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How to Get a Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit


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:
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: Up to 92 Days

Here's How:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Pass a written exam that will be given to you upon completion of your handgun safety course.
  4. Submit a handgun carry application, proof of handgun safety course completion, $115 application fee, and photo ID at any Tennessee driver's license station.
  5. 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.
  6. Within 90 days of submitting all required documents and passing the background check, you will be issued a Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit.


  1. 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.
  2. 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
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