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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 2021, Tennessee had the 11th highest gun death rate among the states. Tennessee also supplied crime guns to other states at the 22nd highest rate among the states. While Tennessee exported crime guns at 1.3 times the national rate, the state actually imports more crime guns than it exports.

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



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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We’re in this together. To build a safer America—one where children and parents in every neighborhood can learn, play, work, and worship without fear of gun violence—we need you standing beside us in this fight.