Assigned on Briefs February 2, 2017
from the Circuit Court for Shelby County No. CT-000561-16
Jerry Stokes, Judge
individual previously convicted of a felony drug offense
petitioned for restoration of his citizenship rights. The
trial court restored all his citizenship rights except the
right to bear arms. In doing so, the court concluded that
Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-1307(b), which makes it
an offense for certain persons to possess a firearm,
prohibited the court from restoring the right to bear arms.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
Wampler, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter,
Andrée S. Blumstein, Solicitor General, and Michael A.
Meyer, Special Counsel, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
Neal McBrayer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which John W. McClarty and Arnold B. Goldin, JJ., joined.
NEAL McBRAYER, JUDGE
April 24, 1986, Michael Fisher pled guilty to criminal
attempt, specifically unlawful possession of a controlled
substance with intent to sell. The Criminal Court for Shelby
County, Tennessee, sentenced Mr. Fisher to three years
imprisonment, and as a result of the conviction, he was
rendered infamous. See Tenn. Code Ann. §
February 11, 2016, Mr. Fisher filed a Petition for
Restoration of Citizenship in the Circuit Court for Shelby
County. In his petition, Mr. Fisher requested the trial court
to restore his citizenship, "including, but not limited
to the right to vote, and the right to bear arms."
State of Tennessee responded to the petition, indicating
that, due to the age of his conviction, it did not oppose the
restoration of Mr. Fisher's citizenship rights. However,
the State argued that the court could not restore Mr.
Fisher's right to possess a firearm.
7, 2016, the trial court entered an order partially restoring
Mr. Fisher's rights of citizenship. The trial court
granted Mr. Fisher's petition with regard to all rights
except the right to bear arms. The court concluded that
Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-1307(b)(2) prohibited
it from restoring Mr. Fisher's right to bear arms. The
statute cited by the court makes it a crime for a person to
"unlawfully possess a firearm" ...