Tennessee Reforms Firearm Law in 2019

Tennessee Reforms Firearm Law in 2019
Tennessee Reforms Firearm Law in 2019

U.S.A. -(Ammoland.com)- In Tennessee, HB 1264 has passed with large margins. Republican Governor Bill Lee has said he will sign the bill into law, according to AP.

HB 1264 passed the House on April 30, 62 to 31, with one legislator not voting. On 2 May, it passed the Senate, 18 to 11, with two senators not voting.

The final bill was watered down with amendments. As passed, HB 1264 has interesting features which reform Tennessee law in the general direction of Constitutional Carry.  It is clear the Tennessee legislature was not willing to pass Constitutional Carry this year.

HB 1264 creates a two tier carry permit system. The lower tier is created by HB 1264, while the existing permit becomes the higher, or “enhanced” carry permit.

The new law becomes effective as of 1 January, 2020.

The new permit requires the handgun be carried concealed.  This is a unique feature to Tennessee. Most states require more training and permits to carry concealed. As of 1 January, 2020, in Tennessee, the state will require more training to carry openly.

The new permit lists several ways that training requirements may be met. This makes it easier to obtain a permit.  Training will be able to be conducted online, though an online course is not yet available.

Holders of the new permit will be excluded from carrying in more places than are excluded from the existing permit.

A photograph and fingerprints will be required on the new concealed carry handgun permit.

Originally, the bill eliminated the requirement for a photograph and fingerprints. Several other states do not require photographs or fingerprints or both.

The Wisconsin permit does not require a photograph or fingerprints, and is recognized in Tennesee. The Wisconsin permit fee is $40. Pennsylvania does not require a photograph or fingerprints to obtain their firearm carry permit. The Pennsylvania permit costs $19. Tennessee recognizes the Pennsylvania permit in Tennessee.

With the amendments, HB 1264 still requires a photograph and two sets of fingerprints. Those requirements increase the cost of the permit considerably.

The new permit fee will be $65 instead of $100. Originally, the bill called for elimination of the fee, but an amendment in the House added the $65 fee.  Indiana has eliminated their fee for a five year permit.  No photograph is required for the Indiana permit.

With other states’ examples before them, some Second Amendment supporters in Tennessee wonder why they could not have achieved more reforms this year.  From tenneseefirearms.com:

Now, some who identify as 2nd Amendment supporters have defended their “yes” votes by suggesting that this was a necessary “step” toward constitutional carry. Enacting a law that creates confusion, risks and delay is “necessary” or even a step in the right direction? That is not a credible excuse nor is it consistent with the campaign promises or constitutional oaths of office. What it evidences is in fact an unwillingness to actually run and pass constitutional carry, as 17 states including Kentucky have done, despite the fact that the Republican caucus is a super majority and it could do so even if every Democrat voted against it.

The history of restoring Second Amendment rights has been one of significant progress through incremental reform.  HB 1264 makes some small steps toward Constitutional Carry.

With other states passing straightforward Constitutional Carry bills, it is likely that personal politics in Tennessee are slowing the reform progress in Tennessee.  In some states, a single person has stopped the progress of reform for years.

Tennessee had no difficulty in reforming their law on the definition of firearms.

In 2019, the Tennessee Legislature passed, and Republican Governor Bill Lee signed into law, HB 0712. HB 0712 changes the definition of firearm in Tennessee law to make it compatible with federal law.  It does this by excluding antique firearms from the previous definition.

Antique firearms are those manufactured before 1898, and muzzle loading firearms.

HB 0712 passed the Senate and House unanimously, and was signed into law on 2 May, 2019.

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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WTF people?? IT SHOULD REQUIRE MORE TRAINING AND PROPER IDENTIFICATION, TO BE ABLE TO CONCEAL CARRY A FIREARM!! NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND……HELLO, BIG RED FIRETRUCK!! 1st of all, we all have the right, as American citizens, to openly carry a legal firearm. That right is givin and protected by the CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES, which under the Supremacy Clause Article VI, Clause 2 ……… “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be… Read more »


The first online course for this new permit is already live at: carrytn.com


I think the new law is appropriate, however I feel Ike the new online conceal carry should be limited to prior service military, retired police, etc… anyone who has proven experience handling a firearm. Anyone with no experience is a danger to not only others but themselves as well.


