The United States Constitution affords people the right to keep and bear arms, including handguns. If you are 21 years of age and would like to lawfully possess a gun in the state of Tennessee you must apply to the Department of Safety for a handgun permit.
Not everyone is permitted to possess a firearm, however, and there are several restrictions on who can be approved for a handgun permit. According to the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security, you will not be approved if you are:
- A convicted felon unless pardoned or your conviction has been expunged
- A fugitive
- Of unsound mind
- A minor
- Addicted to alcohol or drugs
If you meet the requirements for receiving a handgun permit and you wait the allotted 15-day period you will receive permission to keep an approved firearm. You must know, however, there are consequences if you choose to carry or possess a gun without a proper and approved permit in the state of Tennessee.
Consequences for Carrying a Gun Without a Permit
Unlawfully carrying or possessing a weapon in Tennessee without the proper permit is a crime that is punishable by a fine and possible imprisonment depending on the situation and severity of the incident involving the weapon. It may also result in a misdemeanor or a felony charge at the state and federal level. Such charges could further impact your legal status if you have a prior criminal record.
If you are or have been involved in a situation that relates to gun charges, you should consult with an attorney to assure your legal rights are protected. If you choose to appear in court without having the benefit of an experienced attorney familiar with the gun laws of Tennessee, you may be seriously undermining the outcome of your case.