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Tennessee Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & Gun Laws

Carry allowed with my Tennessee permit?
No
Yes
Yes, Selected State(s)

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681k
Permits Issued
48
STATES HONORED
37
RECIPROCATING STATES
6.9M
STATE POPULATION
21
MINIMUM AGE TO CC
19
ATTORNEYS IN USCCA NETWORK
9.87%
PERMIT PERCENTAGE
8
YEARS PERMIT VALID
122
USCCA CERTIFIED INSTRUCTORS

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Summary of Tennessee Gun Laws

Tennessee is a shall-issue state with concealed weapons permits issued at the state level by the Department of Safety & Homeland Security.

There is no permit, background check or firearms registration required when buying a handgun from a private individual.

Tennessee prohibits the possession of a firearm “with the intent to go armed.” However, as of July 1, 2021, law created a statutory “exception” which allows permitless open and concealed carry for anyone that at least 21 years old or older (or is at least 18 years of age and has been honorably discharged from military service or is active duty and has completed basic training) that may lawfully possess a handgun, is in a place where the person has a right to be and meets three additional criteria as defined in the table below. Some areas are off-limits, including government buildings and schools.

As of January 1, 2020, Senate Bill 705, created two levels of HCP’s. Applicants may obtain a concealed HCP by taking a 90-minute online course. The EHCP requires completion of an 8-hour live training course from certified instructors and allows permittees to carry a gun openly or concealed to more places. Non-residents may apply for a HCP if they work in the state on a regular basis and hold a valid concealed carry permit in their home state. They can only make an application after being employed for six months and then only within six months after the initial six-month work period. In terms of reciprocity, Tennessee honors all concealed carry permits from other states.

 

Self-Defense

Tennessee is a Castle Doctrine state and has a “stand your ground” law. A person who is in a place lawfully and who is not engaged in illegal activity has no duty to retreat before using or threatening to use force that’s likely to cause serious bodily injury or death if:

  • The person reasonably believes there’s an imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death;
  • The danger is real or honestly believed to be real at the time; and
  • The belief of danger is founded upon reasonable grounds.

A person who uses deadly force within a residence, business, dwelling or vehicle is presumed to have held a reasonable belief of imminent death or serious bodily injury to self, family, a member of the household or a person visiting as an invited guest when the force is used against someone who unlawfully and forcibly entered the place.

Defense of Third Person
A person is justified in threatening or using force against another to protect a third person if the person reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the third person from unlawful force.

Defense of Property
A person in lawful possession of real or personal property or personal property of a third person is justified in threatening or using force against another when and to the degree it is reasonably believed the force is immediately necessary to prevent or terminate the other’s trespass on the land or unlawful interference with the property. However, unless a person is justified in using deadly force as otherwise provided by law, a person is not justified in using deadly force to prevent or terminate the other’s trespass on real estate or unlawful interference with personal property.

“Dwelling” means a building or conveyance of any kind, including any attached porch, whether the building or conveyance is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, that has a roof over it, including a tent, and is designed for or capable of use by people.

“Residence” means a dwelling in which a person resides, either temporarily or permanently, or is visiting as an invited guest, or any dwelling, building or other appurtenance within the curtilage of the residence.

“Vehicle” means any motorized vehicle that is self-propelled and designed for use on public highways to transport people or property.

[Tenn. Code. Ann. §§ 39-11-611, 39-11-612,39-11-614]

Tennessee Gun Laws at a Glance

Carry Basics

Permitless Carry?

Does Tennessee allow permitless carry?

Yes. Unlike what may exist In other states, it is a crime under Tennessee law to carry a firearm with the “intent to go armed”. The 2021 law created a statutory “exception” to Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-1307(g) and (h), provided seven specific conditions are met. Therefore, as of July 1, 2021, permitless open and concealed carry is legal for anyone:

  • At least 21 years old or older (or is at least 18 years of age and has been honorably discharged from military service or is on active duty and has completed basic training);
  • That may lawfully possess a handgun;
  • That is in a place where the person has a right to be;
  • That has not been convicted of stalking;
  • That has not been convicted of the offense of driving under the influence of an intoxicant in this or any other state 2 or more times within the prior 10 years or one time within the prior five years;
  • That has not been adjudicated as a mental defective, judicially committed to, or hospitalized in, a mental institution, or had a court appoint a conservator for the person by reason of a mental defect; and
  • Is not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm by 18 U.S.C. 922(9) as it existed on Jan. 1, 2021.

