Firearms Ownership – Tennessee law does not require any form of training to own a firearm.
Firearms Possession – As a general rule, Tennessee law does not require any form of training to possess a firearm. Civilians may legally possess firearms at the residence, premises and/or place of business (with permission or authority of the employer) without training.
Civilian Handgun Permit – Tennessee law (TCA 39-17-1351) requires that an individual who is applying for a Tennessee Civilian Handgun permit have a minimum of four (4) hours of classroom training and four (4) of training on a firing range for a total of 8 hours of State mandated training. There is no training required to renew a civilian handgun permit.
Although supplemental range training is not required to obtain or maintain a Tennessee Civilian Handgun permit, one should consider the numerous benefits of obtaining periodic range certification or advanced training. One of these benefits might include, for example, the creation of a documented history of obtaining professional training in the event the individual is ever involved in a self-defense situation that results in either civil or criminal court proceedings.
Caution: There are numerous reports that individuals have obtaining training in materially less than the minimum required 4 hours of classroom training and 4 hours of range training (not just range qualifying but 4 hours per student of training). Those applying for a handgun permit are responsible to make sure that they have the required number of hours of training as party of their application process. Those who did not complete the required 8 hours of minimum training may need to seek the advice of an attorney if they have already applied for a permit.
Note: There are certain classes of individuals who are specifically listed in the statute who are exempt from the range training requirement based upon required range training in other circumstances (e.g., certain military and/or law enforcement positions)
Other – There are numerous other types of permits, directives and/or a authorizations to carry firearms in the line of employment. Training requirements for these vocational circumstances are not addressed herein.