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Handgun Applications


Tennessee's civilian handgun permit law is contained in Tennessee Code Annotated 39-17-1301 to 39-17-1360.

Application Process
A Tennessee resident who is at least 21 years old and who can legally purchase a handgun can, with a few exceptions, obtain a civilian handgun permit.  The statute which contains the qualifications for a civilian handgun permit is Tenn. Code Ann. 39-17-1351.

Generally, the permit law requires that an applicant take a state approved handgun training course which consists of at least four (4) hours of classroom training and four (4) hours of range training.  After completing that training course, the applicant must go to the Department of Safety at its drivers training stations and apply for a handgun permit.  The permit application fee is $115.  You must produce a photo identification card and submit to fingerprinting. 

Once the application process is completed, the Department of Safety has up to 90 days to approve or deny the permit.  If the permit is approved, you will receive the permit in the mail.  The permit is good for four (4) years.  It may be renewed within 6 months of its expiration for a cost of $50.

More detailed information on how to apply for a Tenenssee Handgun Permit or for assistance in renewing it, please contact the Tennessee Department of Safety.  The Tennessee Department of Safety's website provides assistance with these original and renewal applications.

Application Problems
There are a variety of problems that an individual may encounter in the application process for which an applicant may require legal assistance.  These problems include but are not limited to:

  • A prior criminal history that is incomplete.
  • A conviction which qualifies for expungement but for which no expungement has been issued
  • A conviction for which restoration of rights proceedings have not been undertaken or completed.
  • A domestic violence conviction.
  • Questions concerning prior circumstances such as DUI convictions, medical treatment, or military records.

While not all of these problems can be addressed such that the Department of Safety will issue the handgun permit, some of these problems can be resolved and the permit successfully obtained.

Training Problems
State law clearly requires that the handgun training course contain at least four hours of classroom training and four hours of range training.  See, Tenn. Code Ann. 39-17-1351.  There are instances where individuals have been issued training certificates when the requirements of state law have not been met.  If this has been the case, you may require legal assistance or advice to address this situation should the Department of Safety question the adequacy of your training or revoke a permit


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Last Update: 07/13/2010