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Tennessee Firearms Association

 

Effective July 1, 2003, the State of Tennessee has made a substantial change in its handgun reciprocity law.

The Tennessee handgun reciprocity law is codified at Tennessee Code Annotated Section 39-17-1351(r).

The text of the Tennessee's new reciprocity law is as follows:

"(r)(1) A facially valid handgun permit, firearms permit, weapons permit or license issued by another state shall be valid in this state according to its terms and shall be treated as if it is a handgun permit issued by this state; provided, however, the provisions of this subsection shall not be construed to authorize the holder of any such out-of-state permit or license to carry, in this state, any firearm or weapon other than a handgun."

"(2) For a person to lawfully carry a handgun in this state based upon a permit or license issued in another state, the person must be in possession of the permit or license at all times such person carries a handgun in this state. "

"(3)(A) The commissioner of safety shall enter into written reciprocity agreements with other states that require the execution of such agreements. The commissioner of safety shall prepare and publicly publish a current list of states honoring permits issued by the state of Tennessee and shall make the list available to anyone upon request. The commissioner of safety shall also prepare and publicly publish a current list of states who, after inquiry by the commissioner, refuse to enter into a reciprocity agreement with this state or honor handgun carry permits issued by this state. To the extent that any state may impose conditions in such reciprocity agreements, the commissioner of safety shall publish those conditions as part of the list. If another state imposes conditions on Tennessee permit holders in a reciprocity agreement, such conditions shall also become a part of the agreement and apply to the other states permit holders when they carry a handgun in this state. "

"(B) If a person with a handgun permit from another state decides to become a resident of Tennessee, such person must obtain a Tennessee handgun permit within six (6) months of establishing residency in Tennessee. Such permit may be issued based on the person having a permit from another state provided such other state has substantially similar permit eligibility requirements as this state. However, if during such six (6) month period the person applies for a handgun permit in this state and such application is denied, the person shall not be allowed to carry a handgun in this state based upon the other states permit. "

"(C)(i) If a person who is a resident of and handgun permit holder in another state is employed in this state on a regular basis and desires to carry a handgun in this state, such person shall have six (6) months from the last day of the sixth month of regular employment in this state to obtain a Tennessee handgun carry permit. Such permit may be issued based on the person having a permit from another state provided such other state has substantially similar permit eligibility requirements as this state. However, if during such six (6) month period the person applies for a handgun permit in this state and such application is denied, the person shall not be allowed to carry a handgun in this state based upon the other states permit. (ii) The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply if the state of residence of the person employed in Tennessee has entered into a handgun permit reciprocity agreement with this state pursuant to this subsection. (iii) As used in this subdivision, "employed in this state on a regular basis" means a person has been gainfully employed in this state for at least thirty (30) hours a week for six (6) consecutive months not counting any absence from employment caused by the employees use of sick leave, annual leave, administrative leave or compensatory time."

Under Tennessee's 2003 reciprocity law, the state of Tennessee will, with some restriction on non-residents who work in Tennessee, recognize handgun carry permits and licenses from any other state since July 1, 2003. See, Tenn. Code Ann. Section 39-17-1351(r)(1).

The primary exception to this rule is that any non-resident permit holder who works in Tennessee on a "regular basis," (i.e. for over 30 hours per week for over 6 months) after July 1, 2003 will only be able to carry a handgun in the state of Tennessee for six months before being required to apply for a Tennessee handgun carry permit. On or before, the last day of that six (6) month period of employment on a "regular basis," the non-resident must apply for a Tennessee handgun carry permit. The non-resident, with a valid carry permit from any other state, who works in Tennessee and has applied for a Tennessee handgun carry permit, may continue to carry his handgun by virtue of a non-Tennessee permit, until he or she is denied a Tennessee handgun carry permit.

Residents from another state, who work in Tennessee on a "regular basis," may be issued a Tennessee handgun carry permit based on the person having a permit from their state of residence, provided their state has "substantially similar" requirements for a handgun carry permit. Those states meeting the "substantially similar" requirement are expected to be those 10 states with which Tennessee had entered into written reciprocity agreements dated prior to July 1, 2003.

The Tennessee Department of Safety has not yet written all the regulations to put into effect the amendments to Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 39-17-1351(r)(1). Therefore, we strongly recommend, that any non-resident who works in Tennessee on a "regular basis," continue to follow the development of the rules for non-resident concealed handgun permit holders to determine how this law will be implemented and to avoid any possible violations of Tennessee law. The Tennessee Department of Safety is charged by law with the duty to prepare and publish a list of those states which honor the Tennessee handgun carry permit. Until that list is published, the only information that has been released by the Tennessee Department of Safety is the list of the ten states with which Tennessee has as of July 1, 2003, entered into written reciprocity agreements.

Reciprocity States - The Tennessee Department of Safety has negotiated formal reciprocity with the following states as of July 1, 2003:

For detailed information on reciprocity with individual states refer to our Reciprocity Database

Note: Persons with valid Tennessee handgun carry permits should contact the reciprocity state for information on carrying such handgun prior to entering the reciprocity state." This is good advice for the purposes of confirming that the other state will accept Tennessee's permits and also to inquire about the regulations or restrictions in that state concerning how the weapon may be carried and/or where it may be carried.

States not having or requiring written reciprocity agreements. The following states are believed to recognize Tennessee handgun carry permits but this information has not been confirmed by the Tennessee Department of Safety in accordance with Tennessee law at this time. Although this information is believed accurate, until this information is confirmed, an individual should contact the individual state and should exercise individual responsibility in making these determinations: