Lawmaker aims to strengthen Tennessee’s ‘Stand Your Ground Law’

Homes on Mud Island in Memphis

NASHVILLE, Tenn. —  Tennessee’s “Stand Your Ground Law” is meant to protect the homeowner and a new bill in Nashville could make those protections even stronger.

Introduced by Rep. Bruce Griffey of Paris this week, House Bill 409 would protect a homeowner from civil action if they are forced or threaten to protect their home.

Under current Tennessee law, a homeowner would be protected from criminal prosecution but not from being sued by the accused or their family.

“If I come in and bust into your house and you use your gun against me, I might go tell someone, ‘I was over there visiting, he asked me over there, he shot me unnecessarily.’ There’s nothing right now under current law that stops me from suing you and you having to go through the litigation process, depositions. It’s misery, believe me, to go through that.”

However, the criminal and civil immunity will not apply if the person against whom force was used is a police officer who was acting in their official duties and could be reasonably identified as such.

If the force is determined to be unlawful the immunity will not apply.

A bill similar to Griffey’s never made it out of the legislature in 2017.


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