If you are a Tennessee resident and want to carry a loaded handgun on your person or in your vehicle, you must obtain a Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit. In Shelby county alone, there are approximately 25,000 residents who are licensed to carry a handgun. It is relatively easy to obtain the license, provided you meet certain requirements and receive proper safety training. The process is outlined below:
Time Required: Up to 92 Days
- Determine your eligibility. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, Tennessee residents, and at least 21 years of age. In addition, applicants must not have felonious records, a history of substance abuse, or be disabled due to mental incapacity. Detailed eligibility requirements can be found here.
- Obtain eight hours of handgun safety training through a state-approved program. Ranges throughout the county offer these courses which consist of four hours of classroom instruction and four hours of firing range instruction. Call (615) 251-8590 to find locations and phone numbers of schools.
- Pass a written exam that will be given to you upon completion of your handgun safety course.
- Submit a handgun carry application, proof of handgun safety course completion, $115 application fee, and photo ID at any Tennessee driver's license station.
- Get fingerprinted. Once you have submitted your application, you will be given a phone number to call to schedule your fingerprinting appointment. Once fingerprinted, the state will conduct a thorough background check.
- Within 90 days of submitting all required documents and passing the background check, you will be issued a Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit.
- Expect to spend some money. Handgun safety courses can often cost around $100, as does the permit application fee. In addition, the cost of a weapon and ammunition can be substantial.
- Make the most out of your handgun safety course. Not only will it enable you to pass the written exam, but it will also make you a safer and more responsible gun owner.
What You Need
- A gun to use in training (you may own it, borrow it, or rent it)
- Ammunition to use during training