Tennessee Handgun Carry Permits, Part I

Last Saturday I took the required class to get a handgun carry permit in Tennessee. I took the class at Guncraft Sports in Knoxville. Cost was $75 for the one-day class, including the written test and shooting qualification.

Some other stores offer the class a little cheaper, but I gladly paid a small premium for Guncraft. Their staff has continually impressed me with their knowledge, professionalism, and commitment to safety. Starke has taken the class from another range and from Guncraft, and felt that Guncraft’s was the more professional and informative. I was impressed with the instruction, and I’ll post more about that later in part II.

The written test is about as hard as a driver’s license test. The qualification was 12 rounds at 3 yards, 12 rounds at 7 yards, and 24 rounds at 25 yards. You need a score of 70% or higher to pass. You don’t have to shoot with the gun you plan to carry, so you can shoot with a .22 target pistol if you prefer. Guncraft rents guns for $7.50 an hour, and they sell ammo.

If you don’t own a gun, I’d recommend renting a gun. You’ll learn a lot during the class, and will be better prepared to buy a gun afterwords. If anyone reading this isn’t comfortable shooting and would like some practice before the class, email me. I’ll take you to the range, pay your fees, and teach you to shoot. No joke. Just email me and I’d be glad to help.

As part of the class, we watched a video from the state of Tennessee that explained the laws concerning carry permits and the use of deadly force. Here are some notes from the video and some of my reading outside of class. Parts of this apply to Tennessee only. For other states, consult your local laws.

Deadly force and criminal law

  • You can use deadly force to prevent death or serious injury to yourself or a third party. Beware of blundering into a scene and making a split-second decision as to who’s the good guy and who’s the bad guy. You could shoot the guy with the gun, only to find out he’s an undercover cop, or another armed citizen like yourself.
  • In Tennessee, if a person illegally enters your home, you have broad rights to use deadly force, even without the threat of death or serious injury. You do not have to retreat, though retreating to a bedroom or other room may be helpful in the event of a civil trial. It may also be helpful for your psyche – shooting another person is not something to take lightly – but if you feel threatened you have to protect yourself and your family.
  • You cannot use deadly force to protect property. If they’re stealing a hubcap they’re not a threat to life or limb.
  • You cannot use deadly force to make a citizen’s arrest, or to stop a fleeing criminal. If they’re fleeing they’re not a threat to life or limb.
  • You’re responsible for all of the shots you fire, including misses that hit innocent bystanders. Use aimed fire. “Spray and pray” is a bad idea.

Deadly force and civil law

  • Even if criminal charges aren’t pressed against you, the person you shoot can file a suit in civil court, as can their estate.
  • Even if the person you shoot is convicted of a crime for assaulting you, they can file a civil suit against you. The other guy can literally sue you from his jail cell. What else has he got to do?
  • “Guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt” is the standard for criminal trials. For civil trials, the plaintiff only has to prove a preponderance of evidence. In other words, the creep in jail who’s suing you got the benefit of the doubt, not you.
  • In civil court, the state does not provide for your defense. Unlike the creep who was convicted and is now suing you from jail, you have to pay for your own attorney. (Tort reform is sounding better and better, isn’t it?)
  • If you shoot someone in your home, your homeowner’s insurance will not pay for your defense. Consider Pre-paid Legal, or an umbrella liability policy. Or forget spending money on a gun and get a life insurance policy: if the creep kills you, the insurance company will pay out to your beneficiaries.
  • Cheer up, in spite of all of the above. Even if you get taken to court, you’re still alive. It’s better to be tried by twelve than carried by six. Want to take control of your life? Put money in your savings account so you can mount a legal defense against the creep or his estate. You invested in a gun and an alarm. Invest in a legal warchest. If you don’t use it, it will come in handy for your kids’ education or your retirement.

