Wear a Mask, Carry a Gun, No Problem
Mask mandates - or even recommendations - have caused quite a stir throughout Tennessee. Several counties required masks in public areas or businesses, which many people challenged. One argument that arose online was the suggestion that it was illegal in Tennessee to both wear a face covering and carry a firearm, whether concealed or open carry. People argued that wearing a mask would deprive them of their right to carry a firearm without legal repercussions, when, in reality, there is no basis to this argument.
No Tennessee Law against Masks and Firearms
There is not a statute on the books in Tennessee that criminalizes wearing a mask and carrying a firearm. Claims that wearing a mask removes your right to concealed carry are false, as there is no state or federal law criminalizing this combination. However, there were criminal charges and penalties for violating a mask mandate in certain areas of the state. For example, in Nashville, you could face a Class C misdemeanor charge for noncompliance with mask mandates.
While you do not have to worry about criminal charges for wearing a mask while standing up for your right to open or concealed carry, many people did get cited for refusing to wear masks. Even if this seems like a minor matter, you should still seek help from a criminal defense attorney if you were cited.
Misdemeanors Can be Serious
Too many people face misdemeanor charges and believe there is no reason to hire a criminal defense lawyer. However, defendants without the right defense representation often experience wrongful convictions or penalties that are unnecessarily harsh.
Misdemeanors can have surprisingly serious penalties, including the following:
- Class C misdemeanor - Fines of $50 and 30 days in jail
- Class B misdemeanor - Fines of $500 and six months in jail
- Class A misdemeanor - Fines of $2,500 and 11 months and 29 days in jail
A misdemeanor conviction on your record can also cause many problems with your job and other aspects of your life - sometimes, for years to come. In many misdemeanor cases, defense attorneys can negotiate probation instead of jail time or work to get charges dismissed entirely. These opportunities are generally not offered to unrepresented defendants, so it is critical to seek help from the right attorney.
Speak with Our Murfreesboro Criminal Defense Lawyers Today
Even as mask mandates are set to expire or have already expired throughout much of Tennessee, many people continue to voluntarily wear masks during the pandemic. If you are one of these people, you can wear your mask and carry your firearm without the concern of potential criminal charges.
However, there are still many acts that can lead to arrests and criminal charges, whether or not they are related to the pandemic or firearms. If you are charged with any type of crime, you should always take the situation very seriously and speak to a Murfreesboro criminal defense attorney right away. Call 615-890-1982 or contact us online to learn how our legal team at Dotson & Taylor can help.