Prohibited Weapons Lawyer in Knoxville

According to the General Assembly, certain weapons in Tennessee are banned because they have no purpose other than to inflict serious bodily injury or death. Such weapons include bombs, grenades, switch blades, brass knuckles and sawed-off shotguns. If found with these weapons, you could be facing extensive jail time and substantial fines. If you have been charged with possessing, manufacturing, transporting, repairing, or selling a prohibited weapon in Tennessee, you will want a skilled gun crimes attorney with the necessary experience to help you defend against these charges. Call Baker Associates at (866) 853-2888.

Prohibited Weapons in Tennessee

Under T.C.A. § 39-17-1302, it is a crime to intentionally or knowingly possess, manufacture, transport, repair, or sell prohibited weapons. Prohibited weapons in Tennessee include:

An explosive or an explosive weapon: Explosive weapon means any explosive, incendiary or poisonous gas such as a bomb, grenade, rocket or mine. It also includes breakable containers containing flammable liquids or a sealed device containing dry ice or other chemically reactive substances for the purposes of causing an explosion.

Firearm silencer: A device designed, made or adapted to muffle the sound of a firearm;

Hoax device: A "hoax device" means any device that reasonably appears to be or is purported to be an explosive or incendiary device and is intended to cause alarm or reaction of any type by an official of a public safety agency or a volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies;

Knuckles: Under the law, "knuckles" means any instrument that consists of finger rings or guards made of a hard substance and that is designed, made or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by striking a person with a fist enclosed in the knuckles;

Machine gun: "Machine gun" means any firearm that is capable of shooting more than two shots automatically, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger;

Other prohibited weapons include short-barrel rifles or shotguns, switchblades, or any other implement that has no common purpose other than to inflict serious bodily injury or death.


There are several statutory defenses available to those charged with possessing banned weapons in Tennessee. The most obvious is the defense that defendant possessed the prohibited weapon pursuant to an official duty recognized by law (e.g., military duty). Other defenses include possession that is incident to engaging in a lawful commercial transaction with the military, or using an explosive or explosive weapon in a manner reasonably related to an industrial enterprise (such as mining).

A defendant also has available to him or her two "affirmative defenses." An affirmative defense is when the defendant admits the material allegations of the state's case but supplies additional facts that excuse or justify the defendant's conduct. The first defense asserts that the defendant's possession related to dealing with the "weapon" as a curio, ornament or keepsake. For the defense to work, the defendant must prove that the weapon was not functioning and could not easily be made operable as a weapon. The second defense asserts that the possession was brief and occurred as a consequence of having found the weapon or taken it from an aggressor.


Unlawful possession, manufacture, transport, repair, or sell of a prohibited weapon is a felony. The grade of the felony depends on the classification of the weapon.

Protecting the Rights of Our Clients

Any one charged with a gun crime is facing possible jail time and fines. It is therefore critical that you consult an experienced gun crimes attorney today. At Baker Associates, we have successfully represented individuals charged with a gun crime. Don't take a chance with an inexperienced attorney when the stakes are high; get the most aggressive and skilled legal representation by calling Baker Associates today for a free consultation and case evaluation.

If you have been charged with possessing a banned weapon, contact a lawyer at our offices by completing the form below.

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Knox County
2126 First Tennessee Plaza
800 South Gay Street
Knoxville, Tennessee 37929

Phone: (865) 521-0001
Toll-free: (866) 853-2888

Sevier County
121 Court Avenue
Sevierville, Tennessee 37862

Phone: (865) 546-6000
Toll-free: (866) 853-2888

Washington County
300 East Main Street
Johnson City, Tennessee 37601

Knoxville TN Criminal Lawyer Disclaimer: The prohibited weapons, gun crimes, criminal defense or other legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case. Please contact a lawyer at our law firm. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of Tennessee.

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