A new Tennessee law, effective January 1, allows residents to obtain a concealed-carry permit more quickly and inexpensively.
The safety-training course required for the new Concealed Handgun Carry permit can be taken electronically. The course must be a minimum of 90 minutes, cover current state laws regarding carrying handguns and cover basic knowledge and skills for the safe handling and storage of firearms and ammunition. The permit’s application fee is $65 and it allows only for concealed carry, not open carry, and not on school or university properties. It expires after 8 years.
Two vendors have reportedly been approved so far to provide the new electronic permit training—both reportedly charge just under $40.
Advocates of the new permit option have emphasized decreased costs. “When we put people in a position where they have a high threshold before they can exercise what I think is an inherent right to self-defense, we put people at a strategic disadvantage," said Tennessee House Rep. Andy Holt (R), who introduced the legislation last year, in a news report.
The previous minimum-level concealed carry permit is being retained but is now renamed as the “Enhanced Handgun Carry permit.” This permit costs $100, requires 8 hours of in-person training (costs vary) and allows for concealed or open carry everywhere not otherwise prohibited.
Tennessee additionally offers a $300 Lifetime Enhanced Concealed Handgun Carry permit with no set expiration date. After the initial background checks required for all permit types, name-based background checks on Lifetime and Concealed Handgun Carry permit holders are conducted every 5 years.