If you are new to Tennessee and a gun owner or are choosing to become one, it’s important to be knowledgeable about the state’s gun laws. The following will help you familiarize yourself with these laws and take the first step toward responsible gun ownership in The Volunteer State.

Navigating the Laws of Responsible Gun Ownership in Tennessee

Understanding Tennessee’s gun laws is crucial for anyone looking to own or carry a firearm in the state. These laws govern various aspects of gun ownership, from permits and background checks to age requirements and designated gun-free zones. Here’s a breakdown of some key points to keep in mind: This is not all-inclusive and you should always seek additional information and training. 

Permits and Background Checks: Tennessee is a “permitless carry” state, meaning you do not need a permit to carry a handgun openly or concealed in public in most locations. We also have the Enhanced Carry Permit which not only allows carrying in more locations but is also recognized by 36 other states should you travel with your firearm. However, like any other state, you do need to pass a background check to purchase a handgun from a licensed dealer.

Minimum Age: You must be at least 18 years old to purchase a long gun and 21 years old to purchase a handgun or handgun ammunition. You can legally possess or carry both long guns and handguns at 18 as long as you are otherwise legally permitted to possess a firearm in the physical location where you are present. 

Gun-Free Zones: There are certain areas where firearms are prohibited, such as schools, courthouses, and airports. Be sure to check the signage before entering any public building. You can not possess any firearm anywhere in the state after consumption of alcohol or any other substance that impairs judgment. 

What Guns Can You Own in Tennessee?

Tennessee has no restrictions on the types of firearms you can own. Certain types of firearms are governed by federal law such as short barrels rifles and shotguns, suppressors (silencers), and fully automatic/select fire weapons (machine guns). These weapons are governed by the National Firearms Act of 1934.

Handguns: Handguns are the most commonly owned firearms in Tennessee. They are typically used for self-defense, home defense, and concealed carry. Their compact size and ease of use make them a preferred choice for personal protection among residents.

Long Guns: Long guns, which encompass rifles and shotguns, are typically used for home defense, hunting, target shooting, and sport shooting. These firearms are favored for their accuracy and range, making them ideal for outdoor recreational activities in Tennessee’s diverse landscapes.

Where and How Can You Legally Possess Guns in Tennessee?

You are generally allowed to possess a firearm in your own home or on your own property. You can also transport a loaded or unloaded firearm in your motor vehicle or boat, as long as you are not legally prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm.

Open Carry: Open carry is legal in Tennessee, meaning you can carry a handgun openly in public. However, there are some restrictions on open carry, such as in certain government buildings and at certain events. There are several limitations. Know before you go!

Concealed Carry: Concealed carry is also legal in Tennessee. This means that anyone at least 18 years old can carry a concealed handgun in most public spaces without a permit as long as they are legally eligible to possess a handgun and are lawfully present in the place where they are carrying the gun. Again, there are several limitations. Know before you go!

Where are Guns Prohibited in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, any location where federal law bans guns is automatically off-limits under state law, even if not explicitly stated in state statutes. This means carrying firearms in places like military institutions or airports is prohibited. Additionally, state law forbids carrying guns in areas where judicial proceedings take place. 

How Do I Store My Gun Safely in Tennessee?

Tennessee has no requirement that owners employ gun locks or safes at home, but ensuring the safe storage of firearms is a critical aspect of responsible gun ownership. Outpost Armory recognizes this need and offers a variety of secure storage solutions to keep your firearms safe and inaccessible to unauthorized users. Our range of products includes robust gun safes, lockable cases, and other security devices designed to protect both the firearm and those around it.

Outpost Armory: Building Confidence in Safe Gun Use in Tennessee

Outpost Armory is a premier gun store and training facility in the Nashville, Tennessee area. We strongly believe in the right of every American to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights! We also believe that with this right comes the responsibility to be properly trained in its safe and responsible use.

To help you become a responsible and confident gun owner, we offer firearms training and courses on gun safety at our Hendersonville and Murfreesboro locations. Our courses are designed to give you the knowledge and skills to legally protect yourself and your family. 

Visit Outpost Armory, where gun safety is our top priority.