Think about how a jury would see things

  • The next time you’re buying home defense ammo and you have a choice between “Marksman” and “Predator” brand, think how “Predator” brand ammo sounds to a jury member who has never shot a gun in his or her life.
  • Keep your defensive weapons close to stock, and never disable safeties. For example, you may know that pinning the grip safety shut on a 1911-style auto will reduce trigger pull by a pound or two. That’s all well and good, but the opposing counsel will use that modification against you. “The defendant purposefully disabled one of his gun’s safety devices because a hair trigger is more important to him than the safety of human life.”
  • If you use hollowpoints, a common strategy for opposing counsel is to accuse you of using “dum dum rounds.” He may even mention that expanding bullets are outlawed under the Geneva Convention. This is nonsense, and it’s apparently pretty easy to beat: just remember to have someone from local law enforcement testify that they use hollowpoints because they’re more effective at incapacitating an assailant, and because hollowpoints are less likely to over-penetrate and strike an innocent bystander.
  • Also consider using Glaser Safety Slugs, which are highly effective incapacitators that are designed to prevent over-penetration. The fact that they have a jury-friendly name is a bonus. You could also take Kim du Toit’s advice and use the same ammo that your local police department uses.
  • On the other hand, forget about the myth of “shooting to wound.” Shooting is shooting and reflects the use of potentially deadly force, and may result in death despite your best intentions. Shooting someone in the leg to wound them could open their femoral artery, which will cause death by blood loss in minutes.
  • While you don’t shoot to wound, you don’t shoot to kill, either. Shooting the other guy to stop him may result in his death, but incapacitation, not death, is the goal. Another way to think of it: you don’t shoot to kill, you shoot to live. If you don’t incapacitate him, he’ll kill you.

Where you can’t carry a gun

Even with a carry permit, there are lots of places where a gun is off-limits, from the obvious to the not-so-obvious (some laws apply only to Tennessee):

  • Airports
  • Most court facilities
  • Federal parks
  • Public facilities, including city parks and greenways.
  • School grounds, including public schools, private schools, and colleges.
  • There’s an exception when dropping off students, as long as the gun stays in the car and isn’t handled.

  • Any private property where a notice is posted. In Knoxville, that includes all of West Town Mall.
  • Anywhere alcohol is served. In addition, you can’t carry while you’re drinking. In Tennessee, there’s no threshold or blood alcohol level. No drinking whatsoever is allowed while carrying.
  • Violating any of these laws can result in criminal proceedings and/or the loss of your permit.
  • With all of those restrictions, most of us will keep our guns in the car or nightstand most of the time, and only occasionally carry them. Carrying pepper spray is still a good idea for all of the places where guns aren’t allowed. Even when carrying a gun, pepper spray is a good idea, as it’s sometimes a more appropriate response to lower levels of conflict.

When you carry a gun, you can’t get in fistfights

If you carry a gun, you have to walk away from fights whenever you can, even if it means swallowing your pride. Let’s say someone is yelling at you and calling you and yours names. What do you do?

  • If you pull a gun and shoot him for calling you names, you’re a murderer, plain and simple. You can only use deadly force when faced with the loss of life or limb.
  • If you punch the guy, things can get out of control. If he starts winning the fight and gets on top of you, do you shoot him? If he pulls a knife, do you shoot him? In either case, you’re the one who started the fight by punching him, so you could be guilty of murder.
  • If you draw your gun and try to intimidate him, he may not back down, and you’re forced to either back down or shoot an unarmed man.
  • Maybe he isn’t unarmed, and drawing your gun will provoke a gunfight.
  • If you get in a fistfight and try to draw your gun in the clench, he could take your gun and kill you. Now he’s a murderer and you’re dead.
  • The best strategy is to keep your cool and move away. Being called a name never killed anyone. If he follows you and assaults you, you may need to draw your weapon. If so, you’re in a better legal position, since you tried to retreat and he initiated the fight.
  • If you’re in a tight spot – you can’t get away, but there isn’t yet sufficient reason to use deadly force – saying “back off, I have a gun” isn’t the worst thing you can do. Say it while your hand is on your gun in case he draws his, but keep your finger off of the trigger until you’re forced to shoot.

