Felons can now possess “antique” firearms in Tennesse
A recent change in the Volunteer State’s definition of what a firearm is will now allow felons to own a gun. That is, as long as it was manufactured before 1899. Technically this means that the “guns” don’t qualify as firearms. This also means they’d be pretty useless outside of a “Pistols at Dawn” style duel.
The state of Tennesse is now following laws laid down by the federal government which doesn’t consider “antique weapons” manufactured before 1899 to be firearms. Previously, felons – including those convicted of nonviolent offenses – were barred from owning any firearms including those defined as antique. Even with the new changes to the law, non-violent felons are still barred from possessing regular firearms in the state of Tennessee.
Is Antique really that old?
Some of you may scoff at the idea of owning a 120-year-old weapon. However, some very old designs are still being used today. If the 1911 design is anything to go by – it’s over 100 years old already – there are plenty of firearms out there that former felons can legally possess.
Many bolt action rifles and semi-automatic pistols were invented and pressed into service before 1899. Guns like the Lebel rifle were in service with the French Military long before the turn of the century.
The Lebel 1886 Rifle arguably changed the landscape of the world in regards to firearms. Making use of smokeless powder the rifle pushed projectiles faster and further than ever before. The rifle started an international arms race that sparked a new age of firearms advancement. Now felons in Tennessee – my current state of residence – can legally possess this rifle as part of their collection.
Mauser c96 – A blast from the past
First manufactured in 1896, the semi-automatic Mauser C96 gave the world a glimpse of just how effective a semi-auto handgun could be. Winston Churchill was famous for owning one and carrying it into battle with him. Under the definitions of both federal and now Tennesse law – felons can now posses this historical firearm. With over 1 million units built, there is bound to be a good number of pre-1899 pistols available for trade and purchase, however, they probably come at a significant price.