TENNESSEE GUN LAWS

The Practical Guide


Everything you need is here - laws, reciprocity, permit info, forms, tips and more...

If you are serious about guns then you need to read up on Tennessee gun laws.

Keep reading...

tennessee state seal

Tennessee gun laws operate at the state level on a "Shall Issue" policy. The laws are considered gun friendly with no requirement for purchase approval or registration of firearms. Applications for a CCW permit can be made online or at any drivers Service Center and are processed by the Department of Safety. Non-residents can only obtain a CCW permit if they work in the state on a regular basis, they can only make an application after being employed for 6 months and then only within 6 months after the initial 6 month work period. A 8 hour training course in firearm safety is required for new applications but exemptions are given to military personnel.

Tennessee CCW Quick Facts

Carry In Vehicle SEE DETAILS
Must Notify Officer NO
Carry In State Parks Allowed YES
No Weapons Signs Enforced YES
Open Carry Permitted SEE DETAILS
Carry In Restaurant YES
Constitutional Carry NO
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Tennessee CCW Reciprocity

TENNESSEE 2018

  • Permit Honored
  • Permit not honored
  • Residential permits only
  • Issuing state

How Reciprocity Works in Tennessee

Tennessee honors all concealed carry permits from other states provided the person carrying a handgun has the permit in their possession whenever carrying a firearm.

Signed Reciprocity Agreements

Tennessee has signed reciprocity agreements with 19 other states. A full list of the states that have reciprocity agreements with Tennessee can be found on the government website.

Tennessee Reciprocity State's

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STATES
Resident License
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Non-Resident License
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

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states
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Districts & Territories
District of Columbia, New York City, Guam, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands

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California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington
39.17.1351 - Reciprocity

Tennessee Handgun Permit

Tennessee Gun Policy

Shall Issue

Permit Issued To

Residents, Non-residents*
CCW Permit Overview
Applications, renewals and duplicate requests for a Tennessee CCW permit can be made online if you have a Tennessee State ID card or Drivers license. The issuing of permits is on a “Shall Issue” policy with the Tennessee State Highway Patrol issuing the permits. If you do not wish to make an online application you can also make permit applications by visiting any full service Driver Service Center. When your application is received it will be processed in the following way;

  • Application reviewed at permit office.
  • Documentation is then forwarded to three agencies, FBI, TBI, and County Sheriff.
  • If application is successful permit is mailed to applicant.

The Law
39.17.1351 – Handgun carry permits

Non-Resident Permits
Non-resident permits are available, in a limited way. To qualify for a non-resident permit the applicant must reside in another state and work in Tennessee on a regular basis. The other requirements are that they have been employed for at least 6 months before making the application and have been issued a concealed carry permit in their home state that is still valid. They also have a limited time to file the application, that is within a 6 month period AFTER having worked in the state for 6 months.

If the applicant lives in another state and moves to Tennessee as a permanent resident they will need to obtain a Tennessee permit within 6 months of moving to the state.

The Law
39.17.1351 – Non-resident permits

Handgun Training
  • Certificates from online or internet training courses are not accepted by Tennessee.
  • Handgun courses must be certified by the Tennessee Department of Safety, a full list list of approved courses can be obtained by calling (615) 251-8590.
  • Any handgun course taken requires 8 hours of training and must have been completed within the last 12 months.

Military
There are five forms military personal can use to verify pistol training and claim an exemption from the handgun training requirement if they have completed not less than 4 hours of training.

