Who can (or can’t) get a conceal and carry permit in Tennessee?

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

Being able to carry a gun is an integral part of defending yourself and your loved ones. You do not need to live in a particularly dangerous area to appreciate the desire to want to be able to protect yourself and those around you if there is trouble.

An essential part of being a safe handgun owner is getting your permit. In Tennessee, there are a few different types of permits that come with different rules and permissions, so it is essential to choose the permit that fits your goals.

Here’s what you should know about the rules for carrying a gun in Tennessee.

Types of permits

When you decide to get a handgun permit, you will need to consider how you want to carry (open or concealed) and the requirements associated with each. The five types of permits are as follows:

  • Enhanced handgun carry permit. With requisite training, someone with this permit can carry any handgun they legally own or possess. The enhanced permit allows for either open or concealed carry.
  • Concealed handgun carry permit. The concealed permit requires training, but fewer hours than the enhanced permit. This permit allows for concealed carry only.
  • Lifetime enhanced permit. While the permit is good for life, it includes agreeing to a name-based background check every five years. Since this is an enhanced permit, it allows for open or concealed carry.
  • Retired law enforcement lifetime permit. This permit is exclusive to retired law enforcement and has several requirements for demonstrating that you were a law enforcement officer in good standing.
  • Temporary permit. Temporary permits are exclusively for those granted an order for protection. The order for protection allows the person to carry a handgun for up to 21 days; applying for a temporary permit can extend that time to 60 days.

It is important to note that applying for a handgun permit typically includes a background check, and the results could impact your approval for a permit.

Requirements and training

Four out of the five types of permits require some level of training or a demonstration that you can safely carry and operate a firearm. These requirements may be as simple as a short handgun safety course or could require up to eight hours of handgun safety training and practice.

There are also certain state and federal rules regarding who cannot have a handgun permit, including those convicted of a felony, those with domestic violence charges and those with a domestic violence conviction.

If you are unsure if your background would exclude you from getting your handgun permit, you should talk to a skilled professional about your history and what it means for your ability to obtain a handgun permit.


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