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Tenessee does not:

  • Require a license for the sale of ammunition;
  • Require sellers of ammunition to maintain a record of purchasers;
  • Require persons purchasing or possessing ammunition to obtain a license; or
  • Require the safe storage of ammunition in the home.

Regulation of Unreasonably Dangerous Ammunition

Tennessee prohibits the sale, offer for sale, display for sale, manufacture and use of any ammunition cartridge containing a bullet with explosive material designed to detonate upon impact.1 Federal prohibitions on certain kinds of armor-piercing ammunition also apply.

Persons Prohibited from Purchasing/Possessing Ammunition

Tennessee prohibits any person from intentionally, knowingly or recklessly selling ammunition to an intoxicated person.2 Tennessee does not otherwise prohibit the transfer of ammunition to, or the purchase and possession of ammunition by, persons who are ineligible to possess firearms under state law, although federal ammunition purchaser prohibitions  apply.


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  1. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1304(b). Tennessee also prohibits the possession, use or attempted use of “restricted firearm ammunition” in the commission or attempted commission of a crime of violence. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1304(a), (b). “Restricted firearm ammunition” is any cartridge containing a bullet coated with a plastic substance other than a lead or lead alloy core, or a jacketed bullet with other than a lead or lead alloy core, or a cartridge of which the bullet itself is wholly composed of a metal or metal alloy other than lead. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1301(13). This definition does not include shotgun shells or solid plastic bullets.[]
  2. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1303(a)(2).[]