[Tennessee Code Annotated, §§ 39-17-1307(a)(1) and 39-17-1307(g) and (h)]

Open Carry Permitted?

Is open carry permitted in Tennessee?

Yes. As of July 1, 2021, permitless open carry is legal for anyone meeting the 7 criteria in the permitless carry section above.

[Tennessee Code Annotated, § 39-17-1307]

Gun Permit Licensure?

If Tennessee requires a permit to carry a concealed firearm, how are those permits issued?

Tennessee provides permits on a shall-issue basis.

Minimum Age for Concealed Carry?

What is the minimum age in Tennessee to get a concealed carry permit?

You must be 21 or at least 18 years of age and honorably discharged from military service or be on active duty and have completed basic training

Weapons Other Than Handguns Allowed?

Can you concealed carry weapons other than handguns in Tennessee with a concealed carry permit (or under permitless carry if applicable)?

No. A Tennessee HCP does not cover the concealed carry of weapons besides handguns.

Tasers or Stun Guns?

Is it legal to own a taser or stun gun in Tennessee?

Yes. Stun guns and Tasers are legal to purchase and possess for self-defense, without a permit.

Chemical Spray/Pepper Spray?

Is it legal to buy or use chemical spray/pepper spray in Tennessee?

Yes. There is no statute prohibiting the purchase or use of pepper spray in Tennessee.

MAGAZINE LIMITS FOR HANDGUNS?

Does Tennessee have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?

No. There are no restrictions on handgun magazines in Tennessee.

AMMUNITION RESTRICTIONS?

Does Tennessee have ammunition restrictions?

Yes. It is an offense to manufacture, sell, offer for sale, display for sale or use any ammunition containing a bullet with a hollow-nose cavity that is filled with an explosive material and designed to detonate upon impact. The only exception is for state or federal military personnel.

[Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1304]

Puzzled by Reciprocity Laws?
The USCCA is Building a BETTER Mobile App!
  • Real-time, location-based alerts as you travel indicating how the laws differ between states
  • The most complete, up-to-date information for all state and federal laws so you can avoid breaking them
  • Notifications as you approach restricted sites/gun free zones + much more
Receive updates and potentially be an early tester!

Carry Locations

Carry in Vehicle?

Can you carry a concealed handgun in a vehicle in Tennessee?

Yes, anyone who is not otherwise prohibited from owning a firearm and is in lawful possession of the motor vehicle may concealed carry or openly carry a handgun. In addition, unless expressly prohibited by federal law, firearms may be transported and stored in a vehicle while on or utilizing any public or private parking area if:

  • The motor vehicle is parked in a location where the motor vehicle is permitted to be; and
  • The firearm or ammunition being transported or stored in the motor vehicle:
    • Is kept from ordinary observation if the person is in the motor vehicle; or
    • Is kept from ordinary observation and locked within the trunk, glove box or interior of the person's motor vehicle or a container securely affixed to the motor vehicle if the person is not in the motor vehicle.

[Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-1307(g) and § 39-17-1313(a)]

Carry at Roadside Rest Areas?

Can you carry a concealed firearm at roadside rest areas in Tennessee?

Yes, with an enhanced HCP or a concealed carry permit from a state that Tennessee honors.

[Tenn. Code. Ann. § 39-17-1311(H)]

Carry in State/National Parks, State/National Forests and Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs)?

Can you carry a concealed firearm in state/national parks, state/national forests and Wildlife Management Areas in Tennessee?

Yes, with an enhanced HCP or a concealed carry permit from a state that Tennessee honors. See the National Parks webpage for links to each Park in Tennessee.

[Tenn. Code. Ann. § 39-17-1311(H)]

Carry in Bars/Restaurants That Serve Alcohol?

Can you carry a concealed firearm in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol in Tennessee?

Yes, without a permit, unless posted and provided you don’t consume any alcohol.

[Tenn. Code. Ann. § 39-17-1321]

Carry/Possess at a hotel?

Can you carry or possess a firearm on hotel property in Tennessee?

Private businesses may restrict or deny concealed carry on their premises. The individual hotel should be contacted to inquire about it's concealed carry policy. See the Handguns at Hotels page for additional information.

[Tenn. Code. Ann. § 39-17-1359(b)]

Store in a Vehicle in an Employee Parking Lot?

Does Tennessee have laws relating to storing firearms in private vehicles in an employee parking lot?

Employers cannot prohibit their employees from transporting or storing a firearm or firearm ammunition in an employer parking area if the firearm or ammunition is kept from ordinary observation in a locked compartment within the vehicle or in a container securely affixed to such motor vehicle.

