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Carrying of Firearms-Tennessee

The citizens of Tennessee have a right to keep and bear arms for their common defense.  However, the General Assembly has the power to regulate the wearing of arms with a view to prevent crime.  Any resident of Tennessee who is a citizen of the U.S. or a permanent lawful resident, who has reached 21 years of age, may apply to the department of safety for a handgun carry permit.  If the applicant is not prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm of the state, or any other state or federal law, and meets all of the requirements, the department shall issue a permit to the applicant[i].

In order to obtain a handgun carry permit certain information like full legal name and any aliases, addresses for the previous five years, date of birth, physical descriptions are needed.  Following are some of the further requirements for obtaining a handgun permit[ii].  The applicant should not have been:

  • convicted of felony,
  • an unlawful user of or addicted to alcohol or any controlled substance;
  • a patient in a rehabilitation program or hospitalized for alcohol within ten years from the date of application;
  • convicted of the offense of driving under the influence of an intoxicant in this or any other state more than two times within ten years from the date of the application and that none of the convictions has occurred within five years from the date of application or renewal;
  • discharged from the armed forces under dishonorable conditions;
  • convicted of the offense of stalking.
  • The applicant should not be an alien and should not be in the U.S. illegally or unlawfully.

The applicant should provide two full sets of classifiable fingerprints at the time the application is filed with the department.  The department shall also require an applicant to submit proof of the successful completion of a department approved handgun safety course.

No person should intentionally carry any weapon that is prohibited inside any room where any judicial proceedings are going on[iii].  A person who carries a firearm, a knife with a blade length exceeding four inches or a club with the intent to go armed commits an offense[iv].  A person who carries a firearm in any school property is guilty of class E felony.  A person who carries a firearm in any school property that is not used solely for instructional or school sanctioned ceremonial purposes is guilty of class B misdemeanor[v].

Tennessee recognizes permits to carry firearms from all states.  The states that recognize permits to carry firearms from Tennessee are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.  The permit is issued for a term of four years at a fee of $115.  A person can renew the permit at a fee of $50.


[i] Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1351

[ii] Ibid

[iii] Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1306

[iv] Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1307

[v] Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1309

Inside Carrying of Firearms-Tennessee