gun laws in tennessee

what you can and can not do in tennessee
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what you can and can not do in tennessee

Assault Weapons
Are there limitations on assault weapons? No
Ballistic Fingerprinting
Must handguns be ballistic fingerprinted prior to sale? No

Child Access Prevention - CAP
Are gun owners held accountable for leaving guns accessible to kids? No
Child-Safety Locks
Must locking devices be sold with guns? No

Childproof Handguns
Are only authorized users able to operate handguns? No
Gun Dealer Regulations
Must gun dealers adhere to state licensing and/or oversight systems? Partial

Gun Manufacturer Accountability
Do cities have authority to hold gun makers legally liable? No
Gun Show Loophole
Are background checks required at gun shows? No

Guns at Work
Are businesses forced to allow guns in the workplace? No
Guns on College Campuses
Are colleges/universities forced to allow guns on campus? No

Juvenile Sale
Is it illegal to sell handguns to anyone under 21 years of age? No
Large Capacity Ammunition Magazines
Are there limitations on large capacity ammunition magazines? No

License or Permit to Purchase
Is a license/permit required to buy handguns? No
Limit Bulk Purchases
Is there a one-handgun-per-month limit on sales? No

Limits on Concealed Handgun Permits
May police limit carrying concealed handguns? No
Microstamping
Must new semi-automatic handguns be sold with microstamping technology? No

Preemption - Local Gun Laws
May municipalities enact law stronger than the state's? No
Record Keeping
May police maintain gun sale records? No

Registration
Are all guns registered with law enforcement? No
Report Lost/Stolen Guns
Are firearm owners required to report all lost or stolen guns to law enforcement? No

Safety Standards
Are there consumer safety standards on guns? No
Saturday Night Specials
Are there limitations on 'junk' handguns? No

Shoot First
Is deadly force allowed to be a first resort in public? Yes
Universal Background Checks
Are background checks required on all gun sales? No

Waiting Period
Is there a waiting period on gun sales? No

ASSAULT WEAPONS
Are there limitations on assault weapons? No

Tennessee - No state restriction on the sale or possession of military-style semiautomatic assault weapons. Assault weapons are as easy to buy as hunting rifles. Congress and President Bush allowed the federal assault weapons ban to sunset in 2004. See also: Large Capacity Ammunition Magazines

BALLISTIC FINGERPRINTING
Must handguns be ballistic fingerprinted prior to sale? No

No state requirement that gun dealers or manufacturers provide police with sample bullets/cartridges or digital images of bullets/cartridges prior to the sale of a handgun, �ballistic fingerprinting,� which would assist police in tracing bullets at crime scenes to the guns that fired them.

CHILD ACCESS PREVENTION - CAP
Are gun owners held accountable for leaving guns accessible to kids? No

No state requirement that gun owners take responsible steps to prevent children from gaining easy access to their firearms. Gun owners are not held accountable for leaving loaded guns around kids, even if a young child shoots themselves or someone else with a gun left in plain sight.

CHILD-SAFETY LOCKS
Must locking devices be sold with guns? No

No state requirement that guns be sold with child-safety locks that could prevent a tragic accident. Child-safety locks cost as little as $10 and could save lives if sold with firearms.

CHILDPROOF HANDGUNS
Are only authorized users able to operate handguns? No

Tennessee - There is no state law mandating that all new handguns be sold with 'personalized' handgun technology that would only allow the authorized user to operate the firearm. Childproof handguns play an important role in helping to prevent unintentional shootings among children and to deter suicides among minors.

GUN DEALER REGULATIONS
Must gun dealers adhere to state licensing and/or oversight systems? Partial

Tennessee - No state laws exist requiring firearm dealers obtain a state license to sell firearms. But state law mandates all firearm dealers to record and retain all sales records on premises. Law enforcement officials are permitted to conduct random inspections to compare a dealer's inventory with the dealer's sales records in order to identify any off-the-books transactions or other discrepancies.