Handgun carry permit holders may also store their firearms in their vehicles on public or private property so long as the vehicle is in a place it is allowed to be and the firearm is kept from ordinary observation in a locked compartment within the vehicle or in a container securely affixed to such motor vehicle.

[Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-1-312]
[Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1313(a)]

Key State Laws

Duty to Inform Officer You're Carrying?

Do you have a duty to inform a police officer that you're carrying a concealed firearm in Tennessee?

There is no duty to inform a law enforcement officer that you're carrying a concealed firearm in Tennessee. A permit holder must have the permit in the holder's immediate possession at all times when carrying a handgun in a location or manner that would be prohibited if not for the person's status as a concealed handgun carry permit holder or an enhanced handgun carry permit holder and must display the permit on demand of a law enforcement officer under such circumstances.

[Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-17-1351(n)(1)]

DRIVER'S LICENSE LINKED TO Carry Permit?

Is my Tennessee driver’s license linked to my Tennessee carry permit?

Yes. Your Tennessee driver’s license is the same as your Tennessee handgun carry permit. Therefore, a law enforcement officer will know immediately that you are a concealed carry permit holder if they run your driver’s license.

"No Weapons Allowed" Signs Enforced?

Are "No Weapons Allowed" signs enforced in Tennessee? If yes, violating the sign would be considered to be a crime. If no, violating the sign would not be considered a criminal offense.

Yes, provided the signs which are posted at the discretion of the property owner/manager strictly comply with the content requirements in Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-1359, relative to the images and wording on the sign.  Prohibited areas must be posted with appropriately worded signs in prominent locations or portions of the property or building where weapon possession is prohibited or restricted. Concealed Handgun Carry Permit holders are subject to this prohibition, although a property owner may make an exception for a handgun to be carried in a concealed manner by a person authorized to do so. 

[Tenn. Code. Ann. § 39-17-1359]

Preemption?

Does Tennessee have preemption laws related to concealed carry (i.e. Does state law supersede local laws regarding the possession of handguns)?

Yes, the state has preemption of firearms laws in Tennessee, except municipalities may regulate:

  • The carrying of firearms by local government employees or independent contractors when acting in the course and scope of their employment or contract; and
  • The discharge of firearms within the limits of the city, county, town municipality or metropolitan government.

As of July 1, 2021, local governments may not prohibit an enhanced handgun carry permit holder from possessing a handgun on public property unless the local government provides a security system consisting of metal detectors and inspection by trained personnel for such property. However, local governments will not be required to provide metal detectors and security inspections in order to prohibit concealed handgun carry permit holders from possessing firearms on public property.  

[Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1314]

Red Flag Law?

Does Tennessee have a red flag law?

No. Tennessee does not have a red flag law.

Brandishing?

Does Tennessee state law define brandishing?

No definition of brandishing was found in Tennessee law.
However, a person commits an offense who, in a public place and with intent to cause public annoyance or alarm, engages in fighting or in violent or threatening behavior.

[Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-305]

Carry While Using Alcohol or Controlled Substances?

Does Tennessee have laws regarding carrying a concealed firearm while using alcohol or controlled substances?

Not while consuming or under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance or controlled substance analogue.

[Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1321]

As a responsibly armed American, regardless of the laws in your state, it is unwise to carry while under the influence of any substance that could impair your judgement, slow your reaction times, or impact your decision-making abilities. Any decision you make while carrying a firearm could have life-altering consequences.

NON-RESIDENT PERMITTING?

Does Tennessee issue concealed carry permits to non-residents?

Yes, for military personnel on active duty in the state and persons who work in the state on a regular basis provided they hold a valid concealed carry permit in their home state.

PUBLIC ACCESS TO CONCEALED CARRY REGISTRY?

Does Tennessee allow the public to access concealed carry registry information through public records law?

No. The public cannot access Tennessee's concealed carry registry.

Handgun Purchase & Possession

Purchase Permits?

Is a permit required to purchase a handgun in Tennessee?

No. Permits are not required when purchasing a handgun in Tennessee.

Background Checks for Private Gun Sales?

Are background checks required for private gun sales in Tennessee?

No. Private firearms transfers are not subject to a background check requirement, although federal and state purchaser prohibitions, including age restrictions, still apply. It is recommended that you retain any sales receipts to prove ownership of the gun.

Tennessee Permit Exempts from Background Check?

