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 Dashboard

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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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    Matt R CAPPSBrettJeffJustinFrank Recent comment authors
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    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!

    Brett
    Guest
    Brett

    I do not have a TN driver’s license, but I have a military retiree ID card and gas bill, electric bill and home rental agreement. Will that suffice to prove Tennessee residency?

    Frank
    Guest
    Frank

    I have read the vehicle laws several times and I am still confused. I have a concealed carry permit. Is it lawful for someone with a concealed carry permit to have a firearm on your person or does it have to be somewhere else in the vehicle?

    Justin
    Guest
    Justin

    From what I read it states that you can have your gun anywhere in the vehicle and loaded but NOT on your person. Previously it had to be concealed in a glove box and the ammo stored elsewhere in the vehicle.

    Jeff
    Guest
    Jeff

    Not for ccw permit holders as stated in Frank’s original question.

    Jeff
    Guest
    Jeff

    Interstate travel carry permit reciprocity is pretty straightforward regarding sidearms, but what about long guns? My limited research regarding traveling with rifles seems to be written for non-permit holders… i.e. unloaded, locked, and/or inaccessible. Does that change once a permit is obtained?

    Timothy Douglas
    Guest
    Timothy Douglas

    Just wanted to ask, I can’t get an answer on this. What about the 6th article 2nd paragraph of the United States of America’s Constitution. It states that
    the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding. Please let me know if you will.

    Jared Dennison
    Guest
    Jared Dennison

    Okay so in clarksville the waffle houses have it posted no firearms allowed but yet have an armed security guard on duty. Isnt this a double standard?

    Justin
    Guest
    Justin

    I presume while acting in an official capacity and with the business operator/owner’s consent, the security officer can be armed.

    Lee payne
    Guest
    Lee payne

    Can I buy beer at the store with my ccp if I haven’t been drinking

    Christian Pennington
    Guest
    Christian Pennington

    Yes

    Leroy Jenkins
    Guest
    Leroy Jenkins

    Did anyone else notice there is a FAQ “Are I required to conceal my gun?” That ain’t no way to speak English son.

    Greg A Keller
    Guest
    Greg A Keller

    I have a valid ccw. Is it legal to carry my weapon (concealed) in a bar if I’m not drinking and there is no carry sign posted ?

    Joe
    Guest
    Joe

    As long as there is NOT a “no guns allowed” sign posted, yes, it’s legal to carry into a bar, in TN., as long as you aren’t consuming alcohol while you are carrying.

    Bobby G. Malone
    Guest
    Bobby G. Malone

    I am a senior citizen (age 77). I am interested in passing on my personal firearms to my two sons. I am not aware of any of the firearms being registered. I have purchased several firearms off the internet and went through the proper procedures with a person possessing a federal firearms license. I do not know if the process (purchasing off the internet) constituted the guns being registered on the federal/state levels or not. I have conducted a little research on the bequeathment of firearms and think a Deed of Gift document would serve my specific needs and protect… Read more »

    Noah
    Guest
    Noah

    There is no gun registration. All I would do is tell your sons that you want to give them the guns as an inheritance, and which ones you want each kid to get. I wouldn’t do any more than that.

    Logan Dodd II
    Guest
    Logan Dodd II

    If the recipients are Tennessee citizens you can just gift them with no required paperwork. If they live out of state you will need to send the firearms to a FFL dealer in that state, and have an FFL transfer to the recipient.

    Kris
    Guest
    Kris

    If i have a current Arkansas concealed permit can i transfer my AR permit to a TN permit without having to take another firearm course ? What is the fees i would have to pay to transfer my permit over?

    Jessica Middlecoff
    Guest
    Jessica Middlecoff

    My husband has prior DUI’s from his younger days and can’t purchase a firearm. He is not considered a convicted felon in the eyes of the law. How can he legally purchase a handgun and what are the laws that are keeping him from doing so?

    Daniel Bennett
    Guest
    Daniel Bennett

    I am under the age of 21, but am a member of the Air Force National Guard. I am not on active duty status, as I am a guardsman. Do I have to be on active orders to be able to apply for a conceal carry?

    Lory Breckler
    Guest
    Lory Breckler

    I am traveling tomorrow through Alabama,Georgia and Florida. I want to take my weapon. I am licensed in the State of TN. Can I do it in all three states without worry?

    Jason Paul Bowers
    Guest
    Jason Paul Bowers

    Download the app called legal heat. It had each states law. I use it all the time.

    David
    Guest
    David

    If you are active duty military living in fort Campbell and you have a CCW from an other state does that mean I can keep my out of state ccw and use that past the 6-month since I claim an other state as residence? or do I have to get a Tennessee license in order to be able to carry?

    Jeff
    Guest
    Jeff

    Does anyone recommend Self-Defense SHIELD Protection through USCCA or from any other company?

    Ken
    Guest
    Ken

    Legal protection can be valuable when having to defend yourself from potential gun related charges. In addition to the above named companies you might also want to look into LegalShield as they provide both Gun (Most States) and Non-Gun (All 50 States & Canada) related Legal protection.

    Chad
    Guest
    Chad

    Yes I highly recommend USCCA.

    John
    Guest
    John

    I’m in the military and have an active military ID can I concealed carry with this like West Virginia state law?

    Brandon
    Guest
    Brandon

    Im only 18 but my dad is gifting me a handgun, can I legally carry it in my car loaded or unloaded?

    Gregg
    Guest
    Gregg

    Went to a good and drinking establishment the other day. The sign on the door said “No firearms allowed”. Said nothing of authorized by TVA 39-17-1359. Is this a legal sign?

    legalguru22
    Guest
    legalguru22

    It doesn’t matter, it’s private propery

    John
    Guest
    John

    I am a TN, resident now and have handguns rifle , how do I go about getting registered to carry my side arms, I am currently Army Retired , will this help getting my license?

    Guest
    Guest
    Guest

    No need to register your guns. I would advise that you don’t. It won’t help you get a license. Take the class, get finger printed and file the application then wait. It is pretty simple.

    Dustin Smith
    Guest
    Dustin Smith

    Actually I am a veteran and I got my permit without having to take the class if you have documentation from the military stating that you have handgun training them you don’t have to take the class I used a DA-88R