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Tennessee Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & Gun Laws

Everything you need to know about owning a firearm in the state of Tennessee

Tennessee State Seal

Tennessee Reciprocity Map

Last Updated: 2021

Tennessee Concealed Carry Reciprocity Overview

6.9M

STATE POPULATION

681K

LICENSES ISSUED

9.87%

LICENSE PERCENTAGE

48

STATES HONORED

21

MINIMUM AGE TO CC

8

YEARS LICENSE VALID

37

RECIPROCATING STATES

YES

CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY

1

CC CERTIFIED INSTRUCTORS

Understanding the gun rights and state laws that apply to you is crucial in becoming a responsible citizen and firearm owner. Tennessee is home to 6.9 million people, 9.8% of whom are licensed to concealed carry (CC). The state has issued around 681,000 CC permits as of early August 2021.

Understanding reciprocity – how your gun rights translate across state lines – is vital, however. Tennessee’s stance on reciprocity is complex and varies according to the individual’s status, with some states receiving no reciprocity at all. The minimum age to CC in Tennessee is 21, and the license is valid for eight years.

Anyone interested in obtaining a concealed carry permit needs an education partner they can trust. Concealed Coalition has trained over a million U.S. citizens on how to carry their weapons safely and effectively. Contact us to find online or local training to get your CC license.

Tennessee Concealed Carry Courses and Certified Training Classes

Summary of Tennessee Gun Laws

Your Tennessee Gun Rights

Tennessee is both a constitutional carry and a shall-issue state. This means the authorities must issue a firearms license to any applicant who meets Tennessee’s eligibility requirements. There is no registration, license, or permit necessary to purchase a firearm from a private individual.

Three kinds of permits are available, with differences in price, training requirements, and permitted carry locations: the enhanced handgun carry permit, concealed carry permit, and lifetime carry. You can review all three on the state government’s site.

Gun rights can differ depending on your location, making clarity on your home state’s rules essential. Here are the current firearms laws for Tennessee:

Open Carry in Tennessee

Anyone 21 years or older (or 18 if active/honorably discharged military) may open carry in Tennessee.

Concealed Carry in Tennessee

The same rule applies to concealed carry as to open carry. Permits are obtainable, however, by first accessing the Tennessee DOSHS and completing the online application, then following the steps listed under the Concealed Handgun Carry Permit menu option.

Self Defense Laws in Tennessee

Tennessee law draws clear lines regarding permissible use of force in various forms of defense. Learn these to effectively protect yourself and others:

Use of Force

Tennessee residents are permitted to use force in any location where they’re legally allowed to be as long as they’re not the aggressor. Permissible use is when the user reasonably maintains that use of force is necessary to prevent physical harm to themselves or others or defend real or personal property (owned or that of a third-party) from unlawful interference or trespass.

Use of Deadly Force

It’s permitted when under the reasonable belief that it will prevent harm to yourself or others while within a residence, dwelling, business, or vehicle. Use of deadly force to defend against trespass or interference with property isn’t permitted unless otherwise allowed under the law.

Protecting Yourself After Use of Force

Justified self-defense in Tennessee must be proven like any legal matter. Be sure you’ve familiarized yourself with Tennessee’s stance on use of force so you can act more confidently in a given scenario.

Firearms training is a reliable way to gain skills that help you assess threats. Concealed Coalition has trained over a million people to become responsible, certified gun owners. Classes are available locally and online.

Tennessee Gun Laws by Statute

Concealed Coalition is dedicated to dispelling the myths surrounding gun ownership and promoting a culture of understanding, responsibility, and confidence. Our certified instructors are qualified across multiple states, and our online or local training classes provide convenient learning environments run by instructors who care.

Contact us today at (615) 205-2933 or email to discuss your concealed carry permit educational needs..

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Tennessee Concealed Carry Gun Laws and Permit Information

CONCEALED CARRY BASICS IN TENNESSEE

QUESTION

ANSWER

Does Tennessee recognize constitutional carry?