Does my current Tennessee concealed carry permit exempt me from needing a background check when I purchase a firearm?

No.

Waiting Period?

Is there a waiting period after purchasing a handgun in Tennessee?

No. There is no state-mandated waiting period for handgun purchases in Tennessee.

Handgun Registration?

Do handguns need to be registered in Tennessee?

No. Handgun registration is not required in Tennessee.

Minimum Age to Possess and Transport?

What is the minimum age to possess and transport a handgun in Tennessee?

The minimum age to possess or transport a handgun is 18 years old.

[Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1319]

Possess a handgun on my private property without a permit?

Can I possess/carry a handgun in my home without a permit?

Yes. A permit is not required for anyone legally entitled to carry a firearm in the person’s place of residence, place of business or premises. A private landlord can prohibit tenants, including those who hold handgun carry permits, from possessing firearms within a leased premises. Such a prohibition may be imposed through a clause in the lease and must meet the terms of TCA § 66-28-402.

[Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1308(a)(3)]

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State Constitutional Provision
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."
ARTICLE 1, § 26

Tennessee Concealed Carry Reciprocity With Other States

Which states' permits does Tennessee honor?

Alabama (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Alaska (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Arizona (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Arkansas (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
California (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Colorado (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Connecticut (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Delaware (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
District of Columbia (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Florida (permitless carry, at least 21 years old )
Georgia (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Hawaii (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Idaho (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Illinois (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Indiana (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Iowa (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Kansas (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Kentucky (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Louisiana (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Maine (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Maryland (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Massachusetts (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Michigan (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Minnesota (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Mississippi (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Missouri (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Montana (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Nebraska (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Nevada (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
New Hampshire (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
New Jersey (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
New Mexico (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
New York (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
New York City (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
North Carolina (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
North Dakota (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Ohio (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Oklahoma (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Oregon (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Pennsylvania (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Rhode Island (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
South Carolina (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
South Dakota (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Texas (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Utah (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Vermont (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Virginia (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Washington (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
West Virginia (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Wisconsin (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Wyoming (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Tennessee allows permitless open and concealed carry for anyone that at least 21 years old or older (or is at least 18 years of age and has been honorably discharged from military service or is active duty and has completed basic training) that may lawfully possess a handgun, is in a place where the person has a right to be and meets three additional criteria. Residents must have a Tennessee EHCP or a Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit (HCP) to carry in the state.


Other States' Reciprocity With Tennessee

Which states honor permits from Tennessee?

Arkansas (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
Idaho (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
Mississippi (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
Montana (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
New Hampshire (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
North Dakota (Enhanced permits only)
South Dakota (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
Vermont (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)

Note: Firearms must be carried in accordance with the laws of the state you are visiting. Be sure to check the laws of the other state before traveling there with your firearms.


States That Have Restricted Reciprocity with Tennessee

Tennessee offers resident and limited non-resident permits. If indicated with “Resident only” below, that state only honors Tennessee resident permits (and not those issued to non-residents).

Arizona (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Alaska (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Colorado (at least 21 years old and resident permits only)
Florida (at least 21 years old and resident permits only)
Iowa (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Kansas (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Kentucky (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Maine (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Michigan (resident permits only)
Missouri (permitless carry, at least 19 years old, 18 for military)
Nebraska (Enhanced permits only & least 21 years old)
New Mexico (at least 21 years old)
Ohio (at least 21 years old)
Oklahoma (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Pennsylvania (at least 21 years old and resident permits only)
South Carolina (at least 21 years old and resident permits only)
Texas (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Utah (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Virginia (at least 21 years old)
West Virginia (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Wisconsin (at least 21 years old)
Wyoming (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Permitless Carry States

Alaska PC-21
Arizona PC-21
Arkansas PC-18
Idaho PC-18
Iowa PC-18
Kansas PC-21
Kentucky PC-21
Maine (permits recognized; see Maine Reciprocity section for details or PC-21)
Mississippi PC-18
MontanaPC-18
North DakotaPC-18 for residents only
Oklahoma PC-21
TexasPC-21
UtahPC-21
VermontPC-18
Wyoming PC-21

*PC-18 = permitless carry if at least 18 years old

*PC-21 = permitless carry if at least 21 years old

Permitless carry includes constitutional carry states as well as states where an individual must meet certain qualifications, e.g., no DUIs in the last 10 years, in order to legally carry (Tennessee). Each state determines the requirements and any limitations on the carry of firearms. Check each state’s page for more information and any restrictions that may apply.