I do agree about new gun law. I believe everyone should go through a live safety course. Present photo ID, and other credentials. If they do it online the government has no way of verifying that they are the ones taking the test, that is the ID for them. They could have stolen the ID’s. They should have to go to the shooting range to fire their weapon. All you are doing is allowing them a short to a gun. I learned a lot of information from the instructor that I would not have learned if I did not attend… Read more »

Violet Letter

I just dont see why we have to pay for a permit, id be cool with 10 20 bucks but 5 or 4 hundred, not everyone can afford which makes it difficult. I have a friend who was stabbed 4 times and survived because someone pulled her ex off her an held him at gun point, but she saw the knife coming an tried to run, but even she said that had she had her gun she could have saved herself had she been able to afford to buy a permit to keep her gun on her. as she needed,… Read more »


Why is anyone ok with this? You have the right to bear arms already. That state has no right to turn this right into a taxed privilege. Carry on until a jury strips you of your right through due process. If they try to stop you, then that’s the whole reason we have the second amendment. We had to kill our government to give birth to freedom in 1776. Perhaps we need to remind them who signs their paychecks.


Being an active Tennessee instructor (life member NRA and former military) and dealing with the range portion of the current permit I’m completely against anything that doesn’t require some sort of skills test. 30% of students are unable to pass the range portion of the test without instruction. The inability to safely handle and shoot a simple 3 yard target doesn’t do anyone any good. The founding fathers never thought the citizenry would be so clueless concerning firearm manipulation.

Daniel B Davis

Who cares. It’s a constitutional right. You don’t need a permit.

Wild Bill

@Daniel B, You are quite correct. While learning to be skillful with one’s weapons is the wise choice, it is not required. If some lesser entity tried to make it a requirement that would be attempting to place an infringement on our civil Right.


I agree with both sides, yes it’s our right to bare arms, But I also agree with the in person training because I’m 100% for carrying a weapon but some people just flat don’t need to have one. Permits should beFREE


As a carry permit holder myself, I completely agree with you. This scares the crap out of me.

MAJ Philip Crabtree

I’m with you, Stevie. I’m retired from the Army and both an NRA and TN certified instructor. This is as stupid as allowing someone to drive an 18-wheeler after watching YouTube for an hour. There’s no way around it no matter what side of the aisle you are on. This is just stupid, and I understand the NRA backs it, which is ironic considering the new new 2-day CCW training they just released. I don’t get it.

Robert Dalton

I don’t give a crap what you people are against. SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. PERIOD.

David Campbell

So if I have a C.C.W. now I will be able to open carry after the 1st of next year. And the new C.C.W. will not correct. And how will law enforcement be able to tell which C.C.W. one has.

Daniel B Davis

You already have the right to carry. Don’t let them intimidate you with unconstitutional laws. Carry on!

Robert Dalton

Amen, brother. It doesn’t matter what papers get signed. The 2nd Amendment supercedes all of it. It is not up for debate or vote.

Dennis B

So I’m already confused is my permit I got 3 years ago still going to remain the same on renewal or do I have to take another class or is this new law just give you a choice for concealed or open carry????


The current Tennessee permit is the enhanced permit affording you all the privileges that were covered in your class. The enhanced permit is for state reciprocity, the new cc permit allows only instate cc.
Reading is fundamental.


This new concealed-only “permit” will cause a lot of legal problems for many who get them. The reason TN originally went with a combination concealed/open-carry “carry permit” was so that if you were carrying concealed and bent down to to pick something up and your jacket moved and inadvertently exposed your weapon for a brief few seconds, you could not be charged with brandishing or open carrying on a concealed only permit. Some people are going to get burned with this and the lawsuits are going to fly.


