How Do I Obtain a Handgun Carry Permit?
To obtain a handgun carry permit in Tennessee, you must first successfully complete a handgun safety course offered by a handgun safety school that is certified by the Department of Safety.
You will need to bring with you the original copy of your safety course completion certificate, proof of US Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Residency, photo identification such as your Driver License, and NON-REFUNDABLE permit fee. The permit fee will be based on the applicant’s date of birth and their next age divisible by five. (For example, age 25, 30, 35…etc.)
When your application is processed at the Driver Service Center, you will be given instructions on being fingerprinted.
Even though a person has a permit and is authorized to possess or carry a firearm pursuant to TCA 39-17-1315 or 39-17-1351, there are restrictions as to where firearms may be carried. Additional information pertaining to possession of and carrying a firearm are listed by Tennessee Code Annotated and subject matter. More information can be obtained online from the Tennessee Code Annotated lookup (this link is to LexisNexis site external to Tennessee Department of Safety website).
Can I renew my handgun carry permit before it expires?
Yes. You can renew your handgun carry permit up to six (6) months before your expiration date by completing an application and paying the renewal fee.
If my handgun carry permit has expired can I still renew?
You can renew your handgun carry permit up to six (6) months past the expiration date by completing an application and paying the renewal fee. You may not legally carry a weapon while your permit has expired until you receive your new permit.
You may renew in person at any full service Driver Services Center or by mail to:
Tennessee Department of Safety
Handgun Permit Office
1150 Foster Avenue
Nashville, TN 37243-1000
If your permit has been expired more than six (6) months past the renewal date you will need to start the complete process again. This includes completing a handgun safety course, paying the permit fee, being fingerprinted and undergoing a background check.
What States Recognize Tennessee Handgun Carry Permits?
Currently, Tennessee has signed formal reciprocity agreements with several states. Persons with valid Tennessee handgun carry permits should contact the reciprocity state for information on carrying handguns prior to entering the reciprocity state.
How do I Renew a Handgun Carry Permit?
Does Tennessee require a handgun be concealed? No
See Attorney General Opinion 05-154
Where can handguns not be carried?
Below are some Tennessee Code Annotated sections relative to where handguns cannot be carried. Disclaimer: This list is not intended to be legal advice and is not necessarily all inclusive.
Click here to access a free online version of The Tennessee Code. To find a particular statute, enter the statute number (i.e. 39-17-1351) into the search box at the top left of the page and click the 'search' button. That will give you a direct link to the statute you want to read.
How Do I Obtain Military Training Exception for the eight hour handgun training course required by TCA 39-17-1351?
The Department of Safety and Homeland Security is mandated to require applicants to submit proof of the successful completion of a department approved handgun safety course. An applicant is not required to comply with the firing range and classroom requirements if within five (5) years from the date of handgun carry permit application the applicant successfully completed all handgun training of not less than four (4) hours as required by any branch of the military.
There have been many interpretations of this statute over the last several years. Letters have been submitted from commanding officers, DD-214 forms, military ID cards, Honorable Discharges and General Discharges as verification of training.
On March 4, 2011 this process was clarified with the standardized usage of the Department of Defense form (DD-2586) to document handgun training of not less than four (4) hours. At that time we were informed that all branches of service completed a standard verification of military experience and training on the DD-2586.
On December 8, 2012 the Department was informed of two forms used by the Army which capture combat pistol training (DA-88-R and DA5704-R). These forms can now be used to verify military handgun training.
On March 13, 2013 the Department was informed of a form used by the Air Force to capture the results of small arms qualification training (AF Form 522). This form can now be used to verify military handgun training.
How do I obtain law enforcement and armed security guard EXCEPTION for the eight hour handgun training course required by TCA 39-17-1351?
T.C.A. 39-17-1351 (e) (1) - An applicant is not required to complete a department approved handgun safety course if, within five (5) years from the date of application, the applicant has been certified by the peace officer standards and training commission (P.O.S.T.).
To obtain this exception a copy of current POST certification must be presented with the application. This does not apply to reserve officers, part-time officers, or other uncertified peace officers.
Departments with exceptions on file (listed below) need only provide a copy of their current identification/commission card with the application. This does not apply to reserve officers, part-time officers, or other uncertified peace officers.
|FEDERAL AGENCIES||STATE AGENCIES|
|TVA Police||Department of Agriculture|
|Internal Revenue Service (IRS)||Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC)|
|Environment and Conservation, Park Service|
|Safety and Homeland Security, THP, Homeland Security|
|U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General||Nuclear Fuel Services Police Officer|
|Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI)|
|Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA)|
|Tennessee Office of Inspector General|
|COUNTY AGENCIES||MUNICIPAL AGENCIES|
|Blount County Sheriff’s Department||Chattanooga Police Department|
|Knox County Sheriff’s Department||Knoxville Police Department|
|Shelby County Sheriff’s Department||Memphis Police Department|
|Davidson County Sheriff’s Department||Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority|
|Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department||Berry Hill Police Department|
|Clarksville Police Department|
|Metropolitan Nashville Police Department|
|Vanderbilt University Police|
T.C.A. 39-17-1351 (e) (2) - An applicant is not required to complete a department approved handgun safety course if, within five (5) years from the date of application, the applicant has successfully completed training at the law enforcement training academy (TLETA).
To obtain this exception a copy of signed T.L.E.T.A diploma/certificate pertaining to handgun training must be presented with the application.
T.C.A. 39-17-1351 (e) (3) - An applicant is not required to complete a department approved handgun safety course if, within five (5) years from the date of application, the applicant successfully completed the firearms training course required for armed security guard/officer registration, pursuant to 62-35-118(b).
To obtain this exception a copy of the armed registration card or certificate (IN-1313) issued by the Department of Commerce & Insurance must be presented with the application. A Certificate of Successful Completion of Guard Training (IN-1144) is unacceptable.