Jeff Knox wrote a thought-provoking piece on the subject over at World Net Daily. Go take a look, then come back and see what the state of Tennessee says.
I must admit, I misunderstood Tennessee law, in regards to posted property. I was under the incorrect assumption that it is a felony to carry a firearm in a posted area. That is correct in regards to government facilities, and schools, whether public or private. Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to do an interview with The Polite Society Podcast. Here is what the law says about other posted areas in Tennessee, as stated in the Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA):
(c) (1) It is an offense to possess a weapon in a building or on property that is properly posted in accordance with this section.
(2) Possession of a weapon on posted property in violation of this section is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by fine only of five hundred dollars ($500). from 39-17-1359, found HERE.
What is a person to do abut gun free zones?
First, realize they are not gun free - bad guys won't obey the signs any more than God's law
Do you stay, away, Joe?
Do you ignore them and go armed anyway?
If you go, do you consider it an honorable act of civil disobedience?
The problems with misdemeanors is the fact that they can come back and bite you big time in the future, so be cautious about saying, "Oh, its only a misdemeanor with a $500.00 fine. I'll just pay my money and be on my way*
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*Here is a a reprint of an article I published in 2009 over at Examiner, which illustrates the folly of pleading guilty to anything:
Natural Law tells us we all have the right to defend ourselves from harmful aggression. As technology has developed, the firearm has become the tool of choice of both the criminal and citizen. Without the right to a gun, the citizen is at a great disadvantage in an encounter with the criminal. The Lautenberg Amendment has stripped many citizens of this basic human right.
Last week, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling on Lautenberg (PDF file HERE), which could have a far-reaching positive effect on gun rights. Ironically, this is the same court that earlier ruled against gun rights in McDonald v Chicago, which is now on the way to a Supreme Court decision next spring.
In this more recent case, Steven M. Skoien had been convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence. Some time later, he was found to be in possession of a Winchester 12 gauge shotgun. As a result he was prosecuted under Lautenberg.
There are two problems with the Lautenberg Amendment.
One, this law , passed during the presidency of William (what does the word is mean) Clinton, is another statist attempt to increase the classes of persons prohibited from possessing firearms.
Two, this law is an ex post facto law. From The Constitutional Dictionary:
Every law that changes the punishment, and inflicts a greater punishment, than the law annexed to the crime, when committed.While I am strongly opposed to domestic violence, there are many cases of people who, long before passage of Lautenberg, plead guilty to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge, maybe paid a small fine, and have been exemplary citizens for decades. But, when Lautenberg was passed, these people suffered a greater punishment in that they were stripped of their gun rights. Further, if they were in a profession that required carrying of a firearm, their career took an abrupt turn since they could not possess a firearm.
We can all take a lesson from this. Be very cautious about pleading guilty to anything. Although the current punishment may be minor, if Congress, or your state legislature passes an ex post facto law such as Lautenberg, you could suffer future punishment you never imagined possible.