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Tennessee Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & Gun Laws

Updated: 07/01/2019
Carry allowed with my Tennessee permit?
Yes
Yes, Permitless Carry
Yes, Selected State
No

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. 

Open carry is legal with a permit or without a permit if the gun is unloaded and the ammunition is not in the immediate vicinity. Tennessee prohibits the possession of a firearm “with the intent to go armed.” The minimum age is 18 years old. Some areas are off-limits, including government buildings and schools.  

Concealed carry is legal with a license/permit. The minimum age is 21 years old. Tennessee Handgun Carry Permits (HCP) require the successful completion of a state-approved handgun safety course that includes both classroom hours and firing-range instruction. Note-As of January 1, 2020, Tennessee Senate Bill 705, will allow people to obtain their carry permit by just taking an online course. Non-residents can only obtain an HCP if they work in the state on a regular basis. 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.

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:

631k
Permits Issued
6.8M
State Population
9.33%
Permit Percentage
50
States Honored
37
Reciprocating States.
21
Minimum Age to CC

Tennessee Gun Laws at a Glance

Open Carry/ Concealed Carry Basics

Constitutional Carry?

Does Tennessee allow constitutional carry?

No.

Open Carry Permitted?

Is open carry permitted in Tennessee?

Yes, with a permit or unloaded with the ammunition not in the immediate vicinity. [Tenn. Code. Ann. § 39-17-1308(a)]
 

Gun Permit Licensure?

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

Shall Issue.

Minimum Age for Concealed Carry?

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

21

Weapons Other Than Handguns Allowed?

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

No.

Non-Resident Permitting?

Does Tennessee issue concealed carry permits to non-residents?

Yes, for military personnel and persons who work in the state on a regular basis.

Public Access to Concealed Carry Registry?

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

No.

Carry Locations

Carry in Vehicle?

Can you carry a concealed firearm 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 is not in violation of the open carry law in Tennessee as long as the firearm is not carried on one's person. [Tenn. Code. Ann. § 39-17-1307]

Carry at Roadside Rest Areas?

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

Yes.

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?

Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol?

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

Yes, as long as you don’t consume any alcohol. [Tenn. Code. Ann. § 39-17-1321]

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?

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.

Per Tennessee Code Annoted § 39-17-1313(a) 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.

[Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-1-312.]

Additional Related State Laws

Must Notify Officer You're Carrying?

Are you required to notify a police officer that you're carrying a concealed firearm in Tennessee?

No. [Tenn. Code. Ann. § 39-17-1351(n)(1)] However, as of January 1, 2020, you must notify, per Public Chapter No. 479(e) [SB 705].

Magazine Limits for Handguns?

Does Tennessee have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?

No.

Ammunition Restrictions?

Does Tennessee have ammunition restrictions?

No.

"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. An individual, corporation, business entity, or local, state or federal government entity or agent thereof is authorized to prohibit the possession of weapons by any person who is at a meeting conducted by, or on property owned, operated or managed or under the control of, the individual, corporation, business entity or government entity. 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 persons authorized to do so. Prohibited areas must display the notice in prominent locations, including all entrances primarily used by persons entering the property, building, or portion of the property or building where weapon possession is prohibited or restricted. The notice shall be plainly visible to the average person entering the building, property, or portion of the building or property, posted.

A sign shall be used as the method of posting.

  • A sign prohibiting possession shall include the phrase "NO FIREARMS ALLOWED," and the phrase shall measure at least 1" high and 8" wide. The sign shall also include the phrase "As authorized by T.C.A. § 39-17-1359."
  • The sign shall include a pictorial representation of the phrase "NO FIREARMS ALLOWED" that shall include a circle with a diagonal line through the circle and an image of a firearm inside the circle under the diagonal line. The entire pictorial representation shall be at least 4" by 4". The diagonal line shall be at a 45° angle from the upper left to the lower right side of the circle.