What about carrying your gun out in the open?

Unlike some other states, Tennessee carry permits are permits to carry, not concealed carry permits. However, there are lots of reasons why open carry is generally a bad idea.

  • With open carry, you lose the advantage of surprise. The attacker gets to choose the time, place, and victim. By carrying open, you’ve revealed your secret weapon.
  • Say you’re present in a bad scene, like a bank robbery or hostage situation, such as the recent case at Dyersburg State Community College. The bad guy has 11 hostages and one of them has a gun strapped to his hip. Put yourself in his shoes. Who would you shoot first? (Note that – since it was a college campus – the students and teacher in that class had been legally disarmed by the state. Criminals, crazies, and terrorists will continue to attack where there are victims who are least likely to fight back.)
  • While it seems crazy to attack someone with a gun, the instructor mentioned a motive: maybe the bad guy needs a(nother) gun. Since you decided to carry in the open, the bad guy can see what a nice pistol you have, and since it’s your gun it can’t be traced back to him.
  • Carrying a gun openly will make lots of people nervous, including friends and family members. It will also attract unwanted attention from police and security guards everywhere you go.
  • If people start carrying in the open, more businesses will post notices that guns are off limits, and there will be fewer and fewer places to carry. Open carry is a losing strategy for our side.

The emphasis in the class was that having a gun is a grave responsibility, and isn’t to be taken lightly. We discussed 9/11, and the fact that the fourth plane didn’t reach its target because of the actions of ordinary citizens, the very people who comprise the militia mentioned in the second amendment of the Constitution.

What’s next?

Now that I’ve passed the class, I have to go to the DMV and fill out an application. I’ll pay $115 (cash, no checks) and the state will run a background check. Applicants must be 21 or older, can’t have any felony or DUI convictions, can’t be under a restraining order, and can’t have been committed for drug or alcohol treatment. It will take about six weeks to get the permit.

For more information

Handgunlaw.us – great information on carry permits by state, plus handgun information.
Massad Ayoob – Police officer, firearms instructor, lethal force instructor, gun writer, and expert trial witness in shootings. Read the Ayoob Files for post-mortems on gunfights to see what happened during the shooting, and what happened afterwards at the trial.

LATER: Guncraft Sports is now Coal Creek Armory. I haven’t had a need to take their CCW class, but the staff is even better than before, in my opinion.

69 Responses to Tennessee Handgun Carry Permits, Part I

  1. Say Uncle says:

    Tennessee Carry Permits

    Les tells you how to get one and some pointers about the law that he learned. I would add that the reason Tennessee pushed for…

  2. Drake says:

    Clear off a day from your calender. It takes forever for the DMV to process you and take your picture. Plus you get to spend the afternoon with fine degenerates applying for reinstatement and nervous teenagers there for their driving test.

  3. Steve says:

    Wow, your page gets totally fubared by Netscape 4.76 for Solaris. Come on, man! I bet it looks ass in lynx, too.

  4. Les Jones says:

    Drake: someone else told me the same thing. Dangit. I work close to a DMV office, so I may drop by mid-morning tomorrow just to see if it’s busy.

    Steve: the page is all valid XHTML and CSS. Netscape 4.x wasn’t fully compliant with CSS. On the other hand, I still get about 4% of my hits from 4.x:


    I may fiddle with the page to improve compatibility with older browsers, but it’s getting pretty late in the game for 4.x. That codebase was completely thrown out and re-written for the Gecko rendering engine.

  5. Les Jones says:

    Almost forgot: because the page is laid out with CSS instead of tables, it actually looks great in Lynx. Give it a look-see.

