Purchase of Firearms
As of July 1, 2021, Tennessee is a permit-free state for carrying firearms in public, whether it be openly or concealed. This means no permit is required to carry a gun in public in Tennessee.
It is illegal, with certain exceptions, to sell or transfer a handgun to anyone who is under the influence of alcohol or is prohibited by law from owning a firearm. Although a permit is not required to purchase a firearm in Tennessee, individuals seeking to acquire a handgun must provide the licensed dealer with identification and other information, such as the make, model, caliber, and manufacturer’s number of the firearm. The dealer must complete a firearms transaction record, obtain the purchaser’s signature and thumbprint, and request a criminal history record check from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will notify the dealer if the purchaser is disqualified from completing the transaction or provided with an approval number. The background check does not apply to transactions between:
- Licensed manufacturers, importers, dealers, or collectors who certify the legal status of both parties before transfer;
- Licensed manufacturers, importers, dealers, and a law enforcement agency or its personnel, or to occasional sales of used firearms by legal owners. It is illegal to sell, loan, or give a firearm to a minor unless the person giving the firearm is not a dealer and the firearm is for hunting, trapping, fishing, camping, sport shooting, or other lawful sporting activity;
- Or any person eligible to purchase a firearm who wishes to make an occasional sale of a used or secondhand firearm legally purchased by the seller.
It is illegal to sell, loan, or give a firearm to a minor unless the person giving the firearm is not a dealer, and the firearm is for hunting, trapping, fishing, camping, sport shooting, or other lawful sporting activity.
In Tennesseeס, there is no need for a permit to own rifles, shotguns, or handguns. However, it is illegal for individuals who have been convicted of a felony involving the use or attempted use of force, violence or a deadly weapon, or a felony drug offense, to possess a handgun, or anyone under the age of 18.
Carrying a weapon can be considered lawful if:
- The weapon is not concealed and the ammunition is not nearby;
- The person has a permit to carry handguns;
- The carrying takes place at the person’s residence, place of business or on their property;
- The carrying is related to lawful activities such as hunting, fishing, or sport shooting;
- The person is protecting livestock from predatory animals;
- The person is a Tennessee Valley Authority officer on duty;
- The person is a judge or federal magistrate;
- The person is a full-time, commissioned law enforcement officer from another state with a reciprocal agreement with Tennessee, and they are carrying their commission card and identification.