Yes, but not in any prohibited location.

Is open carry permitted in Tennessee?

Tennessee is a licensed open carry state, and if you have an enhanced handgun permit, you can open carry firearms without any issue.

If Tennessee requires a license to carry a concealed firearm, how are those licenses issued?

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

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.

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

21 years of age.

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

No, a Tennessee concealed carry permit does not extend to firearms other than handguns. 

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

Yes. No permit is necessary.

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

Yes.

Does Tennessee have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?

No.

Does Tennessee have ammunition restrictions?

Yes. Hollow-nosed ammunition with explosive capacity is prohibited.

CONCEALED CARRY LOCATIONS IN TENNESSEE

QUESTION

ANSWER

Where can't I carry a concealed firearm in Tennessee?

Tennessee law prohibits CC in the following places or conditions:

  • Any location prohibited by federal law
  • Military institutions
  • During judicial proceedings
  • On school property
  • While under the influence
  • At certain meetings
  • At public or private schools or universities (unless in possession of an enhanced handgun carry permit).

CC licensees should never consider any list of restricted locations to be exhaustive. Even the Tennessee government’s CC FAQ section does not consider the above list to constitute legal advice. Call ahead to any location where you intend to carry and ask about their firearms policy.

Where can I carry a concealed firearm in Tennessee?

Acceptable CC locations are listed in the answers below, but it’s important to be proactive and call ahead to check your intended destination’s firearms policy.

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

Those allowed to own a firearm may CC in a vehicle they own. They may keep a firearm in a parked vehicle, provided the parking spot is somewhere the gun owner is legally allowed to be, and the gun and ammunition are locked securely out of sight inside the vehicle.

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

Yes, but only with a Tennessee enhanced handgun carry permit or one from a state that Tennessee honors.

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

Yes, but only with a Tennessee enhanced handgun carry permit or a CC permit from an honored state.

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

Yes, unless the establishment has clearly posted that you cannot, and with the provision that you don’t consume alcohol while on the premises.

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

This can vary because hotels are private businesses and can set their own rules. Check with the hotel to clarify their position before entering the premises.

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

Yes, if the firearm is stored securely and locked out of sight.

IMPORTANT GUNS LAWS IN TENNESSEE

QUESTION

ANSWER

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

Those with a CC permit are legally required to have their permit with them and show it to officers on request if the permit holder is in a location where guns would be prohibited without a license. Carriers without a permit need only inform an officer they CC if asked. It’s viewed as responsible firearm ownership to volunteer this information to officers in the spirit of transparency and cooperation.

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 that prohibitive notice is posted in all areas of the property where firearms are forbidden. 

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

Yes, however municipalities may dictate firearm use within their jurisdictional limits and where independent contractors or government employees are required to carry one. 

Does Tennessee have a red flag law?

No.

Does Tennessee state law define brandishing?

Not definitively, however, threatening or violent behavior in a public place with intent to cause alarm or annoyance constitutes a Class C misdemeanor.

Does Georgia have laws regarding carrying a concealed firearm while using alcohol or chemical substances?

Yes, this is a Class A misdemeanor in Tennessee.

Does Tennessee issue concealed carry licenses to non-residents?

Any nonresident who works regularly in Tennessee and who has a valid CC permit from their own state may apply to CC in Tennessee. Nonresidents may only apply after six months of employment.

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

No.

HANDGUN PURCHASE & POSSESSION IN TENNESSEE

QUESTION

ANSWER

Is a permit required to purchase a handgun in Tennessee?

No.

Are background checks required for private gun sales in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, obtaining a firearm from a private seller who does not require a background check is legal.

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

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

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

No.

Do handguns need to be registered in Tennessee?

No. 

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

18 years of age.

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

Yes. It’s also legal in your place of business. You may be subject to firearms prohibitions set by your landlord if you live on private property that you don’t own. You’re legally required to follow your landlord’s rules on firearms.

