See our Gun Dealers policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.
Tennessee does not require firearms dealers to obtain a state license.
- Applicable to both licensed and private firearm sellers, please see the Tennessee Private Sales section;
- Requiring firearm dealers to conduct a background check on purchasers, see the Tennessee Background Checks section;
- Requiring firearm dealers to ensure that purchasers possess a locking device, see the Tennessee Locking Devices section; and
- Requiring firearm dealers to retain records of sales, see the section entitled Retention of Sales / Background Checks Records in Tennessee.
A law enforcement agency may inspect the records of a dealer relating to transfers of firearms in the course of a reasonable inquiry during a criminal investigation or under the authority of a properly authorized subpoena or search warrant.1
- Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1316(k).