The laws in Tennessee are mostly silent on Tasers and stun guns. This means that the weapons are largely unregulated and legal to possess. People employed as private security guards can possess a Taser if they've been trained and certified to do so. Law enforcement officers are not expressly granted the authority to carry Tasers under Tennessee law, but a study from the University of Tennessee shows that officers are allowed to incapacitate via Taser a person who has no intent to comply with lawful instructions.
Private security guards are authorized by Tennessee state law to carry any type of weapon, including a stun gun. They must, however, be certified to use the weapon, which requires receiving training. Other weapons that guards may carry include clubs, batons, chemical spray and firearms.
Tennessee law requires that private security guards receive general training within 15 days of employment. If a security guard is to carry a Taser or stun gun, he must receive appropriate training from a certified trainer on the specific type of device. The guard must carry a copy of the certification card issued by the trainer showing he is authorized to use the device.
Tasers and stun guns are not prohibited weapons under Tennessee law. They may, therefore, be purchased, sold and carried for legitimate purposes, which primarily means self defense. A Taser or stun gun is a less-than-lethal weapon and the use of the Taser does not constitute the application of deadly force.
Joseph Nicholson is an independent analyst whose publishing achievements include a cover feature for "Futures Magazine" and a recurring column in the monthly newsletter of a private mint. He received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Florida and is currently attending law school in San Francisco.