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Tennessee issues CCW permits at the Department of Public Safety. The state has a shall-issue policy; therefore if you meet all the requirements, you will get your license.

There are two types of permits in the state; An enhanced permit and the regular handgun permit.

For handgun permits, you must complete a Tennessee concealed carry online course with a duration not less than ninety minutes.

Enhanced permits holders, on the other hand, must complete a live training session from a state-certified instructor. This live training must be at least eight hours.

Also, enhanced permit holders can conceal carry in more locations than the regular permit holders.

Tennessee Gun Laws

You can conceal carry in Tennessee with either an enhanced handgun permit or a regular handgun permit.

To apply for these permits, residents of the state must be at least twenty-one years old, while military members must be at least eighteen years old.

If you want to apply for a Tennessee CCW permit as a non-resident, you must be employed in the state for at least six months and have a CCW permit from your state of residence.

Tennessee Concealed Carry Permit Reciprocity

Tennessee honors permit issued by every state in the USA, and you are allowed to conceal carry as long as you meet the requirements.

Various aspects of the reciprocity include the following:

  • States that Tennessee will accept their CCW permits: As long as you have a CCW permit from your state of residence and you meet the minimum age requirement of twenty-one, you can conceal carry in Tennessee. Hence, Tennessee accepts CCW permits from every other state.
  • States that will accept Tennessee CCW permits: These states will recognize a CCW permit issued by Tennessee, and you can conceal carry in their territory with it. There are twenty of them.
  • States that have restricted reciprocity with Tennessee: These states do not accept all Tennessee CCW permits. Some of them will honor a residents-only license, while others will accept only enhanced licenses.
  • States that have permitless policies: You can conceal carry in these states with or without a CCW permit. However, some of them have restrictions for permitless carry that you must obey. You also have to meet the various age requirements before you can conceal carry in these states.

Make sure that at all times, you handle your firearms according to the gun laws of each state, you possess the gun.

Also, never assume that gun laws in your state of residence are the same as those in a state you visit, regardless of reciprocity.

Location Restriction For CCW Permit In Tennessee

Tennessee has location restrictions for concealed carry and possession of firearms in the state.

However, with your enhanced handgun permit, you can handle your firearm in more places than an ordinary permit holder.

Places Where You Cannot Conceal Carry In Tennessee  

  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in public schools, and this includes campus grounds and sports fields.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in school buses or vehicles used by schools.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in a building or religious institution while it is under use for school purposes.
  • Municipalities and counties can take initiatives to not allow concealed carry in parks or any area temporarily used for schooling activities.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in any universities or other higher institutions. An exception to this is workers who have permission from law enforcement agencies to conceal carry and keep firearms away from public view in cars while in parking areas.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in courtyards or any place where a judicial proceeding is taking place.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in any prison, jail, criminal detention, or correctional facilities.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in any campground or recreational area of the Tennessee Valley Authority.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in private buildings and properties in the state that has a post prohibiting the possession of firearms within their premises.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in any area in Tennessee while you are under the influence of alcohol or while consuming alcohol.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in the safety zone of an airport area.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in places where federal laws prohibit the possession of a firearm.

Places Where You Can Conceal Carry In Tennessee

There are no gun laws in Tennessee that restrict the possession of firearms in these places or these situations:

  • Restaurants and Bars: You can conceal carry in restaurant and bar areas, as long as you are not under the influence of alcohol, and no posts are restricting the possession of firearms.
  • Conceal carry in personal cars: You can conceal carry in a private car or a vehicle that you own.
  • Roadsides and rest areas: You can conceal carry in roadsides and rest areas only with an enhanced firearm permit or a permit from a state that Tennessee honors.
  • State/ national parks and forests: You can conceal carry in state and national parks, forests, and wildlife management areas with an enhanced permit or a CCW permit from any other state that Tennessee honors.
  • Places of worship: You can conceal carry in places of worship, but since they are also private buildings, the prohibition of possession of firearms in their premises can occur.

Concealed Carry For Enhanced CCW Permit Holders

Tennessee grants enhanced permits holders more flexibility for handling firearms in the state.

They can conceal carry in public places that are state-owned and operated by counties, municipalities, or the state government.

Concealed Carry For Law Enforcement Officers In Tennessee

According to the Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act, an officer can choose to conceal carry in any jurisdiction of the United States without a limitation from state or local laws such as location restrictions.

Officers in this context refer to active, out of service for ethical standing and retired officers.

In Tennessee, there are two various options for retired officers who want to conceal carry after service. They include:

Concealed Carry Permit In Tennessee

Here, the retired officer can only conceal carry in the state after getting his/her certification to do so.

The certification process includes an FBI criminal record background check, a qualification to possess firearms according to the regulations of the state Peace Officers Standards and Training, done every four years.