  6. Eric says:

    One way to “fix” the page easily in NS4 is to replace this:
    <link rel=”stylesheet” href=”http://www.lesjones.com/styles-site.css” type=”text/css” />
    with this:
    <style>@import url(http://www.lesjones.com/styles-site.css)</style>
    NS4, IE3, and IE4 won’t see the stylesheet at all and will end up looking like lynx, but pretty much everything else should be fine.

  7. Les Jones says:

    Killer advice, Eric. I had forgotten all about the import trick.

    That code didn’t quite work, but this did (the wrapping may be funky in the comments window, so you may want to view source on the actual site):

    The site looks the same as always in modern browsers, and older browsers who view the site will see it just fine, but with that nice 1996 aesthetic.

  8. Resonance says:

    Volunteer Tailgate Party: Vol. XII

    Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls of all ages. I present to you a snapshot of life in the Volunteer Blogosphere: Newsrack Blog  “Virtues of their own? Eugene Genovese and the Slaveholding South” A long post about a review by…

  9. Resonance says:

    Volunteer Tailgate Party: Vol. XII

    Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls of all ages. I present to you a snapshot of life in the Volunteer Blogosphere: Newsrack Blog  “Virtues of their own? Eugene Genovese and the Slaveholding South” A long post about a review by…

  10. Resonance says:

    Volunteer Tailgate Party: Vol. XII

    Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls of all ages. I present to you a snapshot of life in the Volunteer Blogosphere: Newsrack Blog  “Virtues of their own? Eugene Genovese and the Slaveholding South” A long post about a review by…

  11. Why I don’t open carry

    I pretty much agree with this guy. (last section) [T]here are lots of reasons why open carry is generally a bad idea. * With open carry, you lose the advantage of surprise. The attacker gets to choose the time, place,…

  12. Why I don’t open carry

    I pretty much agree with this guy. (last section) [T]here are lots of reasons why open carry is generally a bad idea. * With open carry, you lose the advantage of surprise. The attacker gets to choose the time, place,…

  13. Why I don’t open carry

    I pretty much agree with this guy. (last section) [T]here are lots of reasons why open carry is generally a bad idea. * With open carry, you lose the advantage of surprise. The attacker gets to choose the time, place,…

  14. Marshall says:

    I have added a link to your permit class page on my CCW page (second link). Nice info!


  15. Bo Alexander says:

    Interesting site. Did you ever put up Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit, Part II ?

    And, is Guncraft still in business ? Their website appears to be disabled.

  16. Les Jones says:

    Bo: never did a part II.

    Guncraft sold out and is now Coal Creek Armory.

  17. CHARLIE says:

    Please forgive my stupid question, but what does the CCW permit allow that is not possible with no CCW. I have read that the Tn law is “open carry”, not concealed.
    How is that different from your legal right to carry without any permit?

  18. Les Jones says:

    I’m not sure if TN allows open carry without a license. The handgun carry permit allows carry open or concealed.

  19. dhalpern says:

    What is the law in Tennessee regarding carrying pepper spray. SPecifically Freeze OC?

  20. Winifred says:

    This is really a crazy world.
    How can anybody understand all this crazy stuff all around?
    It’s so meaningless, but in one way it’s fantastic!

  21. Neal says:

    This is a late post for March 16th question, but maybe it will help someone – Tennessee’s permit is not a concealed carry permit, it is a handgun carry permit. This essentially means that you need a permit to carry a gun (concealed or not). Some detailed information can be found here – http://www.tennessee.gov/safety/handgunmain.htm.

  22. DUSTIN says:


  23. KJ says:

    Hey I am a VA state resident but am working in TN for the next 6 months. Can I still apply and get a TN concealed weapons permit while I am down here or do you think I have to go through VA. ITs like over twice as much money to take the class in VA (bastards!) If anyone knows shoot me an email if possible.

  24. Tom Goodman says:

    Yes that is correct. I liked your comment. I too belong to the same profile and this was of great help.

