Comments to Tennessee Regarding Expansion of Primitive Weapons Classification

Rolling Block Rifle
Rolling Block Rifle

Tennessee –-( Tennessee Firearms Association has submitted the following comment to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency during the pending comment period on expansion of the primitive weapons used for hunting in Tennessee.

To: ‘[email protected]’; ‘[email protected]’; ‘[email protected]
Cc: ‘[email protected]

Dear Sirs

I am writing as the Executive Director of the Tennessee Firearms Association ( ).

The Tennessee Firearms Association counts among its membership many firearms owners across the state of Tennessee. Many of the members are avid sporting enthusiasts who engage in hunting in Tennessee, including me. The purpose of this communication is to submit comments pursuant to the instructions set forth on requesting public input for the 2018-2019 hunting regulations. I presume and submit these comments on the understanding that these regulations are being considered in accordance with the rulemaking requirements of state law.

We understand that several states that touch or are near to Tennessee have adopted regulations regarding expanded weapon choices for various dates of the more commonly denominated big game seasons such as archery, black powder (muzzleloader) and modern firearm seasons. Tennessee has similarly designated seasons. Further, over time, Tennessee has changed the weapons that were approved for use in each such season without necessarily renaming the seasons except for clarity.

While the existing regulations provide for a modern firearm season, the black power/muzzle loader season was intended to allow hunting with a weapon class that was distinct from traditional modern centerfire firearms. We have been asked to consider the proposition of expanding the classification of weapons that would legal for use on game, particularly big game, in Tennessee.

We have been asked to consider and comment upon a rule change to allow other weapon classes to be used during the muzzle loading seasons which weapons are in line with or have less capacity than modern muzzle loaders to harvest game. These proposals include one or more of the following:

  • single shot break action and rolling block rifles .35 caliber or larger with exposed hammers or single shot shotguns firing a slug any single shot
  • break action and rolling block handguns (.35 caliber or larger) with exposed hammer

Each of these are weapons or weapons classes which either do not appear to be legal weapons in Tennessee at this time or which, if legal, can only be used during the modern firearms season(s). Allowing these additional weapons to be used during the muzzle loader season would likely have a minor impact on the number of hunters or even the harvest rates but it could allow hunters in Tennessee to explore alternative weapon choices during a season when modern centerfire firearms are not in use.

Tennessee Firearms Association

About Tennessee Firearms Association:

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I agree with Steve, keep it simple. While i lived in Tennessee the fish & game law books where so complicated it took a phily lawyer to figure it out. Cap, powder and ball or cartridge, there is the difference. check out how Maine does it it’s worked for years. my $.!0 = $.20


Does anyone know if this rule change was passed? I can’t tell by looking at the new 2018-2019 twra rulebook if this is included.

Matthew Sandifer

I agree with Leon. Some of these new muzzleloaders are anything but primative. Why not be like SC & just open all hunting up at one time?

Leon Sandifer

I support allowing single shot break down hammer cocked slug shotguns and rifles in the older straight case cartridges such as 45.70 and .44mag. These are nearly as primitive as a sidelock ML and with open sights more primitive than scoped inlines.
This should increase ML or whatever it would be called license sales and get more hunters back. Many dont go because of the cleanup mess with ML. TNs gun season comes a week late as far as the rut goes. Why not have the same dates as KY?

Frank G

I for one would have no objections to single shot during muzzle loader season. Not all can afford a quality ML and rifle to hunt both. We all learned with a single shot. Go for it TN.

Steven Gill

The first gun I bought was a .50 caliber muzzleloader for $80 so I could deer hunt. So for anyone to say they can’t afford a muzzleloader is full of . I am completely against a single shot rifle being allowed during muzzleloader season. I hunt with my muzzleloader because it’s more of a challenge, I can’t reload in .50 second to get a second shot if needed like you can with a single shot break action rifle. Just my $.10.