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Tennessee Passes New Permitless Gun Law

 Posted on April 09,2021 in Criminal Defense

Anderson County gun charges attorneyThe governor of Tennessee has just signed a new law that will allow adults to carry handguns without the need for training or a background check. They will not be required to obtain a permit for either open carry or concealed carry. There are currently 30 states that allow permitless open carry and 20 states that allow permitless concealed carry. At least a half dozen other states are considering similar legislation. The new law goes into effect July 1, 2021.

New Law

Under the new law, any adult 21 years of age or older will be allowed to carry either an open or concealed handgun without a permit. The law will also allow military members who are between the ages of 18 to 20 the same right. The current law requires Tennessee citizens to obtain a permit in order to carry a handgun. In order to get that permit, the applicant must go through required training, background checks, and fingerprinting. None of that will be necessary under the new law. The new law only applies to handguns. Permits will still be required for long guns.

While the new law does make it easier for adults to carry handguns, it also increases the penalties for certain gun crimes. For example, the theft of a firearm, which is currently charged as a misdemeanor, will now be charged as a felony. That means the penalty for conviction goes from a potential maximum 30-day sentence to a mandatory six-month jail sentence with no possibility of early release.

Although the new law has passed, it was opposed by every major Tennessee law-enforcement agency. It was also opposed by many faith leaders, business leaders, medical professionals organizations, and more. According to data provided by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation during the legislative process, the current law, in effect since 1996, flagged and prevented more than 5,500 people from obtaining a permit because they were deemed ineligible.

Call a Knoxville, TN Criminal Defense Attorney for Legal Assistance

As mentioned above, the new law does increase penalties for certain gun crimes. If you are charged with a gun crime or any other criminal offense, you need a skilled Union County criminal defense lawyer advocating for you and ensuring your constitutional rights are protected. Contact Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Lawyer to schedule a free and confidential consultation about your case. Call 865-281-1000 and find out how we can help.


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