Tennessee Concealed Carry Permit Information

Requirements:

An applicant must:

  • Be at least 21 years old or 18 for active duty, retired or honorably discharged members of the military;
  • Have completed an approved firearms 8-hour safety course within the last 12 months for enhanced HCPs or a 90-minute online course, or equivalent for a concealed HCP;
  • Be a resident of the state of Tennessee;
  • Be a U.S. citizen or have permanent residency;
  • Not have renounced their United States citizenship;
  • Not be an illegal alien or unlawfully in the United States;
  • Not have a felony conviction and not currently under indictment for a felony;
  • Not have a charge pending for domestic violence and never have been convicted of domestic violence;
  • Not be a fugitive from justice;
  • Not have been discharged from the armed forces under dishonorable conditions;
  • Not have an order of protection or a restraining order filed against them;
  • Not be an unlawful user of or addicted to alcohol or any controlled substance or controlled substance analogue;
  • Not be a patient in a rehabilitation program and not have been hospitalized for alcohol, controlled substance or controlled substance analogue within 10 years (if court ordered) or 3 years (if voluntary);
  • Not have had 2 convictions for DUI in 10 years, with one of those being within the last 5 years;
  • Not currently under the jurisdiction of the court for a DUI or any other class A misdemeanor conviction;
  • Not have been adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to/or hospitalized in a mental institution;
  • Not had a court appoint a conservator for them by reason of mental defect;
  • Not have been judicially determined to be disabled by reason of mental illness, development disability or other mental incapacity;
  • Not have been found by a court to pose an immediate substantial likelihood of serious harm, because of mental illness within 7 years from the date of application;
  • Not have been convicted of stalking and have no pending charge(s) for stalking;
  • Not be receiving social security disability benefits by reason of alcohol dependence, drug dependence, or mental disability; and
  • Meet federal law requirements.
Fees:

Lifetime Enhanced HCP
$300 or $200 if upgrading from an 8 year permit

Enhanced HCP
$100 for the initial permit & $50 for renewal
$65 for active duty or honorably discharged members of the military

Concealed HCP
$65 for the initial 8-year permit

Valid For:

8 years

Processing Time:

90 days

Application:
Enhanced Application:

As of Jan. 1, 2020, the existing permit has been redesignated as the enhanced handgun carry permit.  Those who wish to obtain an enhanced carry permit may carry the gun openly or concealed to more places but must still take an 8-hour live training course from certified instructors, undergo a criminal background check and pay a $100 permit fee.

Non-Resident Concealed Carry Permits:

To qualify for a non-resident permit, the applicant must be active duty military stationed in the state. The application process is the same as for residents.

Name/Address Changes:

By law if you move, you are required to notify the state of your new address within 60 days. You may notify the Department of Safety to change your address on our records, online or in writing to

Handgun Permit Office,
P.O. Box 23710,
Nashville TN 37202.

If you wish to receive a permit with your new address, or if you have misplaced or lost your handgun carry permit, you will need to apply for a duplicate by completing an application. You may get duplicate application at any Driver Services Center or by calling (615) 251-8590. 

Mail the application and the $5.00 fee payable by check or money order to:

Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security
Handgun Permit Office
P.O. Box 23710
Nashville TN 37202

Lost/Stolen Permits:

To receive a duplicate HCP, you will need to complete an online application or visit a Driver Services Center for a hard copy application. Complete and sign your application. Mail the application and the $5.00 fee to:

Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security Handgun Permit Office 
P.O. Box 23710 
Nashville, TN 37202

Residency Changes:

Moving to Tennessee and interested in applying for a resident permit? How soon can you apply?
Tennessee issues permits to residents, active duty military stationed in the state or out-of-state residents who work in Tennessee on a regular basis and have been employed in the state for at least six months. You can apply for your permit once you can provide evidence that you are a resident or are employed in the state or are stationed in Tennessee.

If a person with a handgun permit from another state decides to become a resident of Tennessee, the person must obtain a Tennessee handgun permit within six months of establishing residency in Tennessee. The permit may be issued based on the person having a permit from another state provided the other state has substantially similar permit eligibility requirements as this state. However, if during the six-month period the person applies for a handgun permit in this state and the application is denied, the person shall not be allowed to carry a handgun in this state based upon the other state's permit.

Moving from Tennessee and have a Tennessee resident permit? Does that permit transfer to your new state? Is there a grace period during which your Tennessee permit remains valid?
If a person with a Tennessee resident handgun carry permit establishes residency in another state, the pistol permit expires upon the establishment of residence in the other state.


Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit Application Process

How to Apply for a Tennessee Enhanced HCP

Step 1:

Complete the online application.

Step 2:

Complete a training course, if required. Click here for a list of acceptable exemptions from the handgun safety course.

Step 3:

Go to a Driver Services Center. You will need the following:

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or residency;
  • Photo ID – TN driver license, state ID card, etc.;
  • If you do not currently have a Tennessee driver license, you must submit two proofs of Tennessee residency with your name and resident address - NO P.O. BOXES (Documents must be current and within last 4 months.)
  • Pay the fee.

When your application is processed at the Driver Service Center, you will be given instructions on being fingerprinted.

Step 4:

You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved.

Enhanced HCP
On May 29, 2019, the Governor signed SB 705 into law which created a two tier carry permit system. The law, which went into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, creates a new concealed handgun carry permit which requires the handgun be carried concealed and redesignates the former existing permit as an enhanced handgun carry permit (EHCP). 

Concealed HCP
The new concealed handgun carry permit (HCP) is cheaper and requires no live-firearm training, but it can be carried in fewer public places. As of Jan. 1, 2020, concealed handgun carry permits will require the applicant to:

  • Apply in person at a Driver Services Center;
  • Provide proof of identity and residency;
  • Have a photograph taken;
  • Provide Proof of demonstrated competence with a handgun by a training or safety course (an minimum 90 minute online course will be made available) taken within 1 year of application along with a CCP Proof of Training form; and
  • Pay the $65 fee.

Once transaction is complete, the examiner will provide you with the instructions for being fingerprinted.

Concealed handgun carry permit holders will not be allowed to carry in the locations covered by Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1311 which includes public parks, natural areas, historic parks, nature trails, campgrounds, forests, greenways, waterways, or other similar public places that are owned or operated by the state, a county, a municipality, or instrumentality of the state, a county, or municipality.


Firearms Training Requirements in Tennessee

Handgun courses must be certified by the Tennessee Department of Safety and must have been completed within the last 12 months. A component of all department-approved handgun safety courses must be instruction on alcohol and drugs, the effects of those substances on a person’s reflexes, judgment and ability to safely handle a firearm, and the Tennessee prohibition against possession of a handgun while under the influence.

As of January 1, 2020, Senate Bill 705, allows people to obtain their concealed HCP by obtaining training a number of ways which include a hunter education or hunter safety course, holding a previous, unrevoked Tennessee HCP, equivalent experience with a firearm through documented participation in organized shooting competition, other approved firearms training course.

**Click here for the 90-minute online course offered by the USCCA.**

Exemptions – Applicants for an Enhanced HCP must take an 8-hour live training course from certified instructors.There are exemptions for military personnel, law enforcement and security guards. Military personnel that have had small arms qualification training or combat pistol training listed on their Honorable discharged DD214 form will be exempt from taking the firing range portion of the Handgun Safety Class but they must take the classroom portion.

Find a USCCA Class in Tennessee

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Tennessee Concealed Carry Permit Renewal Process

How to Renew a Tennessee Concealed Carry Permit

Step 1:

Handgun Permits can be renewed within 6 months before the expiry date. Permits can be renewed up to one cycle past the expiry date. A new application will need to be made if more than 8 years has elapsed since the expiry date.

Step 2:

Complete the online application or visit a Driver Services Center. Some You can also inquire as to whether your County clerk's office provides this service. You will need the following:

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or residency; and
  • Photo ID – driver license, state ID card, etc.

Pay the fee.

Step 3:

You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved.


 

Law Enforcement Officers (LEO)/Retired LEOs

Law enforcement officers (LEOs) and Retired LEOs (RLEOs) may choose to carry under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), often referred to as HR 218. Under 18 U.S. Code §§ 926B & 926C, qualified LEOs and qualified retired LEOs, or those separated from service in good standing, can carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with some exceptions. For details check out our Federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) page.

Tennessee allows for two options for Retired Law Enforcement Officers who want to carry firearms into retirement:
1. Valid in Tennessee only – In accordance with T.C.A. § 38-8-116, an RLEO certified under this option is not permitted to carry a firearm outside of Tennessee unless otherwise authorized. A TBI/FBI criminal history record check and qualification to carry a firearm of the same type according to the standards established by the Tennessee Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) Commission are required every four years.