Concealed Carry Nationwide

With this, a retired officer can conceal carry everywhere in the USA according to the LEOSA standards.

A requirement for this certification is yearly firearm training qualification according to Peace Officers Standards and Training, and criminal record background check done every year.

Note that this permit is valid for only one year.

Only retired law enforcement officers that meet up with these standards are allowed to conceal carry in Tennessee without any location restriction.

Buying and Selling Of Firearms In Tennessee

To buy and sell firearms in the state, you must meet up with all requirements and regulations provided by the gun laws.

Some of what you need to know include the following:

Purchase Permits and Firearms Registration In Tennessee

There are no purchase permits or any form of handgun registration in the state. Also, unlike other states, Tennessee does not have gun rosters for approved firearms.

Make sure that you keep your receipt at all times in case you have to claim ownership of your firearm.

Criminal Record Background Check

Except you are not buying your firearm from a licensed seller in the state, criminal record background check is a compulsory requirement for firearms purchase.

Even with your enhanced permit or the regular handgun permit, you must still complete this check before you can buy a gun in the state.

Waiting Period For The Purchase Of Firearm In Tennessee

There is no required waiting period to complete the sales of firearms in Tennessee.

Age Requirement For The Possession Of Firearms In Tennessee

The minimum age requirement for the possession and transportation of firearms in Tennessee is eighteen years old.

This is different from the minimum age requirement of twenty-one for the possession of firearms in the state.

Possession Of Firearms On Private Properties

You can conceal carry in your personal property, place of business, and any home of residence without a Tennessee CCW permit.

Castle Doctrine In Tennessee

Tennessee is one of the states governed by castle doctrine policies with no duty to retreat law.

This means that you can stand your ground, as long as you are lawfully in a place, and you are not involved in any form or illegal or indiscriminate activity.

The use of deadly force can only be justifiable in the following circumstances:

  • If you believe an action might lead to serious bodily harm, imminent death situations, or poses a real danger.
  • There is a reasonable reason to use such force. This could be in your home, business place, vehicle, or any other dwelling place.

Tennessee CCW Permit Requirements

You must fulfill all Tennessee concealed carry permit requirements before applying for any of the state CCW licenses.

The requirements include the following:

  • You must be at least twenty-one years old before you apply for the CCW permit. Members of the military must be at least eighteen years old or honorably discharged from service.
  • You must complete the necessary Tennessee concealed carry permit class for the permit you want.
  • You must be a resident of Tennessee.
  • You must be a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident.
  • You must not be an alcohol dependent, drug defendant, or a mentally disabled person.
  • You must not be a convict for any criminal offense or felony.
  • You must not be a convict for stalking.
  • You must not have any protection orders from the court.
  • You must not be a fugitive or have an arrest warrant in your name.
  • You must not be an addict of narcotics of any substance controlled by the drug enforcement agency, or be a patient in a mental institution for at least ten years before Tennessee concealed carry permit application.
  • You must not have multiple charges or a single charge for driving under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicating substance ten years and five years, respectively, before application.
  • You must not be a mentally defective person, committed to a mental home, have a developmental illness, or adjudged to be a threat due to a mental disease seven years before application.
  • You must meet all federal requirements for the CCW permit application.  

How To Apply For CCW Permit Application In Tennessee

Having met all the requirements to conceal carry in Tennessee, you can continue with the application process.

They include the following:

Complete A Firearm Training Class

You need to complete the necessary training course for the permit you choose.

A regular permit must consist of a ninety-minute Tennessee concealed carry online course. An enhanced license, on the other hand, must include an eight hours safety class.

The only exception for firearm training is military members.

Make sure that a state-certified instructor is in charge of your Tennessee CCW training

Complete The Online Application

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

Submit The Necessary Documents

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

  • Your USA proof of residence.
  • A means of identification. This could either be a driver’s license or your state-issued ID card.
  • For residents that do not have a driver’s license, submit your state residency proof. This must include your name and address.
  • Pay the required fee.

After processing your application, take your fingerprint.

Receive Mail Notification.

You will get an approved mail after the processing period.

Tennessee Concealed Carry FAQs

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about CCW in Tennessee.

For How Long Is My Tennessee CCW Permit Valid?

CCW permits are valid for eight years in Tennessee.

How Much Is CCW Permit Application In Tennessee?

An ordinary CCW permit cost sixty-five dollars for both initial licenses and renewals.

An enhanced CCW permit costs hundred dollars for an initial license and fifty dollars for a renewal permit.

However, both initial and renewal permits cost sixty dollars for active and retired military members.

How Long Will It Take Me To Get My Tennessee CCW Permit?

The processing period for the permit is ninety days.

Additional Resources

Tennessee Gun Laws
Tennessee Open Carry Laws
Tennessee Gun Permit Laws

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