A Tennessee DUI Could Cost You Your Right to Carry a Gun
Everybody knows a DUI can carry severe penalties, from heavy fines, possible jail time, and driving restrictions to impacting a person’s ability to get a job or a bank loan. One result of a DUI that most of my clients aren’t prepared for is the loss of their Second Amendment right to carry a
What does a DUI have to do with me getting my handgun carry permit?If you've applied for a gun permit lately, you've had to answer these questions: 1) Have you been convicted of a DUI in this state or any other state within the last 5 years? and 2) Have you been convicted of a DUI two or more times in the last 10 years in this state or any other state?
The Tennessee Legislature passed a law that says a citizen shall not be granted a license if they have been convicted of a DUI in Tennessee or any other state two or more times within 10 years from the date of application and with one of the convictions occurring within 5 years from the date of the application. An application will also not be granted if you are under indictment for a DUI (so much for innocent until proven guilty). You are now facing serious restrictions on your ability to lawfully exercise your Second Amendment rights.
So doesn't this violate my 2nd Amendment rights?Many courts have applied an intermediate scrutiny test when deciding if a law infringes on the Second Amendment. There are 2 primary concerns when the courts review a law under this analysis:
First, does the government have an important governmental interest?
Second, does T.C.A. 39-17-1351 further an important governmental interest by means that are substantially related to that interest?
Society, as a whole, would agree that only allowing responsible people to possess handguns is an important governmental interest. However, the fact that a person has had more than one DUI within a 10 year timeframe lacks a direct correlation that the applicant cannot possess a firearm in a responsible manner. An analogy might be "that a person who has not held a job for 6 months cannot have a gun permit". One doesn't have anything to do with the other and; therefore, aren't "substantially related".