The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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Weapons in Public Parks

Reference Number: MTAS-268
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: August 01, 2015
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With certain limited exceptions, it is an offense to possess or carry a weapon on the grounds of any public park or playground in any municipality if the weapon is not used for instruction, display, or sanctioned ceremonial purposes. Municipalities are required to post signs at all entrances and on any building or structure stating that violating this law is a misdemeanor and punishment is authorized. A municipality may exempt itself from the sign requirements (presumably by some legislative act). T.C.A. § 39-17-1311. Handgun carry permit holders may possess or carry handguns in any municipal park or similar public place owned or operated by a municipality, except when in the immediate vicinity of property that is in use by any public or private educational institution conducting an athletic event or other school-related activity on an athletic field. Once a handgun carry permit holder is informed or becomes aware that a school is holding an athletic event or any other school-related activity on an athletic field in the immediate vicinity of where the individual is located in the park, the handgun carry permit holder is required to take reasonable steps to leave the area so as to not violate the law. T.C.A. § 39-17-1311.