TENNESSEE CONCEALED CARRY LICENSE INFORMATION

Concealed Carry Requirements to Register for a License in Tennessee

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

Fees:

Concealed HCP
$65 for the initial 8-year permit

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

Valid For:

Licenses are valid for 8 years.

Processing Time:

90 days.

Applications:

Download and complete the following 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 License:

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.

Lost or Stolen Licenses:

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

Residency Changes:

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.

TENNESSEE CONCEALED CARRY LICENSE APPLICATION PROCESS

Step One:

Complete the online application.

Step Two:

Complete a training course.

Step Three:

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 Four:

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

 

Enhanced Concealed Handgun Permit

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;
  • 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.

TENNESSEE CONCEALED CARRY LICENSE RENEWAL PROCESS

Step One:

Tennessee allows renewals for eight years after the expiration of the current license if completed within six months of expiration. (Longer than this requires a new application.) Applicants can visit the Tennessee DOSHS or a local Driver’s Services Center for more information. 

Step Two:

You will need to pay the necessary fee for the license you’re renewing and provide photo ID, along with proof of Tennessee residency or U.S. citizenship or residency.

Step Three:

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

Concealed Carry for Law Enforcement Officers and Retired LEOs

Federal law H.R. 218 allows active and retired law enforcement officers (LEOs and RLEOs) to CC anywhere in the U.S. with some restrictions. Here’s how it applies in Tennessee:

  • The training provisions outlined in Tennessee Code 38-8-116 require RLEOs to train every four years to meet Tennessee firearms standards to carry a firearm.
  • The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) and the FBI will both conduct a criminal history check.
  • Certification under this process does not allow the RLEO to carry a firearm beyond Tennessee state lines unless authorized.

A second option allows nationwide LEOSA to carry under 38-8-123 of the same code, but it requires annual training rather than quadrennial. The same proficiency standards and background checks apply. You can view an example of LEOSA application materials on the Tennessee government site.

LEOSA rules and regulations are subject to change. Be sure to contact your local or previously served law enforcement agency and the Tennessee DOSHS for the latest information.

Firearms Training & Competency

The certified instructors at Concealed Coalition will teach you applicable state laws and how to carry and fire a firearm safely. Training is available across the U.S. and online, so contact us with any questions or to sign up.

Proper firearms training is essential for any individual wanting to carry a gun, especially those who don’t receive training as part of their employment. Tennessee citizens pursuing a CC permit must complete state-approved firearms training, with an eight-hour course necessary for enhanced carry applicants. Consider the following options, which are acceptable as proof of firearms competency within one year of achieving them:

NRA Training

The NRA offers many types of training at numerous locations. Use the local training locator to find classes near you and specific lessons, and contact them to ask about the best courses for CC qualification.

Hunter Safety Courses

Tennessee accepts hunter safety/education courses provided by the state’s Wildlife Resources Agency or similar agencies in other states. 

Firearms Safety Courses From Other Providers

Public and private institutions, colleges, or law enforcement agencies often provide firearms training. Contact the Tennessee DOSHS to ensure your selected training venue provides lessons sufficient for CC qualification.

A Firearms Training Course With a State-Certified Instructor

Concealed Coalition offers firearm training to help you gain a CC license. Our highly specialized instructors provide actionable lessons based on their extensive practical experience to ensure you gain tested and reliable skills.

DD Form 214 or Military Orders for Active or Former Military Members

The military issues document DD-214 when a service member performs active duty or has completed at least 90 consecutive days of active-duty training. This counts as adequate documentation toward your CC license in Tennessee.

Prior State Handgun Permit

Tennessee CC applicants may also submit a prior state handgun permit at any time as proof of firearms competency, provided it has not been revoked or suspended.

Get Certified for a Tennessee Concealed Carry Permit Today

Clear knowledge of gun laws is the responsibility of any gun owner. Our certified instructors are qualified across multiple states, and our online or local training classes provide convenient learning environments run by instructors who care. 

Concealed Coalition will ensure you know the law and how to use your firearm safely. Click the button below to locate and sign up for a concealed carry training course in Tennessee today.

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