Tennessee Gun Permit: Laws, Cost, Restrictions, & FAQs

If you’re a resident of Tennessee and interested in owning a firearm, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the state’s gun permit requirements and regulations. Tennessee is a shall-issue state, which means the Department of Safety and Homeland Security processes firearm applications. However, there are specific guidelines and qualifications that applicants must meet before obtaining a gun permit.

Tennessee Gun Permit Summary

Tennessee follows a shall-issue policy for firearms permits, granting licenses to those who meet the state’s requirements. Unlike some states, Tennessee does not issue purchase permits for buying firearms. Instead, individuals interested in obtaining a gun permit must meet the necessary criteria and undergo proper training.

How To Get A Gun Permit In Tennessee?

To apply for a gun permit in Tennessee, you must be at least twenty-one years old and have legal rights to carry firearms in the state. Here’s a step-by-step guide to obtaining a gun permit in Tennessee:

Step 1: Enhanced Pistol Permit for Open Carry

To carry firearms openly in Tennessee, you need an enhanced pistol permit. Without this permit, you can only open-carry firearms that are not loaded. However, even with a permit, certain locations, such as schools and government buildings, prohibit the possession of firearms.

Step 2: Meet Tennessee Pistol Permit Requirements

Before applying for a gun license, you must meet several state gun requirements, which include:

  • Age: You must be at least twenty-one years old to apply for a permit. However, members of the military can apply at eighteen years old or after an honorable discharge.
  • Training: Completion of the necessary Tennessee firearm training for the desired permit is mandatory.
  • Residency: You must be a resident of Tennessee.
  • Citizenship: You must be a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident.
  • No Criminal Records: You must not have any criminal offenses, felonies, or protection orders from the court.
  • No Substance Abuse: You must not be alcohol or drug-dependent, or mentally disabled.
  • No Mental Health Issues: You must not have any mental health-related conditions that could be considered a threat.
  • No Warrants: You must not be a fugitive or have an arrest warrant in your name.
  • No DUI Charges: You must not have multiple DUI charges within the specified timeframes before application.
  • No Mental Institution History: You must not have been committed to a mental institution or been adjudged a threat due to a mental disease within the specified time before application.
  • Meet Federal Requirements: All federal requirements for gun permits must be met.
See also  Tennessee Gun Laws

Step 3: Types of Gun Permits

Tennessee issues different types of gun permits, including:

  • State Permit to Purchase Long Guns: Tennessee does not require a state permit to purchase long guns.
  • State Permit to Purchase Handguns: Tennessee does not require a state permit to purchase handguns.
  • State Permit to Open Carry: Tennessee is a licensed open carry state, meaning no permit is required to open carry.
  • State Permit to Conceal Carry Handguns: Tennessee issues a pistol permit for concealed carry.

Step 4: Cost of Gun Licenses

The cost of obtaining a gun license in Tennessee varies depending on the type of permit:

  • Lifetime Enhanced Permit: $300 or $200 for updating from an eight-year permit.
  • Ordinary Enhanced Pistol Permit: $100 for application, $50 for renewal.
  • Military Members and Honorably Discharged Individuals: $65 for the permit.
  • Ordinary Concealed Carry Permits: $65 for an eight-year permit.

How To Apply for Gun Permits in Tennessee?

To apply for a gun permit in Tennessee, follow these steps:

Step 1: Complete a Firearm Training Class

First, you must complete the required training course for the type of permit you desire. A regular permit requires a ninety-minute Tennessee training, while an enhanced license mandates an eight-hour safety class. Military members are exempted from the training requirement. Make sure to have a state-certified instructor conducting your training.

Step 2: Complete the Online Application

Complete the application online or visit your local sheriff’s office to do so.

Step 3: Submit the Necessary Documents

Visit the driver’s service center with the following documents:

  • USA proof of residence.
  • A means of identification, such as a driver’s license or state-issued ID card.
  • State residency proof, if you do not have a driver’s license.
See also  Tennessee Constitutional Carry

Pay the required fee and have your fingerprints taken.

Step 4: Receive Mail Notification

After the processing period, you will receive a mail notification of the approval or rejection of your application. Remember, you can begin the renewal application six months before your current permit’s expiry date.

Gun Permit Reciprocity with Tennessee

Tennessee allows pistol permits issued by any jurisdiction of the United States. Here’s a breakdown of reciprocity:

States That Recognize Tennessee Pistol License

In these states, you can possess firearms if you have a Tennessee gun license, but you must comply with the specific gun laws of each state. Some of the states include Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia.

States That Have Restricted Reciprocity with Tennessee

These states accept a Tennessee gun permit but have additional requirements for permit holders to possess firearms within their borders. Some of these states include Colorado, Florida, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

States with Permitless Carry Policy

Some states allow the possession of firearms within their territory without a gun license, as long as all other requirements are met. These states include Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, and Mississippi.

Relevant Gun Permit Laws and Legislature in Tennessee

Tennessee has specific laws related to the possession of firearms within the state:

Possession of Firearms in Private Vehicles

You can open or conceal carry firearms in private vehicles, provided possession of weapons is not prohibited either in the state or federally.

Possession of Firearms in Roadside Areas

Tennessee allows the possession of firearms in roadside areas of the state for enhanced permit holders and those with licenses recognized by Tennessee.

Possession of Firearms in State Parks, Forests, and Wildlife Management Areas

Enhanced permit holders or those with a recognized pistol permit can possess firearms in state parks, forests, and wildlife management areas.

See also  Tennessee Hunting

Possession of Firearms in Restaurant and Bar Areas

You can possess firearms in restaurants and bar areas if you have a valid pistol permit, but some places may have specific regulations.

Possession of Firearms in Hotel Areas

Hotels in Tennessee can develop their policies concerning the possession of firearms on their premises, according to state law.

Possession of Firearms in Employee’s Parking Lot

Tennessee pistol permit holders can keep firearms and ammunition in their vehicles parked in public or private property, as long as the car is in a designated area, and the securely stored firearm is away from the public view, adhering to firearm ordinances.


obtaining a gun permit in Tennessee requires meeting specific criteria and completing the necessary training. Tennessee’s shall-issue policy makes it possible for law-abiding citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights responsibly.


Q1- Can I apply for a gun permit if I have a history of DUI charges?

No, applicants with multiple DUI charges within specific timeframes before application are ineligible for a gun permit in Tennessee.

Q2- Is there a minimum age requirement for applying for a gun permit?

Yes, applicants must be at least twenty-one years old. However, military members can apply at eighteen years old or after an honorable discharge.

Q3- How long is an ordinary concealed carry permit valid for?

An ordinary concealed carry permit is valid for eight years.

Q4- Do I need to renew my permit after eight years?

Yes, you can renew your permit up to a cycle after its last expiry date. If more than eight years pass before your last renewal, the license becomes invalid, and you have to apply for another one.

Q5- Can I carry my firearm in state parks and forests with a pistol permit?

Yes, you can carry firearms in state parks, forests, and wildlife management areas with an enhanced permit or a pistol permit from one of the states Tennessee recognizes.

Similar Posts