GUN MANUFACTURER ACCOUNTABILITY
Do cities have authority to hold gun makers legally liable? No

State law forbids city and county governments from taking any legal action to hold gun manufacturers accountable, even when they act irresponsibly in the way they design, market or distribute weapons. No other industry enjoys such special immunity for irresponsible conduct.

GUN SHOW LOOPHOLE
Are background checks required at gun shows? No

No state requirement that a Brady criminal background check be done on people buying guns at gun shows if they are sold by "private" individuals or gun "collectors." Gun shows can operate on a "no questions asked, cash-and-carry" basis, making it easy for criminals and even juveniles to buy as many guns as they want at gun shows, including assault weapons. No records are required to be kept on gun show sales by private individuals or gun collectors, making it almost impossible for police to trace such weapons if they are used in a crime.

GUNS AT WORK
Are businesses forced to allow guns in the workplace? No

Tennessee - There is no state law forcing employers or businesses to allow guns on their privately held property.

GUNS ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES
Are colleges/universities forced to allow guns on campus? No

Tennessee - There is no state law forcing colleges/universities to allow guns on campus.

JUVENILE SALE
Is it illegal to sell handguns to anyone under 21 years of age? No

State law does not restrict selling handguns to juveniles under the age of 21 by unlicensed sellers. Under federal law, only federally licensed dealers are prohibited from selling or delivering handguns or ammunition for handguns to any person under the age of 21. A strong state law is needed to stop unlicensed persons from selling handguns to those under the age of 21.

LARGE CAPACITY AMMUNITION MAGAZINES
Are there limitations on large capacity ammunition magazines? No

Tennessee - There is no state law restricting the sale or possession of large capacity ammunition magazines that can fire 30, 50 or even 75 rounds without reloading. Ammunition magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds of ammunition are considered large capacity magazines. These types of ammunition magazines are available for any firearm capable of accepting a detachable magazine, including assault weapons and semi-automatic handguns.

LICENSE OR PERMIT TO PURCHASE
Is a license/permit required to buy handguns? No

No state requirement that handgun buyers obtain a handgun license or undergo any type of safety training prior to buying a handgun.

LIMIT BULK PURCHASES
Is there a one-handgun-per-month limit on sales? No

No state restrictions on gun-trafficking such as a limit on the number of handguns that can be purchased at one time. Gun traffickers can easily buy large quantities of handguns at gun stores and resell them on the street to criminals.

LIMITS ON CONCEALED HANDGUN PERMITS
May police limit carrying concealed handguns? No

State law forces police chiefs and state sheriffs to give concealed carry permits (CCW) to anyone who can buy a handgun, allowing them to carry loaded, concealed handguns in public (known as �shall issue�). Some safety training in the legal or safe use of weapons is required to obtain the CCW permit. State law allows residents of some other states to carry concealed weapons in this state without informing local police.

MICROSTAMPING
Must new semi-automatic handguns be sold with microstamping technology? No

Tennessee - There is no state law requiring new semi-automatic handguns be fitted with microstamping technology, which would engrave on each fired bullet casing microscopic identifying markings that are specific to that firearm alone. This technology would provide law enforcement with another investigative tool to better solve gun crimes and apprehend armed criminals.

PREEMPTION - LOCAL GUN LAWS
May municipalities enact law stronger than the state's? No

State law forbids local city or county governments from enacting any local gun laws, even though the state has failed to pass responsible state-wide laws. This preemption of local government authority makes it impossible for cities to enact sensible gun laws to make their citizens safer. Local laws enacted prior to 1986 were allowed to remain in force.

RECORD KEEPING
May police maintain gun sale records? No

State law forbids police from keeping any record of gun sales. Police are prohibited from maintaining gun sale records that could be used for gun tracing and criminal investigations. The state has no way of knowing whether people who bought guns in the past have become criminals and are no longer allowed to possess firearms. The lack of gun sale records also makes it very difficult to identify and prosecute gun traffickers or gang members that buy guns in bulk and resell them on the street.

