Can you carry your gun out in the open in Tennessee?

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

In a previous article, the blog discussed who can and cannot carry a concealed weapon in Tennessee. You have a right to bear arms in the United States, but concealed carry is a unique situation. What about open carrying, though?

Openly carrying a gun means that the weapon is in plain view. For example, it might be on your hip in a holster, much like a police officer carries their weapon, or you may have it strapped to the outside of your leg. Open carrying is less restricted than concealed carry, allowing you to carry a loaded handgun with a permit by law. If you have a long gun, it must be unloaded if you’re going to carry it legally within the state.

Who can open carry in Tennessee?

Except for minors and those prohibited from owning or carrying firearms, anyone who is at least 18 is allowed to carry a firearm in the open in Tennessee. There is an additional requirement stating that those who carry must have no intention of causing harm with the weapon.

As a licensed open carry state, Tennessee does require you to have an enhanced handgun permit if you want to carry openly. You do not, however, have to register your firearm. You also don’t need a license to carry.

One additional fact to keep in mind is that Tennessee doesn’t limit the number of magazines that you can carry with you. This is unlike some other states, so if you will be traveling into or through Tennessee, you may find it easier to bring your magazines than in other locations.

Are there restrictions on where you can open carry?

Yes. You are not allowed to open carry in schools. For example, if you’ll be going to pick up your child at an elementary school, you’ll need to leave your weapon in your vehicle or at home. If you are attending a sporting event sponsored by the school, the same is true.

Keep these factoids in mind if you carry a gun in Tennessee. Carrying with the right permit and only where allowed will help you avoid gun crime allegations.


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