The forms are;

  • Home Land Security (CG-3029)
  • Department of Defense (DD-2586)
  • Army (DA-88-R and DA 5704-R)
  • Airforce (AF-522)

REQUIREMENTS

  • Must be at least 21 years old
  • You have completed an approved firearms safety course within last 12 months
  • Resident of the state of Tennessee
  • You are a US citizen or have permanent residency
  • Shall not be receiving social security disability benefits by reason of alcohol dependence, drug dependence or mental disability
  • Shall not have been convicted of the offense of stalking
  • Shall not be an unlawful user of or addicted to alcohol or any controlled substance and the applicant has not been a patient in a rehabilitation program or hospitalized for alcohol or controlled substance abuse or addiction within ten (10) years from the date of application.
  • The applicant has not been convicted of the offense of driving under the influence of an intoxicant in this or any other State two (2) or more times within ten (10) years from the date of application and that none of such convictions has occurred within five (5) years from the date of application or renewal.
  • Shall not have been adjudicated as mental defective; has not been committed to or hospitalized in a mental institution; has not had a court appoint a conservator for the applicant by reason of a mental defect; has not been judicially determined to be disabled by reason of a mental illness, development disability or other mental incapacity; and has not, within seven (7) years from the date of application, been found by a court to pose an immediate substantial likelihood of serious harm because of mental illness.
  • Federal Law Requirements
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Tennessee CCW Handgun Forms

Online Forms

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New permit

All permit applications, renewals, duplicates, change of address can now be made online. You can also check the status of your application at the above link. Applications can still be made at a Driver Service Center.

    Tennessee: Places Off-Limits for CCW

    tennessee state flag
    Tennessee state flag

    Places Off-Limits in Tennessee

    • Any playground, civic center or other building facility, area or property owned, used or operated by any municipal, county or state government for recreational purposes
    • Municipalities can ban carry in parks if there is a school event taking place in the park.
    • Any room in which judicial proceedings are in progress
    • Any public or private school building or bus
    • Any public or private school campus, grounds, recreation area or athletic field
    • Individual, business, or government meetings. Notice of such prohibition must be posted
    • While under the influence of alcohol or drugs
    • Airports
    • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law.

    Places Allowed in Tennessee

    • State parks
    • State and national forests
    • Road side rest areas
    • Vehicle
    • All areas of the state, except those listed as Off-Limits

    There may still be old No Gun signs posted in parks. By law cities and counties are not allowed to post these signs in parks and if you have a permit you can legally carry in a park.

    Pointers: Tennessee Gun Laws

    New Tennessee gun law, Effective January 1, 2018
    New law for government buildings

    Tennessee Concealed Carry Laws

    tennessee state capitol building
    Tennessee state capitol building

    Tennessee Gun Laws To Know

    YES – Without a permit

    It is legal to carry a handgun openly or concealed in a vehicle that is privately owned, this includes boats and RVs. No permit is required and the firearm can be located anywhere in the vehicle but not on your person.

    The Law
    39.17.1307 – Unlawful carrying

    NO – Must Inform Officer

    There is nothing in Tennessee gun laws that state you must inform a law enforcement officer you have a firearm when approached on official business.

    The law does require that you carry your permit at all times during which the permittee is in actual possession of a concealed handgun and display it to an officer if he requests a person to do so.

    The Law
    39.17.1351 – Handgun carry permits

    YES

    It is legal to carry in the following areas;

    • State Parks:       YES
    • State/National Forests:     YES39.17.1311 (H)
    • State Wildlife Management Areas:     YES39.17.1311 (H)
    • Road Side Rest Areas:     YES
    YES

    Tennessee gun laws give the force of law to “No Weapons” signs. There are legal penalties for entering a private property or business that has posted these signs.

    GunsToCarry recommends that you do not enter a property displaying a “No Weapons” sign whether the law is for or against signage. If asked to leave a property and you refuse to do so then you are breaking the law and put yourself at risk of being charged.

    The Law
    39.17.1359 – Posting notice

    NO – Without a permit

    Without permit – No
    With a Permit – Yes

    You can only open carry a handgun if you have a permit to carry a concealed firearm. Open carry is not common in cities and mainly used as a carry method in rural areas.

    YES
    In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

    “Yes” or “No” states if you can carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Some restaurants may be posted with “NO GUN” signs. Check with the staff if this means just the bar area. If we have indicated a “Yes” then it should be legal to have a meal without drinking alcohol.

    NO
    Tennessee does not have constitutional carry.
    “That the citizens of this State have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defense; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms with a view to prevent crime.”
    (Art. I, § 26)
    no weapons sign in tennessee

    Tennessee Off-Limit Statutes

    Other Tennessee CCW Statutes

    Legal Advice

    If you require any legal advice on gun laws we would recommend you contact The Hamilton Law Firm.

    For information on other states handgun laws please go back to the state laws page and select the state you are interested in.

    Other Tennessee Gun Laws

    Private Sales
    There is no requirement in Tennessee for private sales of firearms to undergo background checks or be processed by a licensed dealer. As long as the purchaser meets all the requirements to possess a firearm you are free to sell or buy firearms privately.

    Tennessee CCW FAQ's

    frequently asked questions on tennessee gun laws

    Tennessee CCW Contact

    Driver Services Center

    Hours


    Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5pm

    Saturday Closed

    Sunday Closed


    Contact


    Address 624 Heart Lane

    CityNashville, TN 37216

    Phone (615) 532-9780

     

    Updates & Data Sources

    Disclaimer

    The information contained on this page is not legal advice but is merely a starting point for your own research. It is up to you to decide what the best course of action is for your circumstances. We are not lawyers, if you'd like individualized legal advice, we'd be happy to refer you to some law practices with known firearm specializations. It is crucial that you understand the law before you carry a firearm. Also, remember that just because a statute may clearly say one thing or another, that doesn't mean all members of law enforcement know it. That also goes for lawyers and even judges too.

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    Bobbie GuariscoCynthia MurrayrogerLilaSteven Patrick Recent comment authors
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    Cynthia Murray
    Guest
    Cynthia Murray

    I am 63 years old and live alone. I have been thinking of buying a hand gun for protection for myself at home. The background check is not a problem. What steps do I have to go through to purchase a handgun in Tennessee? I have a DL and have lived in Tennessee all of my life. I will not be carrying the guy anywhere except to take home. Do I have to wait 90 days to buy the gun?

    roger
    Guest
    roger

    if i am 20 am i allowed to have a handgun in my vehicle knoxville tennessee?

    Bobbie Guarisco
    Guest
    Bobbie Guarisco

    You must be 21 to own a handgun.

    Steven Patrick
    Guest
    Steven Patrick

    If traveling across US, not all states will honor the TN right to carry in vehicle. They will seize your gun. To get your gun back you must prove ownership by presenting the original sales receipt in person for they can not ship it to you….otherwise they keep it.
    It is probably best, in such a case, to store the gun out of sight and refrain from admitting you have a gun..

    Byron
    Guest
    Byron

    I don’t think or feel we should have to have a permit to be able to carry a gun on us period. It’s all a bunch of bull shit.

    Byron
    Guest
    Byron

    I don’t think or feel we should have to have a permit to be able to carry a gun on us period.

    Katriona
    Guest
    Katriona

    I don’t have anything on my background but my driver’s license is suspended because I didn’t show up to court 2 days after having my baby . Can I still get my gun permit?

    katriona
    Guest
    katriona

    I just found out TODAY they were suspended in 2017

    Juan
    Guest
    Juan

    I’m traveling with my family to Memphis Tennessee I own a gun but do not have the chl license I live in San Antonio tx can I carry my gun in my vechile in the glovebox with Clíp on the side as I carry it in Texas going into Tennessee or is that illegal dnt have a record or been in jail it’s a registered firearm just for protection for my family can anyone help me with that answer plz

    Eric Washington
    Guest
    Eric Washington

    I Live In Illinois And I Got My Conceal To Carry and I Plan On Staying In Memphis For 3 Weeks What Are Some IMPORTATION Gun Laws I Should Know Before I Come

    Daniel Whitaker
    Guest
    Daniel Whitaker

    Can i open carry on private property without a permit? We are working in a bad area in nashville. They are targeting construction crews. I havent been able to take the course yet, but i dont want to get robbed or killed. I have the right to defended myself. I cant find a answer anywhere.

