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In 1996, standardizations were made to the handgun permit process and responsibility for issuing the permits was transferred from the Sheriff's Department to the Tennessee Department of Safety. This new update to legislature also established a standardized permitting process, the application and fees, to be the same statewide. In 1997 it was implemented that the Department of Safety must issue a handgun carry permit to a qualified applicant within 90 days of the application; even if the background check had not been completed. The latest change to the handgun carry law came just a couple of years ago and was a revision to the guns in bars law. It was illegal to carry a gun into a bar or establishment that served alcohol. Now, a handgun carry permit holder can legally take his/her firearm into an establishment that serves alcohol, so long as that person isn't consuming alcoholic beverages.
After the 1997 implementation of a standardized process, a list of regulations were set to be followed. Several of the regulations have to do with criminal history, mental history, driving history, military history (if applicable) and alien or citizenship status. Permits can be denied if information returned on these show the applicant does not meet the eligibility requirements.
Application requirements include the applicant to provide two full sets of classifiable fingerprints and the "successful completion of a department approved handgun safety course." This course will cost you $50 and the course you take must include both classroom hours and firing range hours. The applicant has six months after the successful completion of the course to present the certificate to the Department of Safety for application of a handgun carry permit. If the applicant lets the six month timeframe pass, the certificate becomes void and the handgun safety course must be completed once again.
Once a handgun carry permit is acquired, it will remain active over a four year period. A permit holder isn't required to complete an additional course in order to renew a permit. However, if the permit holder doesn't apply for renewal within six months after the expiration date, they will be treated as a new applicant and will be required to repeat another state approved handgun safety course, as well as pay the original fees instead of the simple $50 renewal fee. The original fee to apply for a handgun safety permit is $115. This fee is to be paid to the Department of Safety. So add up the original fees and it comes to $165 after your classroom fee and Department of Safety fee. Then, every four years, it will cost you an additional $50; assuming you renew in a timely manner and don't have to repeat the course and pay the application fees again.
If you feel it's time to activate your Second Amendment rights, visit a local firing range and question whether they offer a handgun safety course that is Department of Safety approved and will go toward obtaining a carry permit. Also, check with your local Sheriff's Department, they should definitely offer a course
In addition, try to keep up with state governments, they are constantly changing laws and if you are a firearm owner and handgun permit carrier then you definitely want to keep up. Not only that, sometimes the laws could change for the worse, taking away some of your precious freedoms and significantly limiting your right to bear arms. Get in touch with your local representatives and tell them your thoughts and ideas; it's the only way to help keep your freedoms safe.