    Tom Goodman

  25. Jon Russell says:

    even your advice to carry concealed sounds like a good idea but there are two sides i believe when you carry open you scare away people that might want to do harm or even stick the store up that you are shopping at. The bad guy might get nervous and think you are the police I was at a store when a clerk got robbed and when he seen my weapon on my side he took off so it could work either way and as far as too much attention you can buy a tennessee handgun permit badge that looks like a police badge so that the law will not bother you or the public ive had my permit for ten years and i havent had any problems so far with carrying my gun in the open now if you dont have that badge then you will cause problems but if you do everything will be ok.

  26. Dustin says:

    So,there’s no statue of limitations on a DUI conviction? ANYBODY

  27. Roger Thompson says:

    hi my name is bill thompson i read ur page i was interested in goin to get my gun permit for my business, security reasons but im a little nervous about passing the shooting and writing test i live in north knoxville and im very interested if u can contact me id appreciate it i have the fees, and im ready so give me a holler and if ur serious give me a call 865-689-4470

  28. Bill Hamby says:

    In response to Jon Russell’s comment, the CCW “badge” is a REALLY bad idea. First of all, it has NO legal affiliation, and can get you into hot water as far as Law Enforcement personnel goes. You don’t want to get nailed for impersonating an officer. Second, you have no authority, only an expensive trinket that can get you killed due to the fact that in some cities, badges are like targets. If you want a badge and a gun, apply at your local police or sheriff’s office. Otherwise, don’t bother.
    Just my 2 cents worth.

  29. gene brock says:

    Are Tennessee permits recognized in other states,ie ( Fla.).Also how long are permits good for?

  30. Les Jones says:

    Gene: for up-to-date information about state reciprocity, check packing.org.

  31. Brian McClure says:

    I’ve had my carry permit for about two years now and i’ve found that the best way to carry is concealed. You get enough attention when someone ask for I.D. walking around with your weapon in plan site is an invitation to disaster. I really enjoyed the page it is almost as imformative as the class itself.

  32. Christopher Jones says:

    You seem very adept about Tennessee gun laws; help me with a bit of information. My situation: I got stopped for speeding in Davidson County, passing through on my home to Atlanta, I informed the Officer about my handgun on the front seat in plain view, since he didn’t see it. I thought I was doing the “law-abiding-citizen-thing” but now I realize I should have kept my mouth shut because I was given a Misdemeanor Citation for Unlawful Possession of Firearm. I didn’t know I needed a permit to transport a handgun in my car through Nashville, TN. And now I have to appear in court. My question: Do you know if a permit is required to transport a handgun in your car; not on you.

  33. Les Jones says:

    Check packing.org. Here’s their summary of Tennessee car carry laws:


    Unless you have a TN carry Permit(Or a permit TN honors),Weapon must
    be unloaded and out reach, Ammo must be separate from firearm.

    Federal Law on the Transportation of Firearms. Title 18 U.S.C. Section 926A

  34. Bob Abernethy says:

    Just found this site and wanted to clarify the answer to a question of May 4, 2005 querying “How is that different from your legal right to carry without any permit?”

    Direct from Tennessee 39-17-1307. Unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon. (a) (1) A person commits an offense who carries with the intent to go armed a firearm, a knife with a blade length exceeding four inches (4″), or a club.

    And this is Tennessee 39-17-1308. Defenses to unlawful possession or carrying of a weapon.
    (2) By a person authorized to possess or carry a firearm pursuant to § 39-17-1315 or § 39-17-1351

    Answer in a nutshell: you cannot carry a firearm without a permit in the State of Tennessee, period. This, of course, pertains to “on person” carry.

