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Handgun Carry Permit Related Laws

Recently, the Tennessee General Assembly passed several laws pertaining to where valid handgun carry permit holders are allowed to carry their firearms.

Local governments also may elect to prohibit handguns in local PARKS, and have until September 1, 2009, to decide if they will allow handguns in parks. Please contact your local government offices for more information.

Also, if you plan to visit a federal park, please contact the park ranger to confirm whether you are allowed to carry a hand gun.


For more information, please review the handgun carry permit related laws below.

Click here to access a free online version of The Tennessee Code. To find a particular statute, enter the statute number (i.e. 39-17-1351) into the search box at the top left of the page and click the 'search' button. That will give you a direct link to the statute you want to read.

Handgun Carry Permit T.C.A. Codes *
T.C.A. Number Code Subject
39-17-1302 Prohibited weapons
39-17-1306 Carrying weapons during judicial proceedings
39-17-1307 Unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon
39-17-1309 Carrying weapons on school property
39-17-1311 Carrying weapons on public parks, playgrounds, civic centers, and other recreational building and grounds
39-17-1315 (b) (1): Written directive and permit to carry handguns
39-17-1320 Providing handguns to juveniles
39-17-1321 Possession of a handgun while under the influence
39-17-1322 Defenses
39-17-1351 - 1358 Handgun Carry Permits
39-17-1359 Prohibitions at certain meetings
39-17-1360 Rules and regulations
Title 62 Chapter 35 Private protective services
Title 70 Chapter 4 Miscellaneous regulations
70-4-103 Fox hunting - Training of hunting dogs - Penalty
70-4-112 Hunting and chasing coons regulated - Training season - Violations, penalties
70-4-117 Possession of weapons in areas inhabited by big game - Penalty

* Some T.C.A. Codes were amended during the 2009 session by the following Public Chapters which may be accessed through the Tennessee Secretary of State’s Web site at http://tnsos.org/acts/PublicActs.106th.php?showall:

Public Chapter 101 – Handgun Information Privacy - This act prohibits the Department of Safety or any department-approved handgun safety course employee from requiring applicant for handgun carry permit to furnish any identifying information concerning any handgun the applicant owns or possesses.

Effective Date: April 27, 2009

Public Chapter 428 – Handguns in Parks – This act permits a resident who has a valid handgun carry permit to possess a handgun while within the boundaries of any park and other similar public places owned and operated by the state, county, or city, excluding certain natural areas, historic parks, nature trails, wildlife management areas. Local governments may elect by a majority resolution of the local legislative body to prohibit gun carry permit holders from possessing handguns in local parks.

Effective Date: Permitting municipalities and counties to enact prohibition ordinances – June 12, 2009
Effective Date: Carrying guns in federal and state parks – June 12, 2009
Effective Date: Carrying guns in municipal or county parks unless prohibited – September 1, 2009

On July 24, 2009, the Attorney General issued Opinion No. 09-129 which, pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1309, prohibits handgun carry permit holders from possessing firearms in public parks during times when the athletic fields or other recreational facilities are actually being used by schools.

Public Chapter 431 – Loaded Rifles and Shotguns in Vehicles – This act allows a person with a handgun carry permit to possess a loaded rifle or loaded shotgun in a privately owned vehicle. The act provides that the weapon cannot have ammunition in the chamber except in the case that an individual permit holder feels physically threatened.

Effective Date: June 12, 2009

Public Chapter 455 – Orders of Protections – This act requires a person against whom an order of protection has been issued to dispose of any firearms within 48 hours through any lawful means. It clarifies that the person may resume possession of firearms once the order of protection is lifted.

Effective Date: July 1, 2009

Public Chapter 606 – Guns in Refuges/Wildlife Areas – This act allows a person with a valid handgun carry permit to possess a firearm in a refuge, public hunting area, wildlife management area, or on national forest land.

Effective Date: July 9, 2009