Anti-gun stuff in Tennessee
In Tennessee, we have a nifty little law that was signed by Phil Bredesen that states:
The sheriff or chief of police of the city of residence of a person purchasing any firearm, defined by the National Firearms Act, 26 U.S.C. 5845 et seq., shall execute within fifteen (15) business days of any request all documents required to be submitted by the purchaser if the purchaser is not prohibited from possessing firearms pursuant to § 39-17-1316.
What that means in English is that if you, a law-abiding citizen, want to purchase an NFA weapon (machine gun, suppressor, etc.) then your local chief law enforcement officer is required by law to approve the transfer if you are not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm. But, in another case of those who enforce the law not knowing the law, the sheriff of a town refused to approve the transfer initiated by a dealer citing that the Assistant District Attorney thinks NFA devices are illegal:
One of my customers submitted his Form 4 to the Cheatham County Sheriff’s Department for the CLEO signature, and was turned down by the Sheriff. The Sheriff said he would double-check with the Assistant District Attorney this morning, to ensure he was correct.
The customer called me to tell me that the ADA advised the Sheriff to deny the signature, based on TCA 39-17-1302 (Prohibited Weapons).
Here is what TCA 39-17-1302 says:
“39-17-1302. Prohibited Weapons.
(a) A person commits an offense who intentionally or knowingly possesses, manufactures, transports, repairs, or sells:
(1) An explosive or an explosive weapon;
(2) A device principally designed, made or adapted for delivering or shooting an explosive weapon;
(3) A machine gun;
(4) A short-barrel rifle or shotgun;
(5) A firearm silencer;
Unfortunately, the DA did not continue reading the law or he would have realized that:
(b) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the person’s conduct:
(7) Involved acquisition or possession of a sawed-off shotgun, sawed-off rifle, machine gun or firearm silencer which is validly registered to the person under federal law in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Records. A person who acquires or possesses a firearm registered as required by this subdivision shall retain proof of registration.
If you’d like to contact the Sheriff’s office, you can find that info here.
I recommend the dealer contact the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and report a crime.
Update: Here’s contact info for the DA’s office.