    Thsi information was taken from:

  35. John R says:


    Applicants are required to be a resident of the State of Tennessee;
    Be at least twenty-one (21) years of age;
    Applicants shall not have been convicted of any felony offense punishable for a term exceeding one (1) year;
    Shall not be a fugitive from justice;
    Shall not have been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
    Shall not be an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States;
    Having been a citizen of the United States, applicants shall not have renounced their citizenship;
    Shall not be currently the subject of any order of protection;
    Shall not be an unlawful user of or addicted to alcohol or any controlled substance;
    Shall not have been a patient in a rehabilitation program or hospitalized for alcohol or controlled substance abuse or addiction within ten (10) years from the date of application;
    Shall not have been adjudicated as mental defective; has not been committed to or hospitalized in a mental institution; has not had a court appoint a conservator for the applicant by reason of a mental defect; has not been judicially determined to be disabled by reason of a mental illness, development disability or other mental incapacity; and has not, within seven (7) years from the date of application, been found by a court to pose an immediate substantial likelihood of serious harm, as defined in T.C.A. § 33-6-14, because of mental illness;
    Shall not have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence as defined in 18 U.S.C.A. 921 (33);
    Shall not be receiving social security disability benefits by reason of alcohol dependence, drug dependence or mental disability;
    Shall not have been convicted of the offense of stalking;
    The applicant has not been convicted of the offense of driving under the influence of an intoxicant in this or any other State two (2) or more times within ten (10) years from the date of application and that none of such convictions has occurred within five (5) years from the date of application or renewal.

  36. Tony says:

    I want a gun permit, can you make it easier for me to obtain one?

  37. Andrew says:

    Thanks for the info. This was very informative. Rather than packing.org, you told the story from your own experience. Thanks for all the heads-up.

  38. ROBERT FARMER says:

    i am trying to find out how to get a gun permitt here in TN.i took the class and pass everything,paid my $115.00 fee.Got a letter from Nashville saying I got a bad discharge from the military.I was just 19 when that happen,is there anything that I can do to get a permitt!!!

  39. michael says:

    there is no easy way to get hand gun permit you have to take the class and fill out application at dmv

  40. bnickls says:

    Can you not get a carry permit if you have a DWI?

  41. Bryan Russell says:

    I dont have a gun yet, i am wanting to get a gun permit. Can anyone help with the type of gun to buy? I’m inexperianced with handguns and probably need practice, do any gun shops around here allow you to practice before you take the safety course? Thanks for your help.

  42. DILLON says:

    Great Website. Very informational. I am still unsure about the law for carrying a gun without a permit. Lets say that I am camping, Is it still illegal for me to have my pistol on my hip in a holster out in the middle of the woods? I am just wondering if there are exceptions or understood exceptions to the law. Thanks.

  43. Les Jones says:

    I’m not aware of any exceptions, but I could imagine there being an exception for hunting, with a hunting license, during hunting season.

  44. Mr. Smith says:

    I received my TN permit in Knoxville, in April ’07.

    I had no trouble or wait at DMV, on Strawberry Plains Pike, at mid-morning on a weekday. In & out, maybe 20 or 30 minutes, what with filling stuff out, getting the picture, everything.

    Don’t forget all pertinent documents, including your handgun class certificate, original birth certificate and cash/money-order, or you’ll be wasting your time. LIke i did, the first time I went.

    Fingerprints were even quicker, at the old Sears bldg. on Central Ave. I can’t remember how long I had to wait, but it wasn’t long. A few weeks.

  45. Cory Phillips says:

    I loved your page here. It was just like taking the class. Lots of good info and lots of good questions. I have had my permit for about a month now and was considering “open carry” with a badge like the one guy suggested. However, in light of your comments, I think I will stick to the concealed option.

  46. T says:

    Thanks for the “in your words” info. I’ve been considering taking the class for over 2 years, now. I might take the plunge within the next month or so…

    With that being said, I have a question that remains unanswered:
    I maintain 2 different residences within the state. Can I hold a carry permit at one residence, but my Driver’s license at another? I’m almost afraid to call the state and ask such a question. I’m a registered voter, etc, in the county of my driver’s license, but currently also live in a residence in a different part of the state. It is my understanding that the favorable view is to issue the carry permit within the county that you will be using it most.

    What to do?

  47. B. Jones says:


    An outstanding page!

