Georgia man seeks gun rights in court in Tennessee

Georgia man seeks gun rights in court in Tennessee

Gun Statue
In this Davidson County Chancery Court case David Blackwell sought to clear up whether he could possess a gun in Tennessee. Mr. Blackwell, who was convicted of three felony drug offenses in Georgia, was granted a full pardon by the State of Georgia that expressly restored his right to possess a firearm, now resides in Tennessee and desires to purchase and possess firearms. Tennessee law makes it a Class E felony offense for a person, who has been “convicted of a felony involving the use or attempted use of force, violence or a deadly weapon” or who has been “convicted of a felony drug offense,” to possess a firearm in Tennessee.

Blackwell filed this action seeking a declaration that he would not be in violation of Tennessee law by purchasing or possessing a firearm in Tennessee.

The State of Tennessee initially got the case dismissed on grounds that Chancery Court could not grant the relief sought--that is to allow Mr. Blackwell to have his gun rights recognized in Tennessee.  Blackwell appealed to the Court of Appeals.

The Court of Appeals decided that Blackwell's complaint for declaratory relief does state facts sufficient to demonstrate the existence of an actual controversy concerning the matter at issue; therefore, the chancery court erred by granting the State’s motion to dismiss. Judge Clement indicates in his opinion that Chancery Court should have granted Blackwell a declaratory judgment in his favor as the facts and law require.  In short, the Court has given strong guidance to Chancery Court to allow Blackwell's gun rights in Tennessee to be recognized.

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