Subject: Rep. Jay D. Reedy files bill to expand individual's capacity to defend home and property

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November 19, 2020                 

Rep. Reedy files legislation to allow use of deadly force to protect real and personal property

Rep. Jay D. Reedy has filed House Bill 0011 which proposes a major change in Tennessee law. The unusual thing is that the bill actually appears to reflect what a lot of Tennesseans already believe is the law but is not. The new legislation reflects a heightened interest in the rights of people to protect their homes, businesses, properties and items from thieves, rioters, looters and other criminals.

Under current Tennessee law (see generally Tennessee Code Annotated Sec. 39-11-614 for example), a civilian is not allowed to use deadly force to a) protect personal property, b) to stop a trespass on real property, c) to terminate an attempted theft of property, or d) to make a citizen’s arrest. Further, under Tennessee law, the use of “deadly force” does not require that a person actually discharge a firearm or cause injury with any other weapon. A person may be accused and convicted of using deadly force merely by “brandishing” a weapon, that is, displaying it in a threatening manner towards another.

John Harris
Executive Director

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