    I want to get my permit, but have an issue. Your (or anyone’s) insite would be greatly appreciated.
    I had somewhat of a “wild streak” in my ignorant, younger days. I managed to get in to quite a mess over drugs. I was honestly in the wrong place at the wrong time and a victim of cicumstance.
    OK, with my innocence stated, I was still convicted of a class x felony, as i understand it. I recieved several yrs. probation. All i remember is the Attorneys told me that i could have this expunged(or they would, I can’t remember)at a later date.
    This all occured 22+ yrs. ago. I have been unable to find my court papers to verify the conviction. To be honest, its been so long, its all a blur.
    I have paid for two recent TBI background checks
    which came back clear, not a single record. I also hired an attorney to search, which revealed nothing. The attorney did say: just because she found nothing, doesent mean its not there. WHATEVER THAT MEANS.
    I am wondering what will happen if I submit an app. stating I have had no felonies and then something suddenly pops up from the fingerprint check. I do not want to do anything illegal. I heard you could get in serious trouble for falseifying info on the app. I will accept it if I can not get the permit, but would like to have the right to legally carry. Thanks in advance for anyone’s help!

  48. Les Jones says:

    That’s a very important question. If you have a felony conviction you’re not even supposed to have a firearm. Having one is a violation of federal law that could land you in jail for years. You need to have an attorney look into this carefully. Don’t rely on advice from non-lawyers on the Internet.

  49. Jesse says:

    Les, Very nice page you have here. Lots of great info. Any chance you know of a safety class located here in nashville Tn? Or know where I should look to find one. Thanks alot.


  50. Dean says:

    Regarding the letter about the military problem, I did not know the Navy had sent the FBI to get me due to desertion in 1968 until I tried to buy a handgun in Feb 06. This is the first firearm I had bought since the background checks law went into effect. I called the TBI to find out why they had declined my purchase and was told it was something in my service record. I had my Senator contact the Navy and they sent a letter stating that due to circumstances the desertion charge was “in error” and was removed from my service record. When I applied for the permit I sent a copy of my DD-214 showing Honorable Discharge,along with the letter from the Navy and got my permit in about 4 Weeks. I am now working through an attorney to get the FBI to expunge the desertion charge from their file–wish me luck.

  51. Dave says:

    Nice info.
    FYI…the “packing.org” site is down.

  52. Les Jones says:

    Thanks. I’ve changed the link to handgunlaws.us.

  53. Leo M. says:

    Thanks for all the info. Great site. I’m in Europe for a year or so but as soon as I get back to Chattanooga, I plan on acquiring a handgun and it’s nice to have found some easy information before I take the class.

  54. Jurjen S. says:

    “[Opposing counsel] may even mention that expanding bullets are outlawed under the Geneva Convention. This is nonsense […]”

    It is indeed. Neither the Geneva Convntions of 1929 nor those of 1949 deal with the topic of permissible types of munitions at any point. Expanding bullets are regulated under the The Hague Convention of 1899, specifically the appended Declaration (IV,3) concerning Expanding Bullets. Note that the Declaration does not outlaw use of expanding bullets; the agreement is that the “Contracting Powers” will not use them against each other. If your government hasn’t ratified or acceded to the treaty, you’re not protected. For example, Afghanistan never signed (let alone ratified) the Declaration, so the US would be entirely within its rights to use JHPs against the Taliban.

  55. Jim says:

    So the offer still stand to go to Coal Creek armory and practice at the range. I am interested in getting a gun permit, have my own gun just not been motivated enough to go. Jim

  56. Jim says:

    So the offer still stand to go to Coal Creek armory and practice at the range. I am interested in getting a gun permit, have my own gun just not been motivated enough to go. Jim

  57. Jim says:

    So the offer still stand to go to Coal Creek armory and practice at the range. I am interested in getting a gun permit, have my own gun just not been motivated enough to go. Jim

  58. Wayne says:

    Just curious, you said you can’t carry at all in West Town Mall in Knoxville. I went today and diddn’t see any signs stating carry was not allowed. I just got my permit the other day and was checking it out, did they change their position, or did I just miss the sign?

