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What Are Tennessee’s New Concealed Carry Laws?

 Posted on August 06,2019 in Criminal Defense

Blount County gun charges defense attorney

Like many other states, Tennessee has made changes to its gun laws--more specifically, its concealed carry law. What sets Tennessee apart from many other states is that rather than tightening its legislation regarding concealed carry, Tennessee is fighting to protect its residents’ Second Amendment rights. Recent legislation has changed the state’s previous rules regarding concealed carry. Changes to gun laws can cause confusion or misunderstanding for Tennessee residents, resulting in potential weapons charges that have serious consequences.

What Are the General Firearm Laws in Tennessee?

Tennessee is known as a “shall issue” state when it comes to concealed weapons permits. In other words, if an applicant has the basic requirements set by the state law, the issuing authority is compelled to issue a permit. Tennessee is not alone: 41 other states have followed suit. Purchasing a handgun from a private individual does not require a permit, a background check, or a firearms registration. If a gun is not loaded, and the ammunition is not immediately nearby, open carry is legal with or without a permit. However, the state prohibits the possession of a firearm “with the intent to go armed,” and an individual must be at least 18 years old to do so. Of course, there are certain locations where carrying a firearm is off-limits, such as schools and government buildings.

What Has Been Changed Regarding Concealed Carry?

Currently, concealed carry permits/licenses are required and can be obtained by completing a handgun safety course. This course includes hours in a classroom as well as firing range instruction with a professional. The recent passing of Senate Bill 705 will change these regulations on January 1, 2020. Effective on that date, individuals will now be able to obtain their concealed carry permit through an online course. This online course permit will hold the same power that current concealed carry licenses do. There is also an “enhanced handgun carry permit.” This will allow a person to carry a gun openly or concealed in more areas. The enhanced permit requires the completion of an eight-hour live training course rather than the online version.

Contact a Knoxville, TN Weapons Violations Attorney

Lacking full knowledge of the gun laws in Tennessee can lead to harsh penalties, ranging from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class B felony. It is important to understand the current laws and any recent changes to avoid potential fines or imprisonment. At the law offices of Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney, we understand that the laws exist to keep our citizens safe, but we also believe in protecting our clients’ rights. If you are facing any weapons charges, contact a Knox County criminal defense lawyer at 865-281-1000 for a free consultation.


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