TENNESSEE GUN LAWS

The Practical Guide For 2018


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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    David Michael MoseleyMitchShawn Wrightwilliam watkinsSilly Recent comment authors
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    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.

    Bob
    Guest
    Bob

    What code covers carrying more than one handgun when carrier possess permit.

    E Bro
    Guest
    E Bro

    Under the carry in a vehicle section, this page states that you may carry in your vehicle without a permit, but that it can not be on your person. This is incorrect, as there is no restriction to where the weapon is located in the vehicle, provided that the operator is in legal possession of said vehicle. Please recheck the TCA and update the listing.

    M Davis
    Guest
    M Davis

    A person a pistol on me, and they did nothing to this person. And he admitted he pulled the to officer, i was not armed , can anyone do this to people and the law does nothing.

    Logan
    Guest
    Logan

    Can you legally carry a handgun if you are 20?

    David
    Guest
    David

    No, you cannot. You must have a Concealed Carry Permit to open or conceal carry a handgun in the state of Tennessee. You must be 21 to be eligible to receive a conceal carry permit, thus a 20 year old would not be able to carry a firearm.

    If transporting to/from a range, the weapon must be in a case/holster and unloaded, with ammo carried separately.

    Ethan
    Guest
    Ethan

    You can have the handgun in your house or in your car as long as you are in legal possession or the firearm and vehicle.

    Iris
    Guest
    Iris

    I own a firearm that was privately purchased (not registered), but it was mine. My boyfriend was arrested on drug charges, and in the search of the house, they found the gun. I wasnt aware of the fact at the time that he was a felon… I wasn’t home at the time of the search, and I’ve never been asked a single question by anyone. Hes being charged with it, but he didn’t know it was there. They even have a recorded phone call from jail where I admit it was mine. Why will they not just charge me with… Read more »

    Dena spice
    Guest
    Dena spice

    Because it really don’t matter when you are a convicted felony you might not know but they know what they are not allowed to be around but when it’s drugs involve they also using it as he had it for protection and it was in his possessions at that time and could been used just when you get him a lawyer just be at Evey court date and also tell the lawyer cause that’s the only person you going to be able to talk and speak on that behalf of that so I hope this information help you and your… Read more »

    Sabra B Henderson
    Guest
    Sabra B Henderson

    What are the gun laws i n Hamilton county Tenn concerning target practice with rifles or shot guns?

    Logan Dorris
    Guest
    Logan Dorris

    Check with you local police dept. or Sheriff’s dept. I don’t believe you are permitted to fire weapons within city limits, but should be good outside of the city. Not 100% sure about that in Hamilton County.
    Just make sure you are firing safely. When you pull the trigger, you are responsible for where that bullet/shot goes.

    Bobbie Dollins
    Guest
    Bobbie Dollins

    Does my handgun carry permit count as a concealed carry permit?

    Logan Dorris
    Guest
    Logan Dorris

    In Tennessee, yes, it does. Having a handgun permit in Tennessee also makes it legal to open carry.

    Spencer
    Guest
    Spencer

    Can you purchase a gun out of state with a Tennessee Concealed carrying permit

    David
    Guest
    David

    Tennessee does not have a “concealed carry permit”. It is a handgun carry permit. Yes you can carry concealed but you can also carry open. But to answer your question you cannot buy a handgun out of the state you live in with or without a handgun carry permit.

    Lisa
    Guest
    Lisa

    I have lost my birth certificate and have no passport. Is there another way to prove citizenship?

    Matt
    Guest
    Matt

    You can go down to the Department of Vital Records to obtain a new copy of your birth certificate. I’m not sure how much the prices are, but you will need cash (at least the last time I went, years ago), and it doesn’t take long.

    Jeffrey Austin
    Guest
    Jeffrey Austin

    I am a retired NYS Correction Officer and hold a NY CCW. I am also a MPCT certified weapons instructor. I am planning on moving to Tennessee, what would the requirements be for me to get my Tennessee CCW? Would I be required to take the training course?

    Brandon Bacchus
    Guest
    Brandon Bacchus

    I am 20 years old I live in Memphis, TN, I was wondering to know could I go to a local gun shop and purchase a rifle or shotgun without a permit to carry.

    Matt
    Guest
    Matt

    You can purchase a firearm from a local gun shop without a permit, but you must be 21 years of age or older. However, you can purchase a gun from a private party, and legally own a firearm in the state of TN as long as you are 18 or older.

    Ben
    Guest
    Ben

    Actually for a long gun you just have to be 18

    Pete
    Guest
    Pete

    I am confused by Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1311 I and J.
    Can you only carry if you are doing the activities in J? The end of I says “and.”

    Professor of TN gun laws
    Guest
    Professor of TN gun laws

    Two things…
    1. TN allows NON VIOLENT felons with their rights restored, and have no explicit language that does not allow firearm rights to said felon, to carry and possess firearms and have the right to a handgun permit. This does not apply to drug related felonies or violence related felonies (39-17-1307 b). 39-17-1351 j, 39-17-1307 b and c, and 39-17-1316.

    2. 39-17-1308 is not a defense to vehicles. 39-17-1307 provides vehicle provisions.

    This statute is via July 2018 Tennessee Code Annotated

    Art
    Guest
    Art

    I have a NH permit and i’m moving to TN , and i dont need to go through the course and pay for it all over again. TN should honor it and provide trade in NH for TN

    Casey l cloer
    Guest
    Casey l cloer

    Hey Art, I’m fairly certain you will have to take the test again. The good part about that is most not all counties will give you the test at no charge through local law enforcement. They might charge a small range fee I think mine was like$5. The bad part is that you will have to pay at the DMV to get your permit. I’m pretty sure it is$100 for 8 years. I’ve had mine for many multiple years. The last time I got it renewed they were only doing four years at the time. I think you can pay… Read more »

    william watkins
    Guest
    william watkins

    TN does honor NH permits

    Matt Schnurman
    Guest
    Matt Schnurman

    I dont have a TN drivers license. I recently moved from Nj but do not posses a gun permit. Can I still apply for one?

    Howard Ham
    Guest
    Howard Ham

    No. Must have DL first.

    T-Ozzy
    Guest
    T-Ozzy

    OR TN STATE ID, 6 MONTH residency .$100

    JAMES
    Guest
    JAMES

    You don’t need a driver’s license to apply for the permit. What you do first is go online and register and then take the course at one of the local gun ranges. Then once you do that you will have to have proof of residency. But you do not need the proof of identification that you are a Tennessee resident until you actually go to the driver’s license office to actually apply once completing the course. Once you take the training class for the CCW permit it is good for one year. So you have time once you apply for… Read more »

    Matt R CAPPS
    Guest
    Matt R CAPPS

    I possess an Idaho Enhanced Concealed Carry Permit, and will be traveling cross country to vacation in Tennessee….just want to be clear about vehicle carry….can I conceal carry on my person while driving? The verbiage only addresses “Without Permit”. All other states I will be traveling through allow concealed carry on your person in a vehicle with a valid ccw….any clarification would be greatly appreciated!

    Howard Ham
    Guest
    Howard Ham

    Yes you can.