REGISTRATION
Are all guns registered with law enforcement? No

No state requirement that gun owners register their firearms. Police do not know how many guns are in the state or where they are. The lack of registration data makes it more difficult for police to trace guns used in crime, identify illegal gun traffickers or hold gun owners accountable for their weapons. There is no state system to automatically identify and disarm felons and other prohibited people who bought guns legally in the past, but later committed a crime or otherwise became ineligible to keep possession of their firearms.

REPORT LOST/STOLEN GUNS
Are firearm owners required to report all lost or stolen guns to law enforcement? No

Tennessee - State law does not require firearm owners to report lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement. This requirement would help to keep illegal guns off the streets by removing the excuse used by gun traffickers that "lose" their firearms.

SAFETY STANDARDS
Are there consumer safety standards on guns? No

No state requirement that handguns meet any basic safety standards. No requirement that guns be sold with a child-safety lock or a built-in �personalized� lock to prevent unauthorized use. No requirement that handguns have loaded-chamber indicators or magazine safety disconnects that could prevent unintentional shootings. The state Attorney General is not allowed to independently establish handgun safety standards.

SATURDAY NIGHT SPECIALS
Are there limitations on 'junk' handguns? No

No state restriction on the sale of Saturday night specials or "junk" handguns. No requirement that handguns meet any safety tests such as a drop-safety test or a firing-performance test. No restriction on the sale of snub-nosed handguns that are very small and easy to conceal.

SHOOT FIRST
Is deadly force allowed to be a first resort in public? Yes

Tennessee - The state does allow the use of deadly force as a first resort in public. This dangerous law permits the average citizen to bypass our entire justice system by permitting him or her to assume the role of police officer, prosecutor, judge, and executioner.

UNIVERSAL BACKGROUND CHECKS
Are background checks required on all gun sales? No

Tennessee - No state requirement that criminal background checks be done on all firearm sales. People buying firearms at gun shows, swap meets, or through newspaper or internet advertisements are not subject to a background check. Criminal background checks are only required if the buyer goes to a federally-licensed gun store - all other sales are not subject to the background check.

WAITING PERIOD
Is there a waiting period on gun sales? No

No state requirement that there be a waiting period for gun sales beyond the "instant check" in federal law. Police are not given any additional time to run a criminal background check to make sure the gun buyer is not prohibited from acquiring firearms. There is no "cooling off" period to help prevent crimes of passion.

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The gun law summaries provided by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence should not be regarded as explanation of state law. While we try to keep this information accurate and updated, this material is provided for general discussion and reference purposes only.

4 Comments

6 years 1 week ago, 9:48 AM

unicorn54

unicorn54's picture

Rank:
Second Lieutenant
Points:
21
Join Date:
Jul 2008
Location:
mcminnville , Tennessee, United States
gun laws

JOHN O MELTON JR I think other states should copy some of the gun laws that Tennessee has in place now.

JOHN O MELTON JR
5 years 24 weeks ago, 9:52 PM

Brian Eckhoff

Brian Eckhoff's picture

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Private
Points:
1
Join Date:
Feb 2009

Just heard about this tonight. Sounds like a plan to take our 2nd amendment rights away. I am not a criminal, but I will keep my guns and ammo.

3 years 18 weeks ago, 1:14 PM

Kangaroo6

Kangaroo6's picture

Rank:
Private
Points:
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Join Date:
Mar 2011

As a resident of Tennessee I am glad I don't have to retreat first before I can use deadly force. Why should I give the initiative to the criminal. The state says I have the right to defend with deadly force and I don't have to run away first.

Who ever wrote this is just another pansy liberal who calls Tennessee's Affirmative Defense law 'dangerous' because we don't have to run away from criminals before defending ourselves.

1 year 35 weeks ago, 6:30 AM

Alexrs

Alexrs's picture

Rank:
Private First Class
Points:
1
Join Date:
Nov 2012

Looks like you beat me to what I was going to say kangaroo6.

Just another fucking idiot that promotes our rights being taken away.

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