It’s important to understand that prior to January 2020, Tennessee issued a single “Handgun Carry Permit” requiring eight hours of training, including a demonstration of shooting skills, and allowing both open and concealed carry. Effective January 2020, state law created two types of handgun carry permits in Tennessee – the Enhanced Handgun Carry Permit (ECP) and the Concealed Handgun Carry Permit (CCP).
The ECP is a re-titled version of the original Handgun Carry Permit, with the exact same requirements and continuing to allow both open and concealed carry. Currently, there are 37 states with a degree of reciprocity recognizing Tennessee’s Handgun Carry Permit. Because the new ECP is merely a re-titled version of the Handgun Carry Permit, these 37 states will presumably continue to recognize the new ECP.
On the other hand, the new law that created the CCP substantially broadened the training requirements necessary to obtain a concealed carry permit — including online video training — and instituted some carry restrictions beyond those associated with the ECP. Finally, the CCP allows concealed carry only (no open carry). The Legislature recognized that because the CCP was substantially different than the ECP, reciprocity arrangements would be significantly limited for those holding the CCP, reducing the number of states which would recognize this new type of permit.
Accordingly, holders of the new CCP should not presume continued reