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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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

    Important

    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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    Jessica MiddlecoffDaniel Bennettlegalguru22ChadLory Breckler Recent comment authors
    newest oldest most voted
    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?

    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?

    Shawn
    Guest
    Shawn

    I have a ccw from California and just moved to Tn. Do I need to re take a class to get a per.it here?

    Jun E.
    Guest
    Jun E.

    Yes. You will have to go through the 8 hour class.

    Cray Cannon
    Guest
    Cray Cannon

    Yes Sir, you Do.

    Rusty
    Guest
    Rusty

    TN does not issue a CCW. They issue an HCP.

    Jonathan Adams
    Guest
    Jonathan Adams

    Then why does my Tn handgun permit have the CCW on it?

    Jonathan Adams
    Guest
    Jonathan Adams

    I was wrong my permit DOES NOT have CCW.
    Sorry for not looking before writing.

    MIKE MOSELEY
    Guest
    MIKE MOSELEY

    SAME THING

    Rob
    Guest
    Rob

    The TN law states that you can not have a firearm on you if you do not have a permit. So, if you have a permit it can be on you? I wish the states laws were written so the law abiding citizens could understand them and know that they’re doing right by the law.

    Steve Ballew
    Guest
    Steve Ballew

    What about carrying a gun at church in Tennessee, can you or not?

    E. Zach Lee Wright
    Guest
    E. Zach Lee Wright

    Generally, this is not allowed however if the administration of the church authorize you to carry you may. Some churches have designated guards/ushers who keep an eye on things and they are often armed. Off duty and retired LEOs are often chosen for this.

    Concerned
    Guest
    Concerned

    Is corrections considered law enforcement of n TN?

    E. Zach Lee Wright
    Guest
    E. Zach Lee Wright

    To be considered a LEO in the state of Tennessee you must be P.O.S.T. certified. This results from attending and graduating from an approved police academy or training program. P.O.S.T. stands for Peace Officer Standards & Training. Also, LEOs are required to take 40 hours of continuing education annually.

    E. Zach Lee Wright
    Guest
    E. Zach Lee Wright

    This requirement does not extend to federal agency LEOs. It does apply however to state and local law enforcement. A person hired by a police department may not refer to themselves as a “Police Officer” until completing training. The term “Officer” by itself is not restricted. Private security officers abound.

    Walther W Koelln
    Guest
    Walther W Koelln

    Probably a dumb question but does the vehicle carry law extend to horses if I keep my firearm in a saddlebag and not on my person?

    Tom McCartt
    Guest
    Tom McCartt

    I just moved to Tennessee from Florida. I have a Florida concealed carry permit. I am ex-military.
    Will I have to take the concealed carry class to obtain a Tennessee carry permit?

    Lou amoriello
    Guest
    Lou amoriello

    If you were out of military less than 5 years your ok over 5 years you have to take course

    donk1964
    Guest
    donk1964

    They changed that law last yr, on the amount of time out of the military

    Joel Fernald
    Guest
    Joel Fernald

    I was adopted and my birth certificate was never corrected. I do have my adoption papers with my birth certificate, my question is if i take the course again (passed it already years ago) will i be able to get a carry permit with both documents proving who i am?

    Jun E.
    Guest
    Jun E.

    Do you have a U.S. passport and a TN drivers license? It would be easier for you to present those documents when applying for your HCP/CCW.

    Jake
    Guest
    Jake

    Hello we are going to Tennessee for our anniversary from NC i have a gun permit is it legal in Tennessee

    Joshua Gamberella
    Guest
    Joshua Gamberella

    Can a DA in a Tennessee courtroom have a right to conceal a firearm while in court like Trevor lynch does in cannon county ,Woodbury tn,37190

    Donald k. Morrison
    Guest
    Donald k. Morrison

    I had a my TN. Carry Permit in 05/14/2010 was time to renew I filed to renew.. At the time I was going thru a divorce of 14yrs. My X WIFE was very was doing everything to prevent divorce.. She set me up while going thru it by calling Law on me saying I wouldn’t let her in our house at that time telling local law that I wouldn’t let my daughter leave. Our house at 2:30 AM. In morning when my daughter who she let go to Drive in Movies at 14 yrs. Old I didn’t approve of that… Read more »

    Sam Wise
    Guest
    Sam Wise

    If you were convicted or pleaded guilty to any form of domestic assault you are now by Federal law no longer allowed to be in possession of a firearm, not even ammo. You can’t even be around a person who is carrying or in a vehicle with someone else weapon. It is a mandatory 5 year Federal sentence if you are caught. There is no reprieve or expungement, the ban is permanent and for life within the USA. Your only good news is that you will probably die soon and not have to worry about carrying a weapon.

    Shayne Troxler
    Guest
    Shayne Troxler

    Well Hank B Bad at Gmail, I’m in agreement with Sam on a few points. It appears you have, like your email warns, been bad. Having been in law enforcement in Tennessee for over a decade I have never seen a person denied an HCP that was an honest, unconvicted, non-felon. Unfortunately good people sometimes go apeshit and do stupid things that affect them the rest of their lives. You have to pay the piper. Do the crime, do the time and all the other sayings. There is nothing but innocent people in prison. Ask any of them. And it… Read more »

    Tyler
    Guest
    Tyler

    So can I keep my handgun loaded (minus one in the chamber) within my vehicle, legally? Center console or glove box?

    Flo
    Guest
    Flo

    My husband and I are retired LEOs from another state and recently relocated to TN. We are currently able to carry concealed through HR 218 (Law Enforcement Safety Act of 2004). We have been trying to get our yearly qualification completed locally and having trouble doing so. Most departments do not have a program in place for this. Any recommendations or suggestions would be appreciated.

    TF
    Guest
    TF

    Pay the $100 , and as a retired LE you get the lifetime TN CCW and can forget about the annual qualification. Pain in the a$$ anyway.

    Greg
    Guest
    Greg

    Castle doctrine applies to vehicles. So you can actually have a live round ready to rock.

    Bill
    Guest
    Bill

    I’m moving to Tennessee from Florida which I have my CCW here. But you require a 8 hr class for new applicants? Why would I need to do this if I already have my CCW

    Jordan
    Guest
    Jordan

    You shouldn’t have to. Go to the nearest dmv and ask for information. You should be able to just carry in general but have to follow tennessee state laws about carrying. If not you may have into get a new permit. Would be tragic to do so, but better to be safe than sorry.

    Debbie
    Guest
    Debbie

    When I moved here from IN, TN recognized my IN permit for 6 months, if you have changed your residency, I believe you have to follow the application process for that state. I had to attend the class, as a new applicant and give them my IN permit, although it did get returned to me.

    Cray Cannon
    Guest
    Cray Cannon

    Bill, Florida has the absolute best reciprocity in the country. My Father who is a resident of Texas, has a Florida CC Permit and travels both east and west quite often without issue. Research the necessitation of relinquishing your Florida permit for a Tennessee issue before you do anything rash.

    jake
    Guest
    jake

    where would I look to see if I am allow to receive my permit back.

    Gil
    Guest
    Gil

    I have my South Carolina Permit and moved to Tennessee recently. What do I need to do?

    handgun
    Guest
    handgun

    Can you please tell the requirement of the concealed carry permit. Guns are the most essential component of any person and when it comes to your security then compact 9mm handguns will do this job
    https://www.virginiaccwonline.com/compact-9mm-handgun-500/

    bill
    Guest
    bill

    am I allowed to carry on my property? Also, if I drive to a “No Gun Zone” and park, locking my gun inside my car, am I in violation?

    blake
    Guest
    blake

    You’re vehicle being your property you may keep it in your vehicle and not be in Violation. But it may not be removed from your vehicle

    Sam Wise
    Guest
    Sam Wise

    You are partially incorrect. Although a weapon can not be removed from the vehicle in general without a CCW it CAN legally be transported discreetly back and forth between your vehicle and your home.

    Rosemary Birkholm
    Guest
    Rosemary Birkholm

    can senior citizens carry a gun with out a permit?

    T Ozzy
    Guest
    T Ozzy

    I believe I read, there’s a discount after 60 or 65… EASY ENOUGH TO DO..I’ll check RIGHT NOW and put link here :
    https://www.gunstocarry.com/gun-laws-state/tennessee-gun-laws/

    Bobbyrif
    Guest
    Bobbyrif

    In Tennessee (at least) you also get a huge discount for military service, so mention that at the DMV.

    T Ozzy
    Guest
    T Ozzy
    Timothy miles
    Guest
    Timothy miles

    This state has always allowed open carry without a permit. Even before the fee grabbing permit process began. As a law abiding citizen and veteran I demand to be allowed to openly carry at my own convenience again. Without regulation.

    Charlie Pruett
    Guest
    Charlie Pruett

    Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6, huh?