  59. Conway says:

    Sweet man. Swing by maycha.com

  60. booger says:


    on page 2, directly from the attorney general

    Reading Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1351 in pari materia with §§ 39-17-1307 and 1308(a)(2)
    indicates that the legislature intended to allow carry permit holders to carry their handguns both
    openly and concealed

  61. Bryan says:

    Exactly how long after you submitted all of your paperwork did your permit arrive. I know the state has 90 days but the person at the drivers license station said it would take 4 to 6 weeks to get the permit. It has now been 7 weeks and I haven’t seen anything. Any thoughts??? Very informative page. Thanks for the great information.

  62. ray roseberry says:

    Les, I have a ccw from the state of OH. At the time I had an OH. drivers license,in 2007 I went to work in TN., and got a TN. drivers license.

    My question is will the state of OH. honor the TN. license, since it a reciprocating state with TN?, or do I have to get another OH. drivers license.

    thank you for your answers

  63. ray roseberry says:

    Les, I have a ccw from the state of OH. At the time I had an OH. drivers license,in 2007 I went to work in TN., and got a TN. drivers license.

    My question is will the state of OH. honor the TN. license, since it a reciprocating state with TN?, or do I have to get another OH. drivers license.

    thank you for your answers

  64. paul a hitchcock says:

    hey, fellow citizen, isn’t it unconstitutional for us (citizens in good standing) to have to get the government’s permission (permit) to exercise our CREATOR-endowed right to the means for protecting all of our other GOD-given rights? why should we have to be defenseless unless “they” say it’s okay for us to employ our inalienable right here or there, but not there or here? does man’s government trump GOD’s?

    do our public servants (law enforcement) have special and more rights than those whom they serve? should they?

    what does it take for a law to “INFRINGE” on our right to keep and “BEAR” (to carry on one’s person) arms (they aren’t armed unless they’re loaded)?

    i will appreciate your thoughts.

  65. Dave says:

    Just curious, you said you can’t carry at all in West Town Mall in Knoxville.
    Five years have passed since that was posted.

    Know anything about slow renewals? I submitted mine three months ago. My permit is about to expire. I’m thinking it’s time to start investigating.

  66. Eric says:

    I plan to move to TN from NC, where I posess a concealed handgun permit. Is there any allowance for transferability, other than the NRA carry class certificate?

    You have a very informative and valuable site.

  67. Meliss says:

    I have a question about the mental facility provision. I can’t find anyone who can even approcah an answer. 2 years ago (mind you I’m only 26), I was going through a bit of a rough spot. Living in an unstable environment I took 14 tylenol (IN NO WAY lethal) and went to the ER. I told them I had no intention of harming myself, but wanted help. They decided (not judicially) I was a harm to myself and placed me on a mandatory 72 hour hold (known in California as a 5150) – I was in California at the time. I have lived in Memphis for over a year now. I live in a decent neighborhood, but women are being robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight at the gas station next to my office (out East) and it’s terrifying. I have a shotgun and am a member of a gun club here in Memphis. I am very familliar and comfortable with handguns. I am afraid that what happened a couple of summers ago, me being held without sufficient cause, will affect my ability to get a cerry permit. Could you please advise or direct me towards an answer. I would greatly appreciated it. I love your page…thank you!

  68. tony says:

    My brother has a ccw and about a year and a half ago there was an issue at a previous job. there was an issue at his workplace that resulted in him having to be escorted away from the facility. He was not arrested. The company filed a restraining order to exceed no more than 3 years. Its coming close to time for him to renew his ccw. Will it prevent him from having it renewed if theres a restraining order after he’s called to nashville and they stated that it should not effect it?

  69. Les Jones says:

    As I recall having a restraining order is disqualifying.