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Tennessee penalizes a gun dealer who fails to initiate the federally required background check.1 Tennessee law also requires a person who is purchasing a gun from a dealer to present valid identification.2

It is a misdemeanor to sell or offer to sell a firearm to a person, knowing that the person is prohibited from possessing firearms.3 It is also a misdemeanor to transfer a firearm to a person who has been involuntarily committed to a mental institution, adjudicated as a ‘mental defective’, or who is receiving inpatient psychiatric treatment.4

Tennessee administrative regulations state that anyone who performs or attempts a “straw purchase” or transfer is in violation of the law and will be reported to ATF.5 A “straw purchase” is defined as “[a] purchase or transfer of a firearm made by an individual who is not obtaining the firearm for himself/herself or as a gift but rather for an individual who is disqualified from receiving or possessing a firearm.”6 Another administrative regulation states that a firearm transfer must be denied if the purchaser “provide[s] false information to purchase or transfer a firearm.”7

 See our Trafficking & Straw Purchasing policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue. 

  1. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1316(c).[]
  2. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1316(c), (f).[]
  3. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1316(q).[]
  4. Id.[]
  5. Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 1395-1-3-.05(5).[]
  6. Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 1395-1-3-.02(30).[]
  7. Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 1395-1-3-.05(1)(n).[]