Tennessee Gun Laws

Gun Control Laws in Tennessee

Tennessee gun laws govern the use, possession, sale, and transfer of firearms in the state. Tennessee used to have a 15-day waiting period to purchase a gun, but that was dismissed. Tennessee preempts local counties from having gun laws that conflict with the states. Tennessee is a gun-friendly state and operates on a “Shall Issue” policy. There are no regulations requiring firearm owners to register their guns. The Department of Safety issues carry permits, and you can apply online or in person at the local driver's service center. The military is exempt from many state regulations. The state issues permits to residents and non-residents both. Non-residents, however, have to work in Tennessee for at least six months before applying. For all new applications, you have to take an 8-hour firearms safety course. Currently, there are 594,498 gun permits in Tennessee.

State CCW Quick Facts

  • Shall Issue State gun policy
  • Yes-With Permit Open Carry Permitted
  • No Constitutional Carry
  • Yes Carry In Restaurants
  • Yes Carry In Vehicle
  • Residents/Non-residents License issued to
  • 594,498 Number of Active CCW Permits
  • 38 # of states that honor Tennessee license
  • 53 # of state licenses that Tennessee honors
  • 8 Years license is valid
  • 100 $ cost of the license
  • 21 Minimum age for license permit

Tennessee’s policy is Shall Issue in practice and its license is issued to residents. You can carry a handgun in: state parks, state and national forests, road side rest areas, vehicle, all areas of the state not listed as forbidden.

Tennessee CCW Reciprocity Map

Tennessee has a very liberal reciprocity policy and honors all other state’s permits as long as the person has the license on then at all times. These thirty-eight states honor a Tennessee gun permit for residents 

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, and Wyoming.

These states honor a Tennessee gun permit for non-residents 

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, and Wyoming.

Tennessee honors these fifty-three state and territory’s permits

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, the District of Columbia, New York City, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

These thirteen states do not allow a Tennessee gun permit

California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington.

  • Permit honored
  • Permit not honored
  • Issuing state

Tennessee Concealed Carry Permit and Laws

Tennessee is a “Shall Issue” state and offers concealed carry permits to both residents and non-residents. The state highway patrol issues permits and you can apply online as long as you have a Tennessee State ID card or Tennessee driver’s license. With a permit, you can carry in rest areas, state parks, national forests, and your vehicle, but you cannot carry in airports, playgrounds, government buildings, schools, or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You can legally carry a concealed or open weapon in your car with or without a permit. You do not have to notify officers if you are carrying, but you must observe “no weapons” signs. You can open carry a firearm only with a permit, and yes, you are allowed in restaurants.

CCW Eligibility: Qualify or Pre-Qualify?

To qualify for a concealed carry permit in Tennessee, you must take a firearms training course within the past twelve months and be 21 years old. You must be a resident of Tennessee. You cannot be on disability or have a mental illness, and you must be a legal U.S. citizen. You cannot have any stalking offenses on your record. You cannot be addicted to drugs or alcohol, and you cannot have more than two DUIs in a ten-year period. You must also follow all federal regulations regarding concealed carry.

Tennessee Gun Background Check

Tennessee is a “point of contact” state and licensed dealers must contact the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (“TBI”) to initiate a background check through the state when someone wants to purchase a firearm. The dealer is also tasked with verifying the identity of the buyer. Licensed dealers are prohibited from selling to anyone labeled “mentally defective.” Private sales are not subject to background checks.

  • Permits
  • Handguns
  • Long Guns
  • Total

TN CCW and Pistol Permit Information

State Concealed Carry 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

Gun CCW Permit Application

  1. Complete your firearm training course if required.
  2. Complete an online application or,
  3. Visit a Driver Services Center.
  4. You will need the following documents; Proof of US citizenship or residency Photo ID – driver license, state ID card Training course certificate
  5. File an application at any Driver Services Center.
  6. When your application is processed at the Driver Service Center, you will be given instructions on being fingerprinted.
  7. You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved.

CCW Renewal

  • 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.
  • Permits can be renewed at any full Driver Service Center or by mail.
  • Paper renewal application forms can be obtained by calling 615 251-8590
  • Mailing Address Tennessee Department of Safety Handgun Permit Office P.O. Box 23710 Nashville, TN 37202

TN Concealed Carry License Fee information

Permit typeFees when getting a new permitRenewalCurrent license amendmentFingerprint scan feeFee for firearm classesAdditional state fees
Standard 8 year | Handgun carry permit$100.00$50.00Duplicates: $5.00$50 - $70Sheriff may charge up to $5.00 for fingerprinting
Military 8 year | Handgun carry permit$68.00$50.00Duplicates: $5.00$50 - $70Sheriff may charge up to $5.00 for fingerprinting
Standard lifetime | Handgun carry permit$300.00Duplicates: $5.00$50 - $70Sheriff may charge up to $5.00 for fingerprinting
Military lifetime | Handgun carry permit$268.00Duplicates: $5.00$50 - $70Sheriff may charge up to $5.00 for fingerprinting
Retired Law Enforcement Lifetime | Handgun carry permit$100.00Duplicates: $5.00$50 - $70Sheriff may charge up to $5.00 for fingerprinting
Upgrade to Lifetime | Handgun carry permit$200.00Duplicates: $5.00$50 - $70Sheriff may charge up to $5.00 for fingerprinting
Upgrade to Lifetime Military | Handgun carry permit$200.00Duplicates: $5.00$50 - $70Sheriff may charge up to $5.00 for fingerprinting

Places Where You Can & Can’t Carry a Gun in Tennessee

AllowedForbidden
State parksAny place used by municipal, county or state government for recreational purposes
State and national forestsSchool event taking place in the park
Road side rest areasAny room in which judicial proceedings are in progress
VehicleAny public or private school building or bus
All areas of the state not listed as ForbiddenAny 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

Tennessee CCW Contact

Tennessee Bureau of Firearms

Hours

Monday – Friday:N/A
Saturday:Closed
Sunday:Closed

Contact

Address:Tennessee Department of Safety
PO Box 945
City:Nashville, TN 37202
Phone:(615) 251-8590

CCW Licensing Offices in Tennessee

Anderson County - Oak Ridge Driver Services Center

Office Address
475 Oak Ridge Turnpike Oak Ridge, TN 37830

Phone
(865) 220-6520

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Bedford County - Shelbyville Driver Services Center

Office Address
1304 Railroad Avenue Shelbyville, TN 37160

Phone
(931) 680-2540

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Blount County - Maryville Driver Services Center

Office Address
318 Home Avenue Maryville, TN 37801

Phone
(865) 981-2359

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Bradley County - Cleveland Driver Services Center

Office Address
301 James Asbury Drive NW Cleveland, TN 37312

Phone
(423) 478-0346

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Carter County - Elizabethton Driver Services Center

Office Address
206 Cherokee Park Drive, Suite 3 Elizabethton, TN 37643

Phone
(423) 547-5886

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Coffee County - Tullahoma Driver Services Center

Office Address
307 Industrial Blvd. Tullahoma, TN 37388

Phone
(931) 461-7850

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Cumberland County - Crossville Driver Services Center

Office Address
136 Dooley St. Crossville TN 38555

Phone
(931) 484-1360

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Davidson County - Nashville/Hart Lane Driver Services Center

Office Address
624 Hart Lane Nashville, TN 37216

Phone
(615) 532-9780

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Reference Links

Counties in Tennessee