Tennessee SB 1178 - Extreme Risk Protection Orders

Tennesee SB 1178

As introduced, allows a law enforcement officer or person who has a relationship with the respondent to petition a court for the issuance of an extreme risk protection order based on clear and convincing evidence that the respondent poses a significant risk of causing personal injury to the respondent or others by possessing a firearm

by Steve Dickerson (R)*


LEAP Forward Position:  Support

LEAP Forward Position: Support

Bill Summary

This bill authorizes an eligible petitioner to file a petition for an extreme risk protection order in any court with jurisdiction over domestic relations matters or in general sessions court. The petition must be filed in the county where the respondent resides. 


This bill defines “eligible petitioner” as a:

(1) Law enforcement officer;
(2) Person who is the current or former spouse of the respondent;
(3) Person who lives or lived with the respondent;
(4) Person who is dating, has dated, or is or has been engaged in a sexual relationship with the respondent. “Dating” and “dated” do not include fraternization between two individuals in a business or social context;
(5) Person related to the respondent by blood or adoption; or
(6) Person who is or was related to the respondent by marriage; and

Under this bill, a petition for an extreme risk protection order must contain:

(1) Allegations that the respondent poses a significant risk of causing personal injury to the respondent or others by possessing a firearm;
(2) A sworn affidavit detailing specific statements, actions, and facts that give rise to a reasonable fear that the respondent will commit future dangerous acts if the extreme risk protection order is not granted;
(3) The quantity, types, and locations, if known, of any firearms and ammunition the respondent possesses or to which the respondent has access; and
(4) Whether the respondent is currently subject to an order of protection or a similar order of protection from another jurisdiction.

If the petitioner is a law enforcement officer, the petitioner must make a good faith effort to notify the respondent’s family and any other person the petitioner believes may be in danger prior to filing the petition. Upon filing the petition, the clerk will mail a copy of the petition and a notice of the scheduled hearing on the petition to the respondent and to the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction. The court will schedule a hearing on the petition no later than 15 days from the date the petition is filed.

The court may issue a temporary ex parte extreme risk protection order pending a hearing on the petition, for good cause shown. If the court issues such an order, the order will be mailed to the respondent. The temporary ex parte extreme risk protection order will prohibit the respondent from purchasing, possessing, receiving, or having in the respondent’s custody or control a firearm, firearm ammunition, or firearm accessories until the hearing. At the hearing on the petition, the court will issue an extreme risk protection order if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the respondent poses a significant risk of causing personal injury to the respondent or others by possessing a firearm. The extreme risk protection order will prohibit the respondent from purchasing, possessing, receiving, or having in the respondent’s custody or control a firearm, firearm ammunition, or firearm accessories for a period of one year.

Upon issuance of an extreme risk protection order, the clerk of court will forward a copy of the order to the TBI for submission into the federal bureau of investigation’s national instant criminal background check index.

A respondent may file a motion with the court that issued an extreme risk protection order to dismiss the order. The court will review the motion and any evidence submitted by the respondent and original petitioner, and determine if there is reasonable cause to believe that the respondent is no longer a threat. If the court finds there is no longer clear and convincing evidence that the respondent poses a significant risk of causing personal injury to the respondent or others by possessing a firearm, the court shall vacate the order. The clerk of court must forward a vacated order to the Tennessee bureau of investigation for submission into the federal bureau of investigation’s national instant criminal background check index.

Under this bill, a person commits a Class A misdemeanor who purchases or possesses a firearm, firearm ammunition, or firearm accessory while subject to an extreme risk protection order.