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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    Brad GarstLiggonsSteven GipsonKimNiko Recent comment authors
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    Liggons
    Guest
    Liggons

    Where it states: It is crucial that you understand the law before you carry a firearm and 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. So by that being said, I feel that all judges, policeman and lawyer’s should educate themselves or it should be protocol that they know these laws before passing any bar or candidate graduate internment. Mean mainly being accidentally shot or injured by law enforcement because he or she didn’t know… Read more »

    Steven Gipson
    Guest
    Steven Gipson

    I’m going to Gatlinburg for vacations . However, I can have my weapon but can’t have it loaded? I might as well not have it !!

    Kim
    Guest
    Kim

    I have Michigan CPL. How do i legally carry handgun in my car.

    Brad Garst
    Guest
    Brad Garst

    Same as you would in Michigan. Tennessee honors Michigan carry law. So in a holster.

    Kim
    Guest
    Kim

    Om going to Tennessee on vacation. I have a Michigan CPL. How do i legally carry handgun in my car?

    Niko
    Guest
    Niko

    Going to TN on vacation from Michigan. We have open carry without a permit in MI. Can i legally OPEN carry while im on my uncle’s property in TN? Hes got black bears and other large animals everywhere he told me so id like some protection while hiking.

    Brad Garst
    Guest
    Brad Garst

    You can carry how you want an private land. Just not In The pubic.

    Gregory
    Guest
    Gregory

    Do I have to go thur the classes just to changes ccw from Colorado to Tennessee

    Megan Padgett
    Guest
    Megan Padgett

    Does TN require the training course for a permit? If so, where do you go to take it?

    Brad Garst
    Guest
    Brad Garst

    Yes and find a gun range in your area, many offer the classes or can point you in the right direction.

    Larry Hubble
    Guest
    Larry Hubble

    Planning on going on vacation to Gatlinburg Tennessee. Can you possess more than 1 pistol in your vehicle if you have a carry conceal permit

    Kris
    Guest
    Kris

    If I have a ccp in Florida can I open carry while in Tennessee?

    Liggons
    Guest
    Liggons

    yes

    Brandon
    Guest
    Brandon

    What are the regulations, if any, on carrying a modified weapon? Such as aftermarket sights or internals?

    Brad Garst
    Guest
    Brad Garst

    None, you still have to follow federal laws of course.

    Matt Wilson
    Guest
    Matt Wilson

    I am 20 years old from Alabama and have an Alabama concealed carry permit. Am I allowed to conceal carry in Tennessee?

    Ref Morton
    Guest
    Ref Morton

    No. While TN permit holders may carry in AL, AL permit holders cannot carry in TN.
    I have no idea why, yet.

    Ref Morton
    Guest
    Ref Morton

    And you must be 21 to carry in Tennessee.

    Charles H Schuhart
    Guest
    Charles H Schuhart

    I have to agree and also disagree with the above statement, “Open carry is not common in cities and mainly used as a carry method in rural areas.” As an Open Carrier of a firearm, “ever day, every where” I do agree that it’s not that common to see someone else open carrying. However, in the 2 years since I retired here from the US Army, I have seen a dramatic increase in others that feel (and act) the same as myself. Just the other day, a young lady was getting fuel next to me and we struck up a… Read more »

    Liggons
    Guest
    Liggons

    open carry makes you a prime target…why do you do that?

    MJP308
    Guest
    MJP308

    We are traveling to TN from Michigan. My family rented a house on 100 plus acres outside of Nashville. I was wonder if I can legally carry a pistol on the private property. The home owner mentioned bears and coyotes on the property. Want to carry as we explore the property.

    Jason
    Guest
    Jason

    As long as there is no posting that bans firearms, than yes, you can carry.

    Chrissy
    Guest
    Chrissy

    As a small business owner, do I have to have a CCW Permit to have a gun in my shop?

    Jason
    Guest
    Jason

    No. If you are in your home or your own place of business, you are not required to have a permit. Only if you intend to carry the weapon loaded off of the premises, do you need one.

    JEFF JOHNSON
    Guest
    JEFF JOHNSON

    what is the military part of owning a gun in TN, i spent 12 years in the army, have a DD214 and am looking to buy, with the intention of a CCW, what do i need to do. Please help me figure this out

    Jay Smith
    Guest
    Jay Smith

    You just need to apply for a CCW permit at a DMV, beings that you were past military you can skip the 8 hour training and get a lower cost for the application.

    Samuel H
    Guest
    Samuel H

    Do you have to be 21 to have a pistol in your car? Or can you just be 18?

    Jason
    Guest
    Jason

    I believe you have to be 21 in Tennessee

    Tim
    Guest
    Tim

    Minimum age is 21.

    Samuel H
    Guest
    Samuel H

    Do you have to be 21 to qualify under carrying a firearms in your car? Or can you be 18 and be just fine ?

    Tim
    Guest
    Tim

    Minimum age is 21.

    Guest
    Guest
    Guest

    how should i carry a shot gun if I’m camping in Tenn, in the national forest?

    Shelby
    Guest
    Shelby

    I’m in the process of moving to TN from VA and have had my VA CCP since 2016. I have a clean record all around and really can’t understand why I have to take a class in TN. If what I’m seeing is correct, it takes 90 days to get a TN CCP. What do I do in the meantime; can I still concealed carry with the VA CCP even though I’m a TN resident?

    Jason
    Guest
    Jason

    Yes, as long as it is valid. No, it does not take 90 days. I took the class and had my permit within 2 weeks.

    Anthony
    Guest
    Anthony

    ? Can I car two guns in Memphis if I have my gun permit

    C.c
    Guest
    C.c

    Yep as long as their pistols there is no limit on how many. Just use commonsense.