Tennessee has some of the least restrictive gun laws in the country.

Firearms are mostly legal.  No license is necessary for possession.

Some weapons are prohibited.  These include machine guns, short barreled
rifles and shotguns (unless you have paid $200 for the ATF stamp).  Brass knuckles are prohibited.  Automatic knives (think switchblade) are not prohibited.  TCA § 39-17-1302.

The legislature prohibits hollow-points filled with explosive material.  TCA § 39-17-1304.

Guns – Who may Possess

Adults may possess a firearm unless they

  1. Have a felony record
  2. Are under order of protection, or
  3. Have been convicted of stalking or domestic assault, or
  4. Are an active addict, or
  5. Are mentally defective

Juveniles (17 or under) are prohibited from possessing handguns unless

  1. At residence and parent or guardian consents
  2. At a licensed firing range
  3. At a sponsored shooting contest
  4. At a hunter or firearms safety course
  5. Are hunting or trapping with a state-issued license
  6. Are on private property under control of adult with consent of parent or guardian.

TCA § 39-17-1319.I handle a lot of firearms cases.

Gun sales and transfers

Illegal to transfer any firearm to a minor unless for hunting or sport.  Illegal to transfer handgun to minor period.  TCA § 39-17-1320.

Illegal to sell or transfer to intoxicated person.  39-17-1303


Local Gun Laws Dead

In 2014 the Tennessee Legislature pre-empted local gun restrictions.  Local governments may still restrict guns rights of their employees and contractors. This includes knives too.  TCA § 39-17-1314.

A licensed firearms dealer may sell Guns-who may buy

Anyone convicted of Stalking or violation of an order of protection

Domestic violence

Guns In Cars:

It is legal under Tennessee law for an adult to possess a firearm in a vehicle unless he prohibited under federal law.  This rule does not include company cars or government vehicles. TCA § 39-17-1307.

However, it is nearly impossible to go anywhere in Nashville without being within 1,000 feet of a school-thereby violating the federal school zone statute.

Of course convicted felons are prohibited from possessing firearms as are addicts.

Handgun Carry Permits (HCP)

The policy of the State of Tennessee is that citizens of this state have a right to keep and bear arms for their common defense.  The legislature only claims power to regulate the wearing of arms with a view to prevent crime.  TCA § 39-17-1351.

You are eligible for a handgun carry permit it you are:

  1. 21 years old
  2. Citizen or lawful permanent resident
  3. Not subject to order of protection
  4. Not a felon
  5. Not under indictment for any felony
  6. Not under indictment for stalking or domestic violence
  7. Not been convicted of DUI in last 5 years.
  8. Not have two or more convictions for DUI in last 10 years.
  9. Not mentally defective or under conservatorship
  10. Not been in a treatment center in last 10 years
  11. Not an active addict

And have not been dishonorably discharged.

Open Carry

Open carry is legal but I advise against it. Unless you are at a gun show. Or work behind the counter at a liquor store.