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Using My “Carry Permit” while Bounty Hunting

Although the Attorney General says “yes”, I strongly suggest you take an Armed Guard Class to further prepare you for carrying your firearm for this purpose.

STATE OF TENNESSEE OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
SECOND FLOOR CORDELL HULL BUILDING
425 FIFTH AVENUE NORTH
Nashville, TENNESSEE 37243-0488

February 7, 2001

Opinion No. 01-020 Review of Bounty Hunter Powers

QUESTIONS

1. Can a bounty hunter carry weapons in Tennessee without a permit from this state or another state?

2. Can a bounty hunter legally break and enter into a residence to make an arrest if it is the suspect’s residence?

3. Can a bounty hunter legally break and enter into a residence to make an arrest if it is not the suspect’s residence?

4. Does Tenn. Code Ann. 40-11-133 apply to bounty hunters arresting a suspect wanted by another state or do bounty hunters arresting a person wanted in another state have to comply with Tenn. Code Ann. 40-9-104 and other applicable extradition statutes?

OPINIONS

1. No. Only law enforcement officers covered under Tenn. Code Ann. 39-17-1315 are exempt from the requirements of Tenn. Code Ann. 39-17-1351, requiring a permit to carry a handgun. A bounty hunter from another state must possess a permit or license in compliance with the requirements of Tenn. Code Ann. 39-17-1351(r)(1).

2. Yes. Tenn. Code Ann. 40-11-133 allows a bounty hunter to arrest a bail jumper "at any place in this state," necessarily including the bail jumpers residence. Tennessee courts would likely conclude that a bounty hunter may, if necessary, use reasonable force to enter the bail jumpers residence.

3. No. Although Tenn. Code Ann. 40-11-133 allows a bounty hunter to arrest a bail jumper "at any place in this state," Tennessee courts would likely conclude that a bounty hunter can not violate applicable criminal statutes with respect to a third party while doing so.

4. Tenn. Code Ann. 40-11-133 applies to bounty hunters arresting a suspect wanted by another state; Tenn. Code Ann. 40-9-104 and other extradition statutes may be applicable to bounty hunters.

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