How Virginia Gun Laws Compare to Tennessee

By: Stephen McLamb
By: Stephen McLamb

Knoxville (WVLT) - Following Monday's shooting in Virginia, we're asking just how gun laws in Tennessee compare with those in Virginia.

A lot of questions about the law are being raised as CBS News has learned the shooter purchased his 9 millimeter Glock semiautomatic from a Roanoke, Virginia gun shop just 36 days ago.

"I think we do need stronger law, somehow to keep a guy like him who was over here on a permit or whatever you call it from getting a gun," says gun owner Ron Valdes.

As a lot of people including gun owners wonder how the Virginia Tech shooter got his weapon, gun laws in Tennessee and other states shown in blue are stronger than many states.

"The permitting system is the answer that many people had asked for years," says Maryville Police Captain John McCoulloch.

Both Tennessee and Virginia have tougher gun laws compared to many states.

But unlike Virginia according to the Brady Campaign website, Tennessee's permit system mandates a gun safety course.

"The individual be trained in the correct laws and use of the firearm," says Capt. McCoulloch

Violators of the Tennessee gun carry permit laws also face very stiff penalties.

"Can cause the revocation of the permit, forfeiture of the firearm to the seizing agency, and loss of permit privileges for life," says McCoulloch.

"The state of Tennessee has very good laws on the books," says Jess Hatmaker, from Guns & More.

But some people also feel that laws are not the cure all.

"Not saying that there's not crazy people out there who will find a way to hurt other people if given the chance, because there are," Hatmaker says.

McCoulloch says there are federal laws governing firearms but states also set their own standards.

For instance, Tennessee also has laws on the books that some other states don't have which prohibit intoxicated people from possessing a weapon.


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  • by Jill Location: Sevierville on Apr 20, 2007 at 04:19 PM
    I had to call the sheriffs dept. the other day because of a firearm issue, I am a retired police officer from Florida and I was shocked at the response that I recieved regarding discharging a firearm in a residential neighborhood. My neighborhood is spread out, we have anywhere from 1 to about 3 acres of land for each house still lots of houses. Kids were going in their backyard about an acre away from mine and shooting guns, I am pretty sure a bullet will travel further then that. So I called the sheriffs dept. and was told that there could be nothing done since they were in their own yard. I wonder what would happen if these boys accidentally shot one of my family members while we were outside would that be ok as long as they were on their own property. I don't think you should be shooting a fiream in a residential nieghborhood.
  • by Eddie Location: Friendsville on Apr 19, 2007 at 10:59 AM
    Our courts had him. He was deemed a danger to others and himself in 2005. A judge's abilities are supposed to include the ability to rationalize. If we cannot depend upon the courts for protection, especially in cases such as these, there is no solution. As for the idealists who feel that a gun is the ultimate, easy-access destructive device, remember April 19, 1995, Oklahoma City. 168 people died from a concoction of fertilizer and diesel. Obviously, from the VA Tech bomb threats, this mad man had contemplated using a bomb. How do you regulate fertilizer and diesel?
  • by GD Location: Knoxville on Apr 18, 2007 at 12:57 PM
    I believe that to focus on the gun is taking focus off the real issue which is a troubled young man. No one blamed the airplanes as the cause of the 911 tragedy. No one blames the car when a drunk driver kills an innocent family. I own a gun for the protection of myself and my family. If it is ever used against an individual, it will be used in our defense during a life-threatening situation. I choose to be a responsibile gunowner. Please do not take away my Second Amendment rights.
  • by JERRY H. RAY USN RET. Location: RUTLEDGE on Apr 18, 2007 at 08:09 AM
    NO AMOUNT OF LAWS OR LEGISLATION WILL STOP SOMEONE WITH A CRIMINAL INTENT FROM CARRYING IT OUT.WHETHER IT BE WITH GUN, KNIFE BALL BAT OR AUTOMOBILE...LOOK AT ALL THE DRUNK DRIVING LAWS WE HAVE AND STILL WE HAVE PEOPLE GETTING CHARGED WITH THEIR 5TH, 8TH AND 13TH OFFENSE. LAWS AND ENFORCEMENT ISN'T THE PROBLEM OUR JUDICIAL SYSTEM IS THE PROBLEM... CRIMES LIKE THE ONE JUST COMMITED IN VIRGINIA AND JACKSBORO ARE ALMOST ALWAYS IMPOSSIBLE TO STOP BECAUSE THEY ARE USUALLY PERFORMED BY SOME ONE WITHOUT A RECORD OF VIOLENCE.MORE THAN 50,000 PEOPLE A YEAR ARE KILLED ON THE NATIONS HIGHWAYS AND YET NOTHING IS DONE ABOUT THAT EXCEPT WRINGING HANDS AND PASSING LAWS. THE LAWS ARE ON THE BOOKS AND TENNESSEE HAS SOME OF THE BEST GUN LAWS AND AUTOMOBILE LAWS ON RECORD NOW ITS UP TO THE JUDGES TO SEE THAT WHEN APPREHENDED THE PERPS ARE KEPT OFF THE STREETS..
  • by Rodney Location: White Pine on Apr 17, 2007 at 11:24 PM
    VT elected to make carrying a gun illegal on it's campus. So even students who have legal carry permits could not defend themselves against any terroist, rapist or crazy person. VT is to blame for the high number of deaths. If legally armed students had been allowed to carry, odds are the shooter would have been stopped before he could have killed as many as he did.

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