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Tennessee law provides that, before a firearm is delivered to a purchaser, a gun dealer must complete a firearms transaction record in accordance with federal law.1 Tennessee law does not specify how long these records must be retained. A law enforcement agency may inspect the records of a gun 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.2

The gun dealer must transmit information regarding each firearm sale to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) in the course of running a background check on the purchaser.3 However, Tennessee law requires that for all approved background checks, TBI must destroy all records associating a particular individual with a particular purchase of firearms.4


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  1. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1316(c).[]
  2. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1316(k).[]
  3. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1316(c).[]
  4. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1316(j). TBI is required to keep only the unique identifying number and date it was assigned. Id.[]