Are you a Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit Holder?  If you are, it is your responsibility to know the rules and regulations when you carry your handgun.  In ANY state.

The Tennessee Handgun Permit Manual gives you this information, and more.

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Should Tennessee Handgun Permit Holders Be Exempted From T.I.C.S. & N.I.C.S.?

A number of states that issue a license or permit to carry defensive weaons, have been exempted from the National Instant Check System. Residents of these states who possess a Carry License or Permit to carry a weapon want to purchase a firearm, they show their state Carry License or Pemit, and the FFL Dealer records the # of their license or permit.  The individual does not have to go through the N.I.C.S..  Should Tennessee be on this list?

What are the requirements for a state to be exempted from the N.I.C.S.?  Currently these are the areas that could have a state exempted:

  • Is the license or permit valid for five (5) years or less,
  • Had a N.I.C.S. check performed and passed during the license application process,
  • Is the license or pemit denied to anyone prohibited from possessing firearms under federal, state, or local law.
The regulation exempting states from the instant check is:  27 C.F.R.

( 27 C.F.R. 478.102. After recording the unique identification numberprovided by N.I.C.S., the dealer records certain information about the firearm to be transferred, including the namufacturer, type, model, caliber or gauge and serial number.  )

Additionally, permits issued after November 30, 2998, qualify only if the approval process included an N.I.C.S. check.

Tennessee Instant Check System (T.I.C.S.)

Background checks are mandatory based on the "Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act". 18 U.S.C. 921 et seq., which are designed to identify persons who are ineligible to purchase firearms under federal, state or local law, and prevent those individuals from obaining firerarms.  This law does not apply to private sellers.
When this law went into effect, states were given the option of conducting these background chekcs themselves or allowing the Federal Bureau of Investigations to do the necessary background checks.  The state of Tennessee elected to conduct their own background checks.  The POC [point of contact] in Tennessee is the Tennesse Bureau of Investigations.  This check is titled the Tennessee Instant Check System T.I.C.S. . A buyer is charged $ 10.00 for every purchase made through a license FFL dealer even if the purchase is not allowed based on this check.

Tennessee Includes additional checks

Additonal checks have been included in Tennessee handgun permit new and renewal permits.  These include the state data base involving wanted felons and the Federal N.C.I.C. data base.
Tennessee charges $ 10.00 for each check done by prospective buyers.  Although the state of Tennessee will loose some money if their permit holders are exempted from N.I.C.S. checks, they still receive revenue from buyers who do not possess a Tennessee Handgun Permit.

The state of Tennessee seems to provide all the requirements to have their state residents who possess a Tennessee Handgun Permit, to be exempted from the National Instant Check System.  If you believe this is true, contact your state representative, state senator, and the Tennesse Department of Safety, to question why Tennessee is not allowing Tennessee Handgun Permit Holders to be exempt from the National Instant Check System.  END

Post comments on the right of this article.



Although it might be difficult to get the state of Tennessee to allow Handgun Permit Holders to be exempt from background checks, it seems they should qualify.  This push needs to be done by the individuals who will benefit from this change.  These are permit holders and licensed dealers.  I would like to save $10 every time I purchase a firearm.

Robert , Tennessee Handgun Permit Holder


Question:  What states allow their residents who have a ccw license to 'by-pass' an instant check.
Thanks for the answer & keep up the good work.

Bill, Georgia Firearms License Holder


Response to above question
:  States that issue permits or licenses that qualify the legally armed citizen from a background or N.I.C.S. check when buying a firearm are:

Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Wyoming.

There might be more, but these are the states we have on our list.  If there is additional information or data that a reader is aware of, please post to this comment section.
Thank you,


I will start off by saying that I am going to contradict myself in this opinion. No I have no objection to the bypassing of the background check for individuals that are known by the dealers or law enforcement personnel.It would be unnecessary to run a check when you KNOW the person is OK. But there are those who will deliberately abuse the system, those who have been convicted of a crime and will go to some obscure or far corner of the state where they are NOT known by the sellers to purchase firearms. I am a CCW holder that lives in Alabama, and I have seen firsthand how the criminal element operates by stealth and deception. Therefore I feel that although it will inconvnience some persons, the background checks MUST continue to be done to help weed out the miscreats and criminal element from illegally procuring weapons.

Jerry W. Huntsville, Al 


When I first moved to NC about 5 years ago it required a certificate from the sheriff's department (either 5 or 10 dollars) to be able to buy a gun. Since then they have changed the law to allow permit holders to be exempt from having to requalify every time. It is a great system, one that uses common sense. It saves time and expense for the sheriff's department, etc., to keep from having to recheck legal buyers. Other states should adopt this common sense rule.

I hope TN does this before I move back in a few years.


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