State Law Background
Among other things, Tennessee:
- Conducts its own background checks on firearm purchasers, in some cases allowing 15 days for complete information to be obtained;
- Prohibits domestic violence abusers from purchasing or possessing firearms, and requires abusers subject to protection orders to surrender all firearms for the duration of the order; and
- Mandate that mental health records be reported to the database used for firearm purchaser background checks.
Tennessee does not, however:
- Require a background check prior to the transfer of a firearm between unlicensed parties;
- Prohibit the transfer or possession of assault weapons, 50 caliber rifles or large capacity ammunition magazines;
- Require firearms dealers to obtain a state license;
- Require gun owners to obtain a license, register their firearms, or report lost or stolen firearms;
- Limit the number of firearms that may be purchased at one time;
- Impose a waiting period on firearm purchases;
- Regulate unsafe handguns (“junk guns” or “Saturday night specials”);
- Allow local governments to regulate firearms; or
- Give local law enforcement discretion to deny a concealed handgun license.
In 2016, Tennessee had the 14th highest rate of gun deaths per capita among the states. In addition, in 2016, Tennessee supplied the 24th highest number of crime guns to other states per capita. Although Tennessee supplies crime guns to other states at a rate higher than the national average, the state actually imports more crime guns than it exports.
Tennessee Firearms Laws
For details about specific firearms laws in Tennessee, choose a topic below, or see all of the firearms laws in this state.