Tenn. Code § 39-17-1314

Current through Acts 2021-2022, ch. 1133
Section 39-17-1314 - Preemption of local regulation of firearms, ammunition, and knives - Actions against firearms or ammunition manufacturer, trade association, or dealer - Party adversely affected by local regulation
(a) Except as otherwise provided by state law or as specifically provided in subsection (b), the general assembly preempts the whole field of the regulation of firearms, ammunition, or components of firearms or ammunition, or combinations thereof including, but not limited to, the use, purchase, transfer, taxation, manufacture, ownership, possession, carrying, sale, acquisition, gift, devise, licensing, registration, storage, and transportation thereof, to the exclusion of all county, city, town, municipality, or metropolitan government law, ordinances, resolutions, enactments or regulation. No county, city, town, municipality, or metropolitan government nor any local agency, department, or official shall occupy any part of the field regulation of firearms, ammunition or components of firearms or ammunition, or combinations thereof.
(b) A city, county, town, municipality or metropolitan government is expressly authorized to regulate by ordinance, resolution, policy, rule or other enactment the following:
(1) The carrying of firearms by employees or independent contractors of the city, county, town municipality or metropolitan government when acting in the course and scope of their employment or contract, except as otherwise provided in § 39-17-1313;
(2) The discharge of firearms within the boundaries of the applicable city, county, town, municipality or metropolitan government, except when and where the discharge of a firearm is expressly authorized or permitted by state law;
(3) The location of a sport shooting range, except as otherwise provided in §§ 39-17-316 and 13-3-412. To the extent that a city, county, town, municipality, or metropolitan government has or enforces any regulation of privately owned or operated sport shooting ranges, the city, county, town, municipality, or metropolitan government shall not impose greater restrictions or requirements on privately owned or operated ranges than are applicable to any range located within the same unit of local government and owned or operated by a government entity. A party may challenge any regulation of a sport shooting range that violates this subdivision (b)(3) in the manner described in subsection (g); and
(4) The enforcement of any state or federal law pertaining to firearms, ammunition, or components of firearms or ammunition, or combinations thereof, except as prohibited by § 38-3-115.
(c) The general assembly declares that the lawful design, marketing, manufacture and sale of firearms and ammunition to the public are not unreasonably dangerous activities and do not constitute a nuisance per se.
(d)
(1) The authority to bring suit and right to recover against any firearms or ammunition manufacturer, trade association or dealer by or on behalf of any state entity, county, municipality or metropolitan government for damages, abatement or injunctive relief resulting from or relating to the lawful design, manufacture, marketing or sale of firearms or ammunition to the public shall be reserved exclusively to the state.
(2) Nothing in this subsection (d) shall be construed to prohibit a county, municipality, or metropolitan government from bringing an action against a firearms or ammunition manufacturer or dealer for breach of contract or warranty as to firearms or ammunition purchased by such county, municipality, or metropolitan government.
(3) Nothing in this subsection (d) shall preclude an individual from bringing a cause of action for breach of a written contract, breach of an express warranty, or for injuries resulting from defects in the materials or workmanship in the manufacture of the firearm.
(e) Subsections (c) and (d) shall not apply in any litigation brought by an individual against a firearms or ammunition manufacturer, trade association or dealer.
(f) It is the intent of the general assembly that this part is preemptive with respect to the transfer, ownership, possession or transportation of knives and no city, county, or metropolitan government shall occupy any part of the field of regulation of the transfer, ownership, possession or transportation of knives.
(g)
(1)
(A) Notwithstanding title 29, chapter 20; title 9, chapter 8; and § 20-13102, a party may file an action in a court of competent jurisdiction against any of the persons or entities listed in subdivisions (g)(1)(A)(i) and (ii), if the party is adversely affected by:
(i) An ordinance, resolution, policy, rule, or other enactment that is adopted or enforced by a county, city, town, municipality, or metropolitan government or any local agency, department, or official that violates this section; or
(ii) The creation or maintenance of a record, database, registry, or collection of records, in violation of § 39-17-1367, by a state or local government entity, official, employee, or agent.
(B) The adversely affected party may seek:
(i) Declaratory and injunctive relief; and
(ii) Damages, as provided in subsection (i).
(2) This subsection (g) shall apply to any ordinance, resolution, policy, rule, or other enactment that is adopted or enforced on or after July 1, 2017, or any record, database, registry, or collection of records that is made or maintained on or after July 1, 2021.
(h) As used in subsection (g), a party is "adversely affected" if:
(1) The party is an individual who:
(A) Lawfully resides within the United States;
(B) May legally possess a firearm under Tennessee law; and
(C) Is or was subject to the ordinance, resolution, policy, rule, or other enactment or was included as an entry on a database, registry, or collection of records, that is the subject of an action filed under subsection (g). An individual is or was subject to the ordinance, resolution, policy, rule, or other enactment if the individual is or was physically present within the boundaries of the political subdivision for any reason; or
(2) The party is a membership organization that:
(A) Includes two (2) or more individuals described in subdivision (h)(1); and
(B) Is dedicated in whole or in part to protecting the rights of persons who possess, own, or use firearms for competitive, sporting, defensive, or other lawful purposes.
(i) A prevailing plaintiff in an action under subsection (g) is entitled to recover from the county, city, town, municipality, or metropolitan, state, or local government entity the following:
(1) The greater of:
(A) Actual damages, including consequential damages, attributable to the ordinance, resolution, policy, rule, enactment, database, registry, or collection of records; or
(B) Three (3) times the plaintiff's attorney's fees;
(2) Court costs, including fees; and
(3) Reasonable attorney's fees; provided, that attorney's fees shall not be awarded under this subdivision (i)(3) if the plaintiff recovers under subdivision (i)(1)(B).

T.C.A. § 39-17-1314

Amended by 2021 Tenn. Acts, ch. 554,s 6, eff. 7/1/2021.
Amended by 2021 Tenn. Acts, ch. 554,s 5, eff. 7/1/2021.
Amended by 2021 Tenn. Acts, ch. 554,s 4, eff. 7/1/2021.
Amended by 2021 Tenn. Acts, ch. 554,s 3, eff. 7/1/2021.
Amended by 2021 Tenn. Acts, ch. 444,s 4, eff. 5/13/2021.
Amended by 2019 Tenn. Acts, ch. 223,s 1, eff. 7/1/2019.
Amended by 2017 Tenn. Acts, ch. 467,s 1, eff. 7/1/2017.
Amended by 2014 Tenn. Acts, ch. 822,s 1, eff. 4/29/2014.
Amended by 2013 Tenn. Acts, ch. 418,s 1, eff. 7/1/2013.
Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 1; 1999, ch. 293, §§ 1, 2; 2009, ch. 428, § 3.