Tennessee boldly increases penalties for protest related crimes

GOP Gov. Bill Lee signs forceful bill following rioters setting fires inside and outside of courthouse

Following two-month, around-the-clock demonstrations immediately outside the state Capitol doors, the Tennessee legislature approved a bill that includes enhanced mandatory sentences for vandalism, rioting and assaulting first-responders.

House and Senate Bill 8005 requires that protesters charged with unauthorized camping, vandalism of state property, disrupting a meeting and certain other protest-related offenses be held for at least 12 hours without bond. Read the Bill Summary.

The new law, signed by Gov. Bill Lee states that those who illegally camp on state property would now face a Class E felony, punishable by up to six years in prison, rather than a misdemeanor. Felony convictions in Tennessee result in the revocation of an individual’s voting rights.

The Senate passed the bill 26-5 on a party-line vote, with a single GOP member opposing it. The House approved the legislation 71-20.

 The law which will take effect on September 15 includes the following measures:

Creates a misdemeanor offense of assault against a first responder for spitting or throwing bodily fluids and felony offense of aggravated assault against a first responder for using a weapon or causing serious injury. The misdemeanor must be punished by a minimum of 30 days in jail and $5,000 fine, while the felony has a minimum mandatory sentence of 90 days and $15,000 fine;

Makes it a felony to trespass on the property of an elected official, law enforcement officer or judge with the intent to harass;

Requires vandals who deface state buildings or entrances to be charged with theft and ordered to pay restoration or cleaning expenses. Those charged with the offense a second time must pay a mandatory $5,000 fine;

Imposes a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 days for a conviction of rioting and 45 days for aggravated rioting; 

Makes it a felony to block an emergency vehicle from accessing a street or highway while responding to an emergency call or from blocking an emergency exit door in a building if there is a threat to the health or safety of someone inside.

Tennessee’s response to anarchy-based lawlessness is appropriate and should serve as an example to other states.

8 Responses to Tennessee boldly increases penalties for protest related crimes

  1. Arizona Conservative Guy says:

    Try to imagine such a decisive move against the anarchist mobs who damaged Scottsdale Mall and the adjacent Mercedes dealership after camping out at our AZ Capitol and bashing in windows of nearby commercial buildings by McCain tutored, spineless Gov. Doug Ducey.

    He caved in to the liberal marauding unionist teachers who demanded a 20% raise after leaving all of Arizona public school students without schooling for nearly two weeks.

    Paying ransoms never works. Now they are pushing a ballot measure for even more money. Teachers fund their Democrat led unions by $ Millions. They are the ones who failed to educate these anarchists.

    • Realist says:

      Ducey has already zoned out on governing Arizona. He’s got his eye on some future political plans and is snoring his way through the rest of his term.

      • hoi polloi boy says:

        I think Ducey’s future plan is the reason he appointed McSally to fill McCain’s Senate seat vacated by Kyl. The seat will be up for election again in 2022 when his gig as gov is termed out. He’d have a good shot at it if Uncle Fester wins in 2020.

  2. Patriot Mom says:

    Ducey in Congress will mean McCain has become more than just a miserable memory. He will be breathing again. God help us all.

  3. VINOAZ says:

    Ducey is a coward and a fool. I would like to see caning to the punishment for the rioters, etc. Seems to work well in Singapore.

  4. Sam says:

    Note what is happening in Austin, TX. They’ve defunded the police and the city council has ordered the city manager to evict staff from the police hdqtrs. The money is supposedly going to now go to providing abortions and a free food program.

    That’s what happens when politicians go to Cali and whore themselves out to tech companies.

    CA (which is also the medical abbreviation for cancer) is burning down. More than 500 wildfires burning and Newsom is “begging” for help.

    Expect more moving vans, Arizona. Along with more people who didn’t learn their lesson about Libs and Dem(on)s.


    Watch the Two major storms that are heading toward the Gulf of Mexico this week.

    Just in time for the Republican convention.

    Think it’s a coincidence?
    You’d be amazed at what the C and the I and the A can do.
    And at what they have at their disposal.

  5. Strom says:

    I am proud to be a Tennessean. Look what we have in Arizona with Jeff Flakey coming out for Biden lesbians as Senators.

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