Changes to Tennessee Gun Laws

January 22, 2020

The legislation known as House Bill 1264 creates a new concealed carry permit for the residents Tennessee. In essence it does not replace the present enhanced concealed carry permit. Instead, the new permit allows an easier, less expensive, and less labor-intensive way to get a concealed carry permit. 

With the advent of the new decade, Tennessee is poised to introduce a new concealed carry-only handgun permit. This new permit does not require demonstration of any ability to fire a weapon.

The permit to carry a concealed handgun can be achieved with the completion if an online training that would take at least an hour and a half for the applicant to complete.

Presently, in Tennessee those who wish to carry must have an enhanced handgun carry permit. Getting such a permit would entail an eight-hour course. Those wishing to concealed carry can still get an enhanced carry permit. It is available only by taking an in-class course. The permit also requires live firing.

Why the Change?

  • A one-day commitment is required to take the enhanced course.
  • You must attend a course in person. For some distance is a hardship.
  • The testing is difficult and time-consuming.
  • The cost of the course is a sticking point for some. The cost of the enhanced permit course is $100. The new concealed-carry only permit will cost $65. This fee, however, does not include the cost of the online course.
  • It is not always easy to find enough qualified instructors to run these courses.
  • Online training courses have become a popular way to achieve a concealed carry permit.
  • With the Concealed Carry Reciprocity legislation, getting a permit in another state or online and having it accepted in your home state is increasingly accepted.

Who is Supporting this Change?

The National Rifle Association backed the new measure. This legislation will make it more achievable for the residents of Tennessee to exercise their Second Amendment right. It also makes the right to self-defense open to more state residents.

Who Opposes the Change?

The Tennessee Firearm Association opposed the changes to permit rules. The TFA is concerned that other states may refuse to acknowledge Tennessee’s enhanced permit and will only affirm this new carry permit. Hence those who went through the rigorous cost, time, and testing to get their enhanced permit may be forced to acquire the new less-rigorous one as well. 

The Tennessee Firearms Association is lobbying for an eventual move to permit-less carry. They see this new legislation as impeding their goal.

The Democrats also criticized this legislation. They see it as too lax in both content and testing. They are upset that there is absolutely no requirement to learn how to handle a gun safely and no demonstration of ability to shoot accurately. One Senator states that he was able to bypass the video instruction of an online course and still pass the test to achieve a permit. However, he did admit that he is familiar with guns.

The Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America opposes the legislation because they see it as working against their aim to curb gun violence.

Who May Provide Training for the New Permit?

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security has accepted applications from potential providers of an online concealed-carry course. Course providers must show proof of handgun instructor certification.

For more information on online training for the new Tennessee concealed carry permit, click on: