Tennessee Passes Reform Of Defense To Prosecution For NFA Owners

National Firearms Act Firearms
National Firearms Act Firearms
NFA Freedom Alliance
NFA Freedom Alliance

TUCSON, ARIZ. –-(Ammoland.com)- In a major advance for National Firearms Act (NFA) gun owners, the Tennessee Legislature resoundingly passed Senate Bill 181 and House Bill 136 (companion bills), which reform Tennessee’s so-called “Defense to Prosecution Law” (DTP).

DTP laws say that NFA items are technically illegal, but that the owner has a defense to prosecution if the item is registered with the BATFE pursuant to the National Firearms Act.

The practical effect is that a person arrested for possession of an NFA item in a DTP state can offer the registration as a valid defense in court.

National Firearms Act Transfer Stamp
National Firearms Act Transfer Stamp

“There are a number of states that have these defense-to-prosecution laws on the books, and the NFA Freedom Alliance is dedicated to reforming them, making NFA items completely legal to possess as long as the owner complies with federal law,” said Todd Rathner, executive director of the NFA Freedom Alliance.

“This is a major advance for NFA gun owners, but it’s only the beginning for the NFA Freedom Alliance,” Rathner added.

The NFA Freedom Alliance is currently working on a similar bill (House Bill 989) in Texas. SB 181/HB 136 now heads to Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, who will hopefully sign it in the coming days.

The NFA Freedom Alliance would like to thank Tennessee State Senator Mike Bell and Representative Jeremy Faison for taking on this important issue and shepherding it through to such powerful majorities.

About National Firearms Act

The NFA Freedom Alliance is the strongest direct action/lobbying organization working at the state and federal level to ease restrictions on the ownership, manufacture, sale, and use of items regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA). www.nfafa.org

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I have 2 NFA items,a LMT SBR and a AAC silencer. You always have a copy of your stamp with you,always ! I have never had LE question me but they always do at gun ranges. (Just show paperwork when you check in) In Texas most LE is reasonable anyway. A lot of times problems occur when LE isn’t familiar or understand the law on NFA items.


Many do not know what affirmative defense actually means. Basically it means police can arrest you for having a NFA weapon then it’s up to you to prove that the item is legally owned and possessed all at a later date. All this while police have your NFA item and who knows what could happen to it. A police officer could steal it, another might say it’s a illegal weapon and destroy it , then say oopps we made a mistake. Remember that the machine gun act of 1986 makes replacing a receiver impossible of a legal full auto firearm… Read more »