Tennessee generally prohibits carrying a firearm with the intent to go armed.1 However, persons with handgun carry permits are generally exempt, and may carry loaded handguns openly.2 Tennessee also allows any person, including those without handgun permits, to carry a firearm in a lawfully possessed motor vehicle or boat if he or she is not prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm.3

Handgun carry permit holders may also store their firearms in their vehicles on public or private property so long as the vehicle is in a place it is allowed to be and the firearm is kept from ordinary observation in a locked compartment within the vehicle or in a container securely affixed to such motor vehicle.4

As of April 14, 2016, Tennessee law prohibits public postsecondary institutions from taking any adverse or disciplinary action against an employee or student of that institution solely for such person’s transportation and storage of a firearm or firearm ammunition in compliance with state law while on or using a parking area located on property owned, used, or operated by the postsecondary institution.5

Tennessee passed a law in 2015 to restrict employers from prohibiting their employees from transporting or storing a firearm or firearm ammunition in an employer parking area if the firearm or ammunition is otherwise lawfully stored in compliance with the section above.6


  1. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1307(a). ⤴︎
  2. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1308(a)(2). ⤴︎
  3. Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-17-1307(e). ⤴︎
  4. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1313(a)(2). ⤴︎
  5. 2016 TN S.B. 1991, enacting Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-7-163. ⤴︎
  6. 2015 TN S.B. 1058, amending Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-1-312. ⤴︎