    Bob
    Guest
    Bob

    You cannot open or conceal carry without a permit!

    Sabrina
    Guest
    Sabrina

    I just moved from Arizona where I have a CCW permit in good standing. Does anyone know if now that I’m a resident I have to retake a class and get a Tennessee CCW or if I can continue to carry using my Arizona CCW? I literally just paid for a permit in AZ before I found out I was moving and it seems stupid to throw that all away unless I have to.

    Rick
    Guest
    Rick

    Sabrina; Reciprocity only applies if you still live in the State that has reciprocity with another. Since you have moved to TN your AZ carry permit would need to be converted because you now reside in the state of TN.Since you have already held a permit, as long as AZ has the same training required as TN (8 hours, plus range) then the new permit should be easy. If not you would have to do the safety and range time.

    D M
    Guest
    D M

    What happens if someone defends themselves in a posted area? Was there a clause somewhere a few years back that addressed this?

    Jim Depinet
    Guest
    Jim Depinet

    Pay the fine & be happy you’re not the one with a bullet in em…

    Simon
    Guest
    Simon

    If I have anxiety can I still be able to own a firearm? Also if I take medication for anxiety would I be able to own a firearm as well?

    Kris
    Guest
    Kris

    Would like to know as well I’ve never been to jail never broke the law stand up citizen. I dont even have mental anxiety I just have physical like trouble breathing and take meds for it I would like to know if I can still get a ccw befor wasting 8 hours and 60 dollars and have a denied ccw on my record

    Andrew
    Guest
    Andrew

    I’d call the TN Department of Safety and ask since they actually do the issuing of permits.

    Lila
    Guest
    Lila

    Anxiety is NOT a prohibitor for obtaining a handgun in TN.

    Mike
    Guest
    Mike

    Moving from CA to TN in June. Is it the same process if I currently have a CCW from CA to get my new CCW in TN?

    Andrew
    Guest
    Andrew

    Since you are becoming a resident of TN, you’ll have to apply for a new handgun permit which also means taking a class. Passing the class and qualifying is relatively easy. Just go online to the state’s website under the Department of Safety to start the application process.

    Al
    Guest
    Al

    If I don’t have my handgun permit but own a handgun which I can have in my home or in my vehicle. Can I use it at a firing range without the permit?

    Andrew
    Guest
    Andrew

    Yes, but you have to carry the handgun in a case and unloaded with the ammo stored separately while going into the range.

    C Susong
    Guest
    C Susong

    Does Tenn CCW cover carrying a loaded AR pistol inside of your vehicle passenger compartment?

    cory towler
    Guest
    cory towler

    Im from SC, going to be hiking in TN. But will be driving to TN to Hike. South Carolina Law allows you to carry the gun on your person at all times even in the car, I see however that TN does not want your gun to be on your person as you drive? Is this true?

    Andrew
    Guest
    Andrew

    You can have the handgun on your person as long as you have a handgun carry permit. If you don’t have a permit, you may still keep the gun in your vehicle but it cannot be on your person.

    David Michael Moseley
    Guest
    David Michael Moseley

    What is the rule on a permit holder storing a handgun locked in vehicle while working on Memphis airport property?

    Mitch
    Guest
    Mitch

    Can I work Security with a Ar15 if I have my arm guard license and my CCW

    Silly
    Guest
    Silly

    Hi there is there a difference in a Hand gun and a rifle in the state of Tennessee?

    Richard spencer
    Guest
    Richard spencer

    Can I carry weapon in my car passing through Tenn enroute to South Carolina ?

    Shawn Wright
    Guest
    Shawn Wright

    Yes. From my understanding we honor all ccw.