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Tennessee’s gun laws are weak and its gun death rate is high. State legislators have an obligation to enact the laws proven to save lives from gun violence. 

In spite of its lack of many basic gun safety laws, Tennessee does prohibit most people subject to domestic violence convictions or court orders from possessing firearms. In 2020, Tennessee had the 10th-highest gun death rate in the country and 19th-highest gun export rate. To save lives from gun violence, Tennessee legislators could require a background check and waiting period on all firearm purchases, enact an extreme risk protection law, and invest in community violence intervention programs.

What Tennessee Does Well

  • Certain domestic violence gun laws
  • Certain open carry regulations
  • Disarming procedures

What Tennessee Is Missing

  • Universal background checks
  • Gun owner licensing
  • Assault weapon restrictions
  • Large capacity magazine ban
  • Waiting periods
  • Strong concealed carry law
  • Community violence intervention funding
  • Lost & stolen firearm reporting
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SPOTLIGHT

GUN LAW SCORECARD

The data is clear: states with stronger gun laws have less gun violence. See how your state compares in our annual ranking.

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