2. Pursuant to T.C.A. § 38-8-123, an RLEO certified under this option is eligible to carry a firearm nationwide under federal law. This certification requires an annual qualification to carry a firearm of the same type according to the standards established by the Tennessee POST Commission and an annual TBI/FBI criminal history record check. This certification is valid for only one year.

Tennessee POST Retired LEO Info Packet and Fillable Initial Application
Tennessee POST Renewal Packet & Fillable Application

Tennessee Location Restrictions

Where Can I Carry a Concealed Firearm in Tennessee?
  • Carry in bars/restaurants that serve alcohol? Yes, as long as you don’t consume any alcohol and provided you are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Carry in my vehicle without a permit/license? Yes.
  • Carry in roadside rest areas? Yes, with an enhanced HCP or a concealed carry permit from a state that Tennessee honors.
  • Carry in state/national parks, state/national forests, and WMAs? Yes, with an enhanced HCP or a concealed carry permit from a state that Tennessee honors. [Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1311]
  • Carry in places of worship? There is no state statute prohibiting concealed carry in places of worship. However, since places of worship are private property, they may post signs prohibiting firearms.

Enhanced HCP holders 
Enhanced HCP holders are allowed to carry in the locations covered by Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-17-1309(e)(8), 39-17-1311(b)(1)(H) and (b)(1)(I) which includes public parks, public natural areas, historic parks, nature trails or recreational areas, campgrounds, national parks, forests, greenways, waterways (with some exceptions, including Tennessee Valley Authority and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers properties), and other similar public places that are owned or operated by the state, a county, a municipality, or instrumentality of the state, a county, or municipality.​ There may be occasions when carry is not allowed in these locations, including when the area is being used by a school or if access to the area is restricted for an event, such as a state fair.

A "greenway" is defined as an open-space area following a natural or manmade linear feature designed to be used for recreation, transportation, conservation, and to link services and facilities. A greenway is a paved, gravel-covered, wood chip covered, or wood-covered path that connects one greenway entrance with another greenway entrance. In the event a greenway traverses a park that is owned or operated by a county, municipality or instrumentality thereof, the greenway shall be considered a portion of that park unless designated otherwise by the local legislative body.

A permit holder must have the permit in the holder's immediate possession at all times when carrying a handgun in a location or manner that would be prohibited if not for the person's status as either as a concealed handgun carry permit holder or as an enhanced handgun carry permit holder and must display the permit on demand of a law enforcement officer under such circumstances. [Tennessee Code Annotated §§39-17-1309(e)(8), 39-17-1310 and 39-17-1311(b)(1)(H) and (b)(1)(I)

Where Can't I Carry a Concealed Firearm in Tennessee?

Places off-limits even with a permit/license

Concealed HCP Holders and Under Permitless Carry

  • Any public school campus, grounds, recreation area or athletic field except in parking lots (and for school employees who satisfy specific conditions);
  • Any private school building, campus, grounds, recreation area or athletic field, unless there is a policy allowing carry;
  • Any public or private school bus;
  • Any portion of a religious institution while it is being used for school purposes; and
  • Any public institutions of higher education, except for employees who have provided written notification to the appropriate law enforcement agency (except in parking areas).

[Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1309]

See Can Carry Section for locations where E-CHCL holders may carry.


FAQ: Tennessee Concealed Carry Questions

What Are the Knife Laws in Tennessee?

There are no prohibited knives under Tennessee statutes. It is legal to carry a knife openly or concealed as long as there is no intent to commit a crime. It is an offense to carry weapons on school property.

[Tenn. Code. Ann. §§ 39-17-1307(d), 39-17-1309 and 39-17-1324]

WEAR A COVID MASK & CARRY?

I can legally carry a concealed firearm in Tennessee, but can I wear a COVID 19 protective mask while carrying concealed?

There is no known statute in Tennessee making it illegal to wear a COVID mask while carrying concealed. A state statute was identified making it illegal to wear a mask as a tool for intimidating anyone from exercising their civil rights. However, there is no mention of concealed carry.

[Tenn. Code Ann. 39-17-309]

CARRY WHILE GUN HUNTING?

Can you concealed carry while shotgun/rifle hunting in Tennessee?

Yes. Pursuant to TCA 39-17-1351, persons with a valid handgun carry permit may possess a handgun the entire year while on the premise of any TWRA refuge, public hunting area, wildlife management area (including the North and South Cherokee WMA), and private land. For other federally managed properties hunters should contact that specific facility or location. Nothing in this subsection shall authorize a person to use any handgun to hunt unless such person is in full compliance with all wildlife laws, rules and regulations.

