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What Does Tennessee’s New Gun Permit Mean For Citizens?

 Posted on April 07,2020 in Criminal Defense

Anderson County weapons violations defense attorney

At the start of each year, many states have a new set of laws that go into effect. This legislation may address anything from healthcare to drug regulations to gun rights. Laws regarding the Second Amendment often create a divide between the state’s citizens, with people choosing a side and sticking to it. This past January, new regulations regarding firearms went into effect in Tennessee. Labeled as a “red state,” it is not surprising that Tennessee does not shy away from allowing citizens to carry guns. It is important to have a good understanding of what these changes mean for citizens to avoid facing criminal charges as a result of misunderstanding the law

One Permit Becomes Two

Tennessee has transitioned from allowing its citizens to obtain a single handgun permit to now providing them with two options from which to choose. The existing handgun permit in Tennessee allows citizens to carry a handgun openly or keep it concealed. Those who are 21 and older and have completed the proper training to obtain this handgun permit are able to decide how they would like to carry their handgun. At the start of the new year, a second type of permit was made available for those who would solely like permission to carry a handgun in a concealed manner. The existing handgun permit is now known as an “enhanced handgun carry permit,” while the new permit is labeled as a “concealed handgun carry permit.”

How Do the Requirements Differ?

Since there are now two tiers of handgun permits available in Tennessee, each has its own set of required training that must be completed: 

  1. Enhanced Handgun Carry Permit: Since this was the handgun permit that previously existed in Tennessee, those who had a permit before the new concealed carry permit was created will automatically have a valid enhanced handgun carry permit—no additional training is required. The application fee for the enhanced permit is $100 for citizens, but this is reduced to $65 for active military members or those who were honorably discharged. Applicants will need to complete an eight-hour handgun safety course or must provide proof of P.O.S.T. certification or military handgun training, a diploma from The Law Enforcement Training Academy, or proof of working with the Armed Guard or Department of Corrections. These permits remain valid for eight years, and individuals must have the permit on them whenever they are carrying a handgun.

  2. Concealed Handgun Carry Permit: People with this type of permit must carry their handgun concealed and are not allowed at any schools or universities while carrying. These permits cost $65 and are valid for eight years. There are various types of training that are acceptable to obtain a concealed handgun carry permit. Those who are active military members or were honorably discharged have enough training from their military work, as do those who previously held a Tennessee handgun permit or active law enforcement members. There are three other types of training that are considered valid. These include: 

    1. A hunter education/safety course approved by the Tennessee wildlife resources agency

    2. A firearms safety/training course by a law enforcement agency, college, firearms training school, or junior college

    3. A law enforcement firearms safety/training course

Call a Knoxville, TN Weapons Violations Attorney

Although Tennessee allows its citizens to carry handguns with the proper permit, the court takes gun violations very seriously. Violating your permit’s regulations or failing to obtain a permit to legally carry a handgun can lead to steep fines and possible jail time. With charges ranging from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class B felony, it is crucial to understand the details of your state’s handgun regulations. Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney works with clients throughout the state of Tennessee to help reduce or eliminate weapons charges and avoid harsh sentences. If you are facing weapons charges and need help building a strong defense, contact our skilled Knox County criminal defense lawyer at 865-281-1000 for a free consultation.



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