Scanner Law - HB2506 / SB2545
This page is authored by Scott
Duckworth, NA4IT, and presented with permission of the MCARC.
This is important info every ham operating in TN should be aware of.
The Tennessee Legislature (House and Senate) have both proposed bills
that deal with the following in regards to scanner useage:
"Criminal Offenses -
As introduced, creates new criminal offenses prohibiting felon from
possessing a radio capable of receiving emergency voice transmissions;
a person possessing such a radio during commission of crime; and person
using information from radio to facilitate felony or interfere with
emergency transmissions. - Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 13, Part 6."
Some of the aspects of these bills
This bill creates various new
criminal offenses concerning the possession of certain radios. The
radios applies to radios that are capable of receiving a wireless voice
transmission on any frequency allocated by the federal communications
commission for police or other law enforcement, fire fighting,
emergency medical, federal, state, local corrections or homeland
security purposes, or that are capable of transmitting and receiving a
wireless voice transmission. Under this bill, it will be an offense for:
(1) Any person who is not licensed
by the FCC as an amateur radio operator and who has one or more prior
felony convictions within the previous five years to knowingly carry or
possess a radio;
(2) Any person to knowingly carry
or possess a radio during the commission or attempted commission of a
crime, or the escape from the commission or attempted commission of a
(3) Any person to knowingly
intercept any message or transmission made on or over any device used
for police or other law enforcement, fire fighting, emergency medical,
federal, state, local corrections or homeland security purposes, if the
information intercepted is used to commit or facilitate the commission
of, or attempt to commit, a crime, or the escape there from or in a
manner that interferes with the discharge of police or other law
enforcement, fire fighting, emergency medical, federal, state, local
corrections or homeland security duties.
This bill does not apply to the
use of radar detectors.
The House version of this bill has
passed vote. The Senate version is to be voted on. It is expected these
There are protections in both bills reagrding amateur radio operation.
All amateur radio operators are required to be able to produce their
FCC amateur radio license when asked. There is a wallet card included
with every hard copy license. This should be on your person at all
I also suggest that once the above mentioned law is enacted, that you
keep a copy in the glove box of each vehicle you operate that has an
amateur radio installed.
Many amateurs in other states have found themselves facing charges by
an uninformed officer of the law, when in fact they were operating
More information can be found at http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/BillInfo/Default.aspx?BillNumber=HB2506.