CARRY WHILE BOW HUNTING?

Can you concealed carry while bow hunting in Tennessee?

Yes, individuals who possess a carry permit may possess their handgun while on TWRA wildlife management areas, public hunting areas, or refuges open to hunter access. The handgun may not be used for taking game unless specifically permitted by TWRA regulation. TWRA will apply this same interpretation to those possessing carry permits while hunting on private lands.

[TN Wildlife Resource Agency FAQs]

HUNTER HARASSMENT LAW?

Is there a Hunter Harassment Law in Tennessee?

Yes. Interference with lawful taking of wildlife, such as hunting, fishing or trapping, is prohibited.

[Tenn. Code Ann. § 70-4-302]


Tennessee Gun Laws Updates:

Date Details
2021-07-01

Per SB 765, updated all affected sections

2021-05-19

Added info on driver's license link to permit in At A Glance table

2021-04-15

Per SB 765, updated location restrictions in the Location Restrictions section

2021-04-15

Per SB 765, updated preemption info in At A Glance section

2021-04-15

Per SB 765, updated duty to inform info in At A Glance section

2021-04-15

Per SB 765, updated permitless carry info in Summary and At A Glance sections

2020-11-23

Added information on training exemptions in the Training Section

2020-09-03

Added information on Self Defense in the Summary

2020-07-01

Added information on wearing a COVID 19 mask while carrying concealed above the Summary

2020-06-26

Added link to National Parks to At A Glance table

2020-06-05

Updated info about grace period for handgun carry permit renewals due to COVID 19 to Summary section

2020-06-04

Added info and statutory links for ammunition restrictions in At A Glance table

2020-05-06

Added info on handguns at hotels in At A Glance table

2020-04-20

Added info on handguns on private property in At A Glance table

2020-04-07

Added info on private gun sales in At A Glance table

2020-02-25

Added info on carry in bars to the At A Glance table

2020-02-20

Added related blog posts with links

2020-02-18

Added info regarding residency changes and resulting impacts on carry permits

2020-01-31

Updated the knife laws and added statutory references

2020-01-02

Updated duty to inform info to At A Glance table

2020-01-02

Added info on the new Enhanced HCP in the summary, At A Glance table, Reciprocity, Permit Info, Application Process, Training Requirements and Location Restrictions Sections

2019-12-04

Added info on whether a valid state ccw permit exempts a person from needing a background check when purchasing a firearm to the At A Glance table

2019-11-22

Added statutory references and links for can’t carry locations

2019-11-04

Added brandishing info to At A Glance table

2019-10-16

Added Hunter Harassment info to At A Glance table

2019-10-01

Added Chemical Spray/Pepper Spray to the At A Glance table

2019-09-09

Added Carry While Hunting info to At A Glance table

2019-08-13

Added anchor links to various sections below the Summary

2019-07-29

Updated info regarding SB 705 to the General, Permit Application Process and Training sections

2019-07-26

Added minimum age to possess and transport a handgun to At A Glance table

2019-07-23

Updated the Permit Renewal table new ability for some County clerks to issue renewals

2019-05-24

Added stun gun/Taser info to At A Glance table

2019-05-03

Added permit renewal and name/address change info

2019-04-19

Links checked

2019-04-02

Added info on state implementation of Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA)

2019-02-22

Added info to vehicle carry in At A Glance table

2019-02-15

Added pages for Federal Gun Laws, Traveling with Firearms & Terminology

2019-02-09

Added ammunition restrictions At A Glance table

2019-02-06

Added red flag law info to At A Glance table

2019-01-25

Added church carry info to location restrictions section

2019-01-24

Added info about alcohol or prescription medication in At A Glance table

2019-01-10

Mag limit added to At A Glance table

Did We Miss Something?

Here at the USCCA, it is our mission to provide responsible gun owners with the tools they need to be educated and trained. Our team is constantly working to provide you with the most up-to-date and comprehensive list of self-defense laws available for every state.

If you have any questions that you don’t see answered here — let us know! Just email [email protected] and we will be sure to get your question resolved. Your feedback matters to us, and we appreciate you helping to make this page the best possible resource for responsible gun owners!

Permit numbers were obtained from the Crime Prevention Resource Center’s publication entitled, “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States.” Numbers include resident and non-resident permits for those states that issue both.

The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community, and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.

If you have any questions regarding USCCA Membership, Delta Defense, handguns laws or the lawful process of carrying concealed, please contact the award-winning Delta Defense Customer Engagement Team.