Tennessee makes owner responsible for harm caused by gun-free zone

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Want to make your property a gun-free zone? In Tennessee, a new law now makes you legally and financially responsible should anyone be hurt because of it.

As of July 1, if a handgun carry permit holder in Tennessee is injured, suffers bodily injury or death, incurs economic loss or expense, property damage or any other compensable loss on a property posted as a gun-free zone, they can sue the person or entity who stripped them of their right to self defense.

Makes sense to me. If you are a law-abiding citizen well-trained in the use of firearms and have the ability to defend yourself, and that ability is denied to you because some property owner wants to create an imaginary gun-free zone, that owner certainly shares some of the responsibility should you get injured because you were unable to defend yourself.


  • Cotour

    Solid logic.

    When our country gets back to the real reality, A.O. (After Obama). You know where a president calls things by there well established names like, radical Islam, and where he or she actually acts in the interests of America, where America does not “lead from behind” (what ever that actually means, I know what it means to me) and where he or she does not purposefully churn racial unrest, and where when another country needs a “guiding hand” (kick in the ass) he or she guides them, and where he or she does not empower an enemy by ensuring their acquisition of nuclear weapons etc. etc. I can go on and on and on.

    Maybe then others will reconnect to real reality and the associated necessary logic so we can actually move with purpose and positively into the future, unlike these last eight stagnant years.

  • PeterF

    You need to post the update that reveals that the “legislators” passed an amendment that stripped the entire language of the bill except for the title and replaced the bill with language EXEMPTING businesses from liability for creating “murder without resistance” zones.
    “leading from behind” means squatting on a little stool while the adults take out Osama Bin Laden for just long enough to take a picture and then going back outside to play

  • Cotour

    Yes, his image is burned into my memory. Inspiring, isn’t it.


    This is a man who obviously should have never become the president of the United States. You know you are in big trouble when your leader states that “we lead from behind”, I thought I miss heard him at first. Then I knew just how bad it was going to be.

  • Garry

    Peter F wrote,

    “You need to post the update that reveals that the “legislators” passed an amendment that stripped the entire language of the bill except for the title and replaced the bill with language EXEMPTING businesses from liability for creating “murder without resistance” zones.”

    I read the text differently; it seems to say that businesses cannot be sued for failing to create “murder without resistance” zones. In other words, say I own a business, don’t post a sign designating the business property as a no-gun zone, and somebody gets shot on my property. The law would prohibit the shooting victim for suing me for failing to designate my business as a gun-free zone.

    If my understanding is correct, the amendment watered down the original bill, but not as badly as you seem to think it did.

  • PeterF: Can you provide me a link?

  • Garry

    The same link you posted has an update

  • That amendment is one of the worst examples of unclear and bad legal writing I have ever read. I read it repeatedly, and was unable to really figure out whether it absolved gun-free businesses from civil liability, or not.

  • pzatchok

    The whole law was written stupidly.

    First off it only allowed CCW holders to make claims. Not all legal US citizens.

    Second it made no provisions for the source of harm. What if a bomb went off? How does a CCW holder stop that with a gun? Or a sniper from off property?

    What about those times I don’t want to carry a gun because I wouldn’t be able to keep it concealed. Like at the beach or the apartments pool? Are they now responsible because I couldn’t bring my gun?

  • Garry

    Unfortunately, the wording of the amendment is fairly typical for legal writing (I make my living, in part, by editing legal documents). Complicated wording is sometimes necessary for avoiding ambiguity, but too often it just serves to keep lawyers employed.

    It’s a fairly weak law; as I wrote in an earlier comment, it just prevents a victim of gun violence from suing a property owner for failure to designate the property a gun- free zone. However, they can still sue if the owner was negligent (for example, if the owner allowed a loaded weapon to be left unattended, and a 4-year-old picked it up and accidentally shot the victim).

    In other words, designating your property a gun-free zone doesn’t give you any extra legal protection. The amendment says nothing about being able to sue a property owner for designating the property gun-free, so that appears to be free game.

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