Quick Legal Facts
It is an offense to carry weapons on school property, with the possible exception of small knives.
The Tennessee State Constitution recognizes and preserves the right of citizens to keep and bear arms subject to legislative power to regulate the “wearing” of arms with a view to crime prevention.
That the citizens of this State have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defense; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms with a view to prevent crime. TN Const. Art. 1, § 26
Tennessee state law regarding knives may be found at Title 39 (Criminal Offenses), and in particular, Part 13 (Weapons).
There are no forbidden or prohibited knives under Tennessee law. The Tennessee switchblade prohibition was repealed, effective July 1, 2014.
Not an issue. The law regarding carrying or possession of weapons makes no distinction as between concealed or openly carried weapons.
(a)(1) A person commits an offense who carries with the intent to go armed a firearm, a knife with a blade length exceeding four inches (4″), or a club. … (d)(1) A person commits an offense who possesses a deadly weapon other than a firearm with the intent to employ it during the commission of, attempt to commit, or escape from a dangerous offense as defined in § 39-17-1324. (2) A person commits an offense who possesses any deadly weapon with the intent to employ it during the commission of, attempt to commit, or escape from any offense not defined as a dangerous offense by §39-17-1324. … (e)(1) It is an exception to the application of subsection (a) that a person authorized to carry a handgun pursuant to §39-17-1351 … § 39-17-1307
A necessary element of the offense is “the intent to go armed.” The reported appellate level cases dealing with this issue involve firearms. Knives are frequently carried and used for a myriad of benign, routine tasks The conservative approach would be to carry a knife with a blade not exceeding four (4) inches in length. There are a number of statutory defenses to the unlawful carrying/possession statute quoted above.
(a) It is a defense to the application of § 39-17-1307 if the possession or carrying was: (2) By a person authorized to possess or carry a firearm pursuant to § 39-17-1315 or § 39-17-1351; (3) At the person’s: (A) Place of residence; (B) Place of business; or (C) Premises; (4) Incident to lawful hunting, trapping, fishing, camping, sport shooting or other lawful activity; … § 39-17-1308
Yes, as to firearms, ammunition and knives, § 39-17-1314
It is an offense to carry weapons on school property, with the possible exception of small knives. § 39-17-1309