Private Sales in Tennessee

Posted on January 1, 2012

Private firearm transfers (i.e., transfers by non-firearms dealers) are not subject to a background check requirement in Tennessee.

Tennessee prohibits any person from purchasing or attempting to purchase a firearm knowing that he or she is prohibited by state or federal law from owning, possessing or purchasing a gun.1

Tennessee also prohibits any person from selling or offering to sell a firearm to a person with knowledge that the prospective purchaser is prohibited by state or federal law from owning, possessing or purchasing a firearm.2

See the Tennessee Minimum Age to Purchase or Possess Firearms section for age restrictions.

No person may intentionally, knowingly or recklessly sell a firearm or ammunition to a person who is intoxicated.3

Finally, any person who gives or sells a firearm to a service recipient (defined as a person who is receiving service, has applied for service, or for whom someone has applied for or proposed service because the person has a mental illness, serious emotional disturbance, or a developmental disability)4 in a hospital or developmental center, whether on the premises of the facility or elsewhere, knowing such person to be suffering from a mental illness, serious emotional disturbance, or developmental disability, is criminally liable for a felony.5

See the section entitled Firearms Trafficking in Tennessee for laws aimed at gun trafficking.

See our Private Sales policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1316(q)(1). []
  2. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1316(2). []
  3. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1303(a)(2). []
  4. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 33-1-101. []
  5. Tenn. Code Ann. § 33-3-904(a)(4). []