Under Tennessee law, local governments are generally prohibited from preventing concealed carry permit holders from possessing handguns on property owned or administered by the local government unless the building provides metal detectors and security officers at each public entrance to the building. However, these public building requirements do not apply to specified buildings, including schools, colleges or universities, libraries, licensed mental health and substance abuse facilities, law enforcement agency buildings, and courtrooms.

Possession of a weapon on posted property in violation of this section is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by fine only of $500.

This section shall not apply to the grounds of any public park, natural area, historic park, nature trail, campground, forest, greenway, waterway or other similar public place that is owned or operated by the state, a county, a municipality or instrumentality thereof. The carrying of firearms in those areas shall be governed by § 39-17-1311.

[Tenn. Code. Ann. § 39-17-1359(b)]
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 authority to regulate firearms is reserved to the state, 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.
[Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1314]
Red Flag Law?

Does Tennessee have a red flag law?

No.

Open Carry/ Concealed Carry Basics

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.


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, Section 26

Tennessee Concealed Carry Reciprocity With Other States

Which states' permits does Tennessee honor?

Alabama (at least 21 years old)
Delaware (at least 21 years old)
Florida (handguns only)
Indiana (at least 21 years old)
Maine (at least 21 years old)
Missouri (at least 21 years old)
Montana (at least 21 years old)
New Hampshire (at least 21 years old)
New Mexico (at least 21 years old)
North Dakota (Class 1 permits only and at least 21 years old)
South Dakota (at least 21 years old)
Utah (at least 21 years old)
West Virginia (at least 21 years old)

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.  The minimum age is 21 years old.

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Other States' Reciprocity With Tennessee

Which states honor permits from Tennessee?

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

Which states honor permits from Tennessee with restrictions?

Colorado (resident permits only)
Florida (resident permits only)
Michigan (resident permits only)
Nebraska (at least 21 years old)
Pennsylvania (resident permits only)
South Carolina (resident permits only )

Permitless Carry States

Anyone who can legally possess a firearm may carry it concealed in permitless carry states without a permit/license. Check each state’s page for more information and any restrictions that may apply.

Alaska (if at least 21 years old)
Arizona (if at least 21 years old)
Arkansas (if at least 21 years old)
Kansas (if at least 21 years old)
Maine (if at least 21 years old)
Mississippi (if at least 21 years old)
Missouri (if at least 19 years old)
New Hampshire (if at least 18 years old)
Vermont (if at least 18 years old)
West Virginia (if at least 21 years old)

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Tennessee Concealed Carry Permit Information

Requirements:

An applicant must:

  • Be at least 21 years old;
  • Have completed an approved firearms safety course within the last 12 months;
  • Be a resident of the state of Tennessee;
  • Be a U.S. citizen or have permanent residency;
  • Not be receiving social security disability benefits by reason of alcohol dependence, drug dependence or mental disability;
  • Not have been convicted of a criminal offense or is currently under indictment or information for any criminal offense that is designated as a felony, or that is a disqualifying misdemeanor for driving under the influence, stalking, or domestic violence;
  • Not have been convicted of stalking;
  • Not be subject to any order of protection;
  • Not be a fugitive from justice;
  • 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 10 years from the date of application;
  • Not have been convicted of the offense of driving under the influence of an intoxicant in this or any other state two or more times within 10 years from the date of application and that none of such convictions has occurred within 5 years from the date of application or renewal;
  • Not have been adjudicated as mentally defective; not have been committed to or hospitalized in a mental institution; not have had a court appoint a conservator for the applicant by reason of a mental defect; have not been judicially determined to be disabled by reason of a mental illness, development disability or other mental incapacity; and have not, within 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; and
  • Meet federal law requirements.
Fees:

$100 for the initial permit or $300 for lifetime permit

$50 for 8 year renewal or $200 for a lifetime upgrade

As of 1/1/20 

Enhanced Carry permit $100 for the initial permit & $50 for renewal

Standard permit $65 for the initial 8-year permit

Valid For:

8 years

Processing Time:

90 days

Application:

Link to application
Non-Resident Concealed Carry Permits:

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 hold a valid concealed carry permit in their home state. They also have a limited time to file the application: within a 6-month period AFTER having worked in the state for 6 months.
 

