Minimum Age to Purchase & Possess in Tennessee

Posted on January 1, 2012

Tennessee prohibits any juvenile (person under age 18)1 from knowingly possessing a handgun.2

No person may intentionally, knowingly or recklessly sell, loan or make a gift of a firearm to a minor (person under 18 years of age).3) The transferor may claim as a defense to prosecution that the firearm was loaned or given to a minor for the purposes of hunting, trapping, fishing, camping, sport shooting or any other lawful sporting activity, and the transferor is not required to obtain a license under Tennessee gun dealer laws.4

Tennessee also prohibits any person from intentionally, knowingly or recklessly providing a handgun, with or without remuneration, to any person the seller or transferor knows or has reason to believe is a juvenile.5 Federal age restrictions impose stricter limits.

There is no minimum age to possess rifles and shotguns in Tennessee.

See our Minimum Age to Purchase & Possess Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1319(a)(2). []
  2. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1319(b). For a list of affirmative defenses a juvenile may raise when being prosecuted for knowingly possessing a handgun, see Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1319(d)(1). []
  3. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1303(a)(1). (Minor is defined under Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-11-106(a)(23). []
  4. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1303(b). []
  5. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1320(a). []