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Tennessee Constitutional Carry

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Constitutional carry is not yet legal in Tennessee. But the state legislature has approved that from the first of July 2021, residents that are at least twenty-one years old and meet all requirements for an enhanced gun license in the state and do not have a federal or state prohibition to possess firearms, will be allowed open and concealed carry in the state without permits.

Also, members of the military still active and those that are honorably discharged from duties and at least eighteen years old will be able to possess firearms without a permit.

Tennessee has a shall-issue policy for the application of firearms in the state. The gun license is processed by the state safety and homeland security department.

To purchase firearms from gun shows and private dealers in Tennessee, you are not required to complete a criminal record background check or register the firearms.

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Possession of Firearms in Tennessee

Prior to the commencement of permitless carry in July, open carry in Tennessee is only allowed for those with enhanced gun permits. However, you can open carry without a permit if the firearm is unloaded and you are not near ammunition. Possession of firearms with the intention to harm others or self is prohibited in Tennessee. The state minimum age requirement to open carry is eighteen years old, and it prohibits the possession of firearms in certain locations and regions.

To conceal carry in Tennessee before July 2021, you must be a resident with a state gun permit or a non-resident with a permit and license issued by a state-recognized by Tennessee. Anyone that is at least twenty-one years old can conceal carry with permits. Exceptions are made for military personnel with a minimum age of eighteen.

In 2020 two levels of gun permits were created in Tennessee. They are a normal gun permit and an enhanced permit. To obtain the regular permit, the state requires you to complete a firearm training course that lasts one hour and 30 minutes.

On the other hand, the enhanced permit requires an 8 hours’ live firearm training session from approved instructors in the state. With an enhanced gun permit in Tennessee, you can possess firearms in more places and locations than the regular permit.

Non-residents that are employed in Tennessee or work regularly in the state can apply for the regular permit provided that they have a license from their original state of residence. However, they will only be allowed to apply after working in the state for half of a year. Tennessee will also accept gun permits from every state and region in the US.

You can either open or conceal carry firearms in private vehicles, as long as you do not have a prohibition against the possession of weapons in the state or federally. Tennessee also allows the possession of firearms in roadside areas of the state for enhanced permit holders and those that have a license from any state that it recognizes.

According to gun laws in the state, you can possess firearms in State Parks, Forests, And Wildlife Management Areas, as long as you are an enhanced permit older or you have a pistol permit from one of the states Tennessee recognizes.

You can possess firearms in restaurants and bar areas of Tennessee if you have your pistol permit. However, if there is a post prohibiting the possession of firearms in the places or you are under the influence of alcohol, you cannot carry guns in restaurants or bar spaces.

Gun laws of the state also indicate that private businesses and properties in the state may prohibit the possession of firearms on their premises or regulate it as they deem fit. This law also applies to hotels, and they can develop policies to control the possession of firearms in their facilities.

Tennessee pistol permit holders can keep firearms and ammunition in their vehicles parked in public or private property in the state, so far the car is in a garage or parking lot designated for it.

Also, the permit holder must make sure that he or she locks the firearm in a compartment away from the public view. Furthermore, Tennessee gun law does not allow employers to prohibit employees from the possession of firearms or ammunition in their car, as described above.

Places Where You Cannot Possess Firearms in Tennessee

Tennessee gun Law prohibits the possession of firearms in certain areas of the state.

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

Application of Gun Permits in Tennessee

To apply for any Tennessee gun permits, first, complete the application online or visit your local sheriff's office to do so. You must complete the firearm training for either of the permits you are applying for. You will also be required to submit some documents like a means of identification which could either be a driver’s license or your state-issued ID card. If you do not have a driver's license, you can submit your state residency proof. You are also required to pay the required fee and after processing your application, take your fingerprint. You will get an approved mail after the processing period.

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

Gun permits are valid for eight years in Tennessee, and the processing period for the permit is ninety days.

Requirements to Apply for Gun Licenses in Tennessee

It is compulsory that you meet all requirements to apply for gun permits in the state.

  • You must be at least twenty-one years old before you apply for the 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 alcohol-dependent, drug defendant, or 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 or 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.

Is Constitutional Carry Tennessee the Same is All Parts of the State?

The state government in Tennessee has full authority over gun laws in all parts of the state.

Preemption gun laws in Tennessee prohibit local municipalities, districts, and counties from creating ordinances or gun laws that contradict the state laws in terms of ownership, possession, transfer, sales, licensing, and purchasing of firearms and ammunition.

However, local areas in the state can regulate the use of firearms in locations and regions for safety reasons.

This means that permitless carry Tennessee laws are the same in all parts of the state.

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