, fishing, camping, sport shooting or other lawful activity;

(5) By a person possessing a rifle or shotgun while engaged in the lawful protection of livestock from predatory animals;

(6) By a Tennessee valley authority officer who holds a valid commission from the commissioner of safety pursuant to this part while such officer is in the performance of the officer’s official duties;

(7) By a state, county or municipal judge or any federal judge or any federal or county magistrate;

(8) By a person possessing a club/baton who holds a valid state security officer/guard registration card as a private security officer/guard, issued by the commissioner, and who also has certification that such officer has had training in the use of club/baton which is valid and issued by a person certified to give training in the use of clubs/batons;

(9) By any person possessing a club/baton who holds a certificate that the person has had training in the use of a club/baton for self-defense which is valid and issued by a certified person authorized to give training in the use of clubs/batons, and is not prohibited from purchasing a firearm under any local, state or federal laws; or

(10) By any out-of-state, full-time, commissioned law enforcement officer who holds a valid commission card from the appropriate out-of-state law enforcement agency and a photo identification; provided, that if no such valid commission card and photo identification are retained, then it shall be unlawful for such officer to carry firearms in this state and the provisions of this section shall not apply. The defense provided by this subpart shall only be applicable if the state where the out-of-state officer is employed has entered into a reciprocity agreement with this state that allows a full-time, commissioned law enforcement officer in Tennessee to lawfully carry or possess a weapon in such other state.

(b)  The defenses described in this section are not available to persons described in § 39-17-1307(b)(1).

[Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 1; 1990, ch. 1029, § 7; 1993, ch. 200, § 1; 1996, ch. 1009, §§ 20, 21; 1997, ch. 476, § 3; 1999, ch. 295, § 1; 2003, ch. 144, § 2.]

In the State of Tennessee, it is against the law to carry a baton for self defense (TCA 39-17-1307).  However if the person carrying the baton is either a licensed security guard or armed civilian with a valid certification card then they have an affirmative defense to the charge (similar to carry permit for handgun).


3 Comments

  1. Rick Saxby April 2, 2012
    • David Nash April 2, 2012
      • rick saxby October 17, 2012

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