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Handgun Carry Permits

Handgun Carry Permits are issued by the Tennessee Highway Patrol

In October of 1996, the Department of Safety began issuing handgun carry permits pursuant to Public Chapter 905.  T.C.A.§39-17-1351 Prior to this change, handgun carry permits were issued by local sheriff's offices.

TCA §39-17-1351(r)(1) makes a facially valid handgun permit, firearms permit, weapons permit or license issued by another state valid in this state according to its terms and shall be treated as if it is a handgun permit issued by Tennessee. This does not authorize any firearm or weapon other than a handgun.

If a person with a handgun permit from another state decides to become a resident of Tennessee, the person must obtain a Tennessee handgun permit within six (6) months of establishing residency in Tennessee.

Tennessee does not accept certificates of training from any on-line or internet course as training requirement fulfillment.

Handgun Permit Unit
P.O. Box 23710
Nashville, TN 37202
(615) 251-8590

How to Apply for a Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit

Online Access

Click here to access Handgun Permits online. Be sure to select the Handgun Permits tab to get started.

Original handgun permit applicants must provide proof of U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Residency.

The citizens of the state of Tennessee have the right to keep and bear arms for their common defense; but the General Assembly has the power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms with a view to prevent crime. Any resident of Tennessee who has reached twenty-one (21) years of age, or is at least eighteen (18) years of age and is an honorably discharged or a retired veteran of the United States Armed Forces, or is a member of the United States Armed Forces on active duty status, and includes with the application a certified copy of the applicant’s certificate of release or discharge from active duty, DD214 or includes with the application a military identification card as proof that the applicant is an active duty member of the military, may apply to the Department of Safety for a handgun permit. If the applicant is not prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm in this state pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. §39-17-316 or 39-17-1307(b), 18 U.S.C. 9 (g) or any other state or federal law and the applicant otherwise meets all of the requirements, the Department of Safety shall issue a permit to the applicant.

  • Permits will be issued for eight (8) years.
  • The permit shall entitle the permittee to carry any handgun - which the permittee legally owns or possesses.
  • The permittee shall have the permit in their immediate possession at all times when carrying a handgun and shall display the permit on demand of a law enforcement officer.

Applications for a new handgun carry permit may be picked up at any Driver Services Center location.

Applications for a new handgun carry permit can be processed at any full service Driver Services Center location.

Permit will expire eight (8) years from the date of issuance.

NOTE: Applicant should consult Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13 of the T.C.A. Codes for information on locations where handguns are prohibited, or check the list of Reciprocity States.

Even though a person has a permit and is authorized to possess or carry a firearm pursuant to T.C.A. 39-17-1315 or 39-17-1351, there are restrictions as to where firearms may be carried. Additional information pertaining to possession of and carrying a firearm are listed by Tennessee Annotated Code and subject matter. More information can be obtained online from the Tennessee Code Annotated.


Handgun Permit Fees

  • Handgun carry permits will be issued on an eight (8) year cycle.
  • Accepted methods of payment for an original handgun carry permit are cash, money order, MasterCard, Visa and Discover Credit Cards. Checks are accepted for a renewal and duplicate handgun carry permits.


8 year $100.00  
Military 8 year $68.00  
Lifetime $300.00  
Military Lifetime $268.00  
Retired Law Enforcement Lifetime FREE  


When you renew your permit, the new expiration date will be eight (8) years from the date the renewal permit was issued. Permits expire eight (8) years from the date of issuance.

8 year $50.00  
Military $50.00  
Upgrade to a Lifetime $200.00  
Upgrade to a Lifetime Military $200.00  
Retired Law Enforcement upgrade to a Lifetime FREE  

All Duplicates $5.00 each

Public Chapter No 866, signed May 18, 2014 section 2 states

Any person, who has been honorably discharged from any branch of the United States armed forces or who is on active duty in any branch of the armed forces or who is currently serving in the national guard or armed forces reserve, and who makes initial application for a handgun carry permit shall be required to pay only that portion of the initial application fee that is necessary to conduct the required criminal history record check.

That being said, someone out of service would need a DD214, someone still serving would have their current credential card identify them. This does not change the fact that they will still need to show proof of completion of an 8 hour handgun safety course or meet the exemption requirements. The current fee to run  background checks is $68 so that is what the applicant must pay.

Child Safety

The department advocates the storage of firearms so they are not accessible to children and other unauthorized users.

Download the Child Safety brochure

Download Handgun Videos Be Smart for kids

Handgun Carry Permit Information