Court settlement lowers Tennessee concealed carry age to 18

Published 10:19 am Friday, January 27, 2023

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Those who are 18 to 20 can now openly carry firearms in Tennessee after a settlement was reached between the Firearms Policy Coalition and the state.

The settlement came as the result of a suit following Tennessee’s law on open carry restricting those who are 18 to 21 from being part of the allowance.

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The suit was originally filed in 2021 and then amended in 2022 after a similar case from the FPC won in Texas.

Last year, Rep Chris Todd, R-Madison County, pushed legislation to change the law to allow for those 18 to 20 to openly carry. That bill passed the Tennessee House but was not taken up by the Senate.

“FPC Law is thrilled with today’s settlement,” said FPC Director of Legal Operations Bill Sack. “Our position all along has been that peaceable adults of all ages have human rights – even those aged 18 to 20. To restore the rights of an entire community of folks in Tennessee is a great win for us.”

The settlement states the restriction for those ages 18 to 20 was a violation of the Second Amendment and 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as it restricted use solely based on age.

Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Jeff Long, the defendant in the suit, is required to share the settlement agreement with the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference, the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association and the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police.

Within 90 days, the state must also begin processing enhanced handgun and concealed handgun carry permits for those aged 18 to 20 in the state. The FPC will also receive attorneys’ fees of $47,250.