Another LaPierre/NRA sponsored “Success” (compromise of the 2nd Amendment). Note that the state 2nd Amendment organization was on the right side of this battle, like most other state organizations. The NRA is like the Federal government in that it is too big, has too much power and is full of bureaucrats and political hacks making too much money to be concerned with individuals rights across the entire country whereas the state groups are in touch with their residents and know what they want and what is needed.

willy d

I have a cc in both Pa & Mo, my Pa cc has my picture on it, and the Mo doesn’t. I prefer to have the picture on it as the way identity theft is going, I prefer the picture on the card, that way if the card is lost, god forbid they can’t pass the card off easily, where as without a picture they might be able to. Mo only has a picture of the state on it, and the cost of school class and the application payment is upsetting, as they are pricey, in the state of Mo… Read more »

R steed

Do they still recognize Indiana c.c. permits

Charlie Foxtrot

Yes, as long as Indiana recognizes Tennessee’s. See: http://www.handgunlaw.us

Charlie Foxtrot

An unnecessary law that nobody in Tennessee wants and that is inconsistent with existing Tennessee law. This new law was supported by the NRA and opposed by the Tennessee Firearms Association. That should tell you all about what is going on here. The NRA is screwing Tennessee gun owners again. We still remember the NRA’s Guns in Parks disaster: https://tennesseefirearms.com/2017/01/nras-lawsuit-against-the-city-of-knoxville-over-chilhowee-park-ban-settled-not-good-for-gun-owners/. The NRA also, once again, wrote itself into the legislation, such that an NRA certified trainer is acceptable but a USCCA trainer is not: http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/111/Bill/HB1264.pdf I don’t recommend anyone to get this new concealed-only permit. Open carry with this new… Read more »

Will Flatt

I can’t remember the last time that NRA did anything that DIDN’T screw over gun owners!! They are more useless to RKBA activism than a blank firing pistol in a gunfight!!


Damm nra is a money sponge guised as 2a supportes but are democrap kinda acting saying we did this for YOU.i raise my middle finger in response to that 1 nra


The Tennessee Firearms Association needs to find a few friendly state legislatures and introduce a new bill of their liking in the next session. Use the passage of this as a stepping stone to achieve what you really want.


I just read the bill summary for myself and after the amendments very little is changed to the current system. I live in TN and am a permit holder (now “enhanced”) and it effectively allows me to carry on some public spaces, and open carry if I wish. This new permit, while at its original state basically scratched most of the in depth background checks, after the amendments is the same thing minus how you can carry (open/concealed) and some public places you can carry. There is a fee for BOTH permits. The new lower tier does submit finger prints… Read more »

Texas Charlie

Two different permits for what is a fundamental right? This is another fine example of politicians not serving the public interest, but instead pandering to gun control. TN should be ashamed of this further infringement on a person’s right to protect themselves as well as protect others. If you want to know the real reason there is no universal carry as of yet, it is because, once that happens, Darwinism will rule the day and there will be no idiots left to vote politicians into office.


@ Texas Charlie You got that right. It was passed with a republican majority and signed by the new governor. Some of the RINO’s say it is a next step to Constitutional Carry. Sounds like appeasement to me.Of course the NRA was full bore for this with countless emails telling voters to contact their congresspeople. The state gun association condemned this completely and still does. All it does is add more cost to the process of someone having a permit to carry, with restrictions that could cause a lot of confusion and people ending up in jail. You can get… Read more »

Charlie Foxtrot

FYI: There is a risk that we will lose reciprocity with some states now, as they don’t want to deal with two different classes of TN permits (both laminated cards). The concealed-only permit does not have the training requirements needed for reciprocity in many states.

At least one amendment removed the NRA reference. That was outright stupid, and certainly language inserted by the NRA.

It is still a stupid permit that is a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist.


I think the lower tier permit will be only for carry in Tennessee, and only concealed. I don’t think any state will accept the lower tier. Am I understanding that correctly ?


100% agree


I see everybody talking about having to submit fingerprints with the NEW permit, but I got mine back in 2012 and had to do fingerprints.

Brian Willemssen

This is stupid and will cause TN to get a lot of law suits over shootings.

J GIbbons

How willl this result in more shootings?

Eric Leon Tabor

That is completely ignorant on your part to even say that. If more people were armed and put muggers, attempted rapists and etc. Down for good, you would see a significant drop in crime rates because would not know who is armed and who is not. Criminals have no respect for laws or human life, let alone their own. The justice protects criminals and treats victims like criminals. The only way to truly know you and your family is safe in today’s time is to protect yourself by all means necessary. If not you’ll just become another forgotten statistic hanging… Read more »

Gas Block in WA

Knowing what Republican’s help ‘water it down’ would be helpful.