Tennessee Gun Laws Scaled

Tennessee Gun Laws

In this article, we will explore the concealed carry reciprocity laws in the state of Tennessee. We’ll cover the basics of Tennessee’s gun laws, the requirements for obtaining a concealed carry permit, and the states with which Tennessee has reciprocity agreements. Whether you’re a resident or a non-resident planning to move to Tennessee, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the essential information you need to know.

Overview of Tennessee Gun Laws

Tennessee is a “Shall Issue” state, which means that once you meet the legal requirements, you are entitled to a concealed carry permit. Unlike some other states, there is no requirement for purchase approval of firearms in Tennessee. You can apply for a concealed carry permit online or at a driver service center, and the processing is done by the Department of Safety.

Concealed Carry Application

New applicants are required to complete an 8-hour training course, with exemptions for military personnel. As for non-residents, they can obtain a concealed carry permit only if they work in the state regularly.

Constitutional Carry

Tennessee passed a permit-less carry law for both open and concealed carry. To carry without a permit, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Be at least 21 years old (or 18 if serving in the military)
  • Legally own a firearm
  • Not have been convicted of stalking
  • Not have been convicted of DUI 2 or more times within 10 years or 1 time within 5 years
  • Not have been hospitalized in a mental facility

Open Carry

As of 2021, Tennessee allows for permitless open carry for individuals who meet the constitutional carry requirements. This means you can openly carry a firearm without a permit.

Carrying in a Vehicle

Tennessee allows for concealed carry within a vehicle as long as you are legally allowed to carry and own a handgun within the state. There is no requirement for a separate permit for carrying a firearm in a vehicle.

See also  Tennessee Open Carry

Carrying in State Parks

Concealed carry is permitted within state parks if you have an enhanced handgun carry permit (HCP) or a permit from a reciprocal state that Tennessee recognizes.

Carrying in Restaurants

Tennessee permits concealed carry in restaurants or bars as long as you do not consume alcohol.

No Weapon Sign Enforcement

Tennessee law requires you to obey the property owners’ wishes regarding concealed carry within their property if they display signage clearly at the entrance of the building.

Duty to Inform Officer

Tennessee is not a duty-to-inform state. However, if you possess a concealed carry permit, you must have it on you at all times while carrying your firearm in an area that would otherwise be off-limits for permit-less carry.

Tennessee Gun Laws for Felons

In Tennessee, it is generally illegal for convicted felons to own, possess, transport, or live in a residence with firearms. Restrictions apply even if gun rights were lost in another state that has since restored them.

Tennessee Gun Laws for Out-of-State Residents

Non-residents can legally possess and transport firearms while traveling through Tennessee under federal provisions, including adherence to gun laws. To conceal carry, out-of-state residents must have a valid carry permit from their home state.

Tennessee CCW Reciprocity List

States Honoring Tennessee 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, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

See also  Tennessee Hunting

States NOT Honoring Tennessee Permits

California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, and Washington D.C.

How Reciprocity Works in Tennessee

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.

Reciprocity Agreements in Tennessee

Tennessee has signed reciprocity agreements with 19 other states. For a full list of states with reciprocity agreements, please refer to the government website.

Where is CCW Allowed in Tennessee?

Places Allowed

  • State parks
  • State and national forests
  • Roadside rest areas
  • Vehicle
  • All areas of the state, except those listed as Off-Limits

Places Not Allowed

  • Any playground, civic center, or other building facility, area, or property owned, used, or operated by any municipal, county, or state government for recreational purposes
  • 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 public or private school building or bus
  • Any 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 carrying firearms is prohibited by Federal Law


Tennessee’s concealed carry reciprocity laws are designed to promote responsible gun ownership and ensure the safety of both residents and visitors. If you plan to carry a firearm in Tennessee or travel with your concealed carry permit, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the state’s laws and reciprocity agreements.

See also  Tennessee Constitutional Carry

By abiding by the regulations and exercising responsible carry practices, you can confidently enjoy the privileges that come with carrying a concealed weapon for self-defense.


Q1: Can non-residents obtain a concealed carry permit in Tennessee?

Yes, non-residents can obtain a concealed carry permit if they work in the state regularly.

Q2: What are the requirements for constitutional carry in Tennessee?

To carry without a permit, you must be at least 21 years old (or 18 if serving in the military), legally own a firearm, and meet specific conditions related to stalking and DUI convictions.

Q3: Does Tennessee honor concealed carry permits from other states?

Yes, Tennessee honors all concealed carry permits from other states, provided the person carrying a handgun has the permit in their possession.

Q4: Can a felon live in a house with a gun in Tennessee?

No, Tennessee prohibits felons from living in any house, apartment, or dwelling where they know firearms are kept. This applies even if the weapons legally belong to another resident who is not a prohibited person.

Q5: Can a non-resident of Tennessee carry a gun?

Out-of-state residents whose home state has reciprocity can concealed carry with that permit in Tennessee. No Tennessee-issued handgun carry permit specifically is required. Open carry does not require any permit for non-residents either.

Q6: Where are the places where carrying a firearm is prohibited in Tennessee?

Carrying firearms is prohibited in places such as government buildings, schools, airports, and areas where “No Weapons” signs are displayed.

Q7: Is Tennessee a duty-to-inform state?

No, Tennessee does not have a duty-to-inform law, but if you possess a concealed carry permit, you must have it on you at all times when carrying your firearm.

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