Enhanced Application:

As of Jan. 1, 2020, the existing permit will be redesignated as an 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.

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


Tennessee Concealed Carry Permit Application Process

How to Apply for a Tennessee Concealed Carry Permit

Step 1:

Complete a firearms training course if required.

Step 2:

Complete the online application or visit a Driver Services Center. You will need the following:

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or residency;
  • Photo ID – driver license, state ID card, etc.; and
  • Training course certificate.
Step 3:

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.

On May 24, the Governor signed HB 1264 into law which creates a two tier carry permit system. The law, which will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, creates a new concealed handgun carry permit which requires the handgun be carried concealed and redesignates the existing permit as an enhanced handgun carry permit, which allows residents to openly carry. 

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

  • Apply in person;
  • Provide proof of identity and residency;
  • Provide fingerprints:
  • 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; and
  • Pay the $65 fee.

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 park, natural area, historic park, nature trail, campground, forest, greenway, waterway, or other similar public place that is owned or operated by the state, a county, a municipality, or instrumentality of the state, a county, or municipality.

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.


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 the classroom portion 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. There are exemptions for military personnel, law enforcement and security guards.

As of January 1, 2020, Tennessee Senate Bill 705, will allow people to obtain their carry permit by just taking an online course. 

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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. 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 restaurants that serve alcohol? Yes, as long as you don’t consume any alcohol.
  • Carry in my vehicle without a permit/license? Yes, but not on your person.
  • Carry in roadside rest areas? Yes.
  • Carry in state/national parks, state/national forests, and WMAs? Yes. [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.
Where Can't I Carry a Concealed Firearm in Tennessee?

Places off-limits even with a permit/license

  • Any public school campus, grounds, recreation area or athletic field;
  • 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 public institutions of higher education, except for employees who have provided written notification to the appropriate law enforcement agency (except in parking areas);
  • 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 penal institutions where prisoners are quatered;
  • Day use areas, campgrounds, and other developed recreational lands on Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) property;
  • Any property owned by an individual, business or government, if posted;
  • Any place while consuming alcohol or when under the influence of alcohol or drugs; 
  • Airports; and
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law or state law or regulation.

FAQ: Tennessee Concealed Carry Questions

Do firearms need to be registered in Tennessee?

No.

Is a permit required to purchase a gun in Tennessee?

No.

Are background checks required for private gun sales in Tennessee?

No.

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

No.

What are the knife laws in Tennessee?

There are no prohibited knives under Tennessee statutes.

What are the laws regarding carrying a firearm while using alcohol or prescription medication in TN?

Not while consuming or under the influence per 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.


Related Information & Links for Tennessee Gun Laws


Tennessee Gun Laws Updates:

Date Details
07/01/2019

Updated Permit Info and Application Process sections with additional Public Ch. No. 479 (HB1264) information

05/28/2019

Added HB 1264 regarding new 2-tiered permit levels to permit info

05/24/2019

Added stun gun/Taser info to At A Glance table

05/03/2019

Added permit renewal and name/address change info

04/19/2019

Links checked

04/02/2019

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

02/22/2019

Added info to vehicle carry in At A Glance table

02/15/2019

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

02/09/2019

Added ammunition restrictions to At A Glance table

02/06/2019

Added red flag law info to At A Glance table

02/01/2019

Added info to

01/25/2019

Added church info to location restrictions section

01/24/2019

Added FAQ about alcohol or prescription medication

01/10/2019

Mag limit added to At A Glance table

12/13/2018

Added preemption info to At A Glance table

11/30/2018

Added parking lot info to At A Glance table

11/27/2018

Added links

10/22/2018

Added initial CCW law and reciprocity information for Tennessee


Did We Miss Something?

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Permit numbers were obtained from the Crime Prevention Resource Center’s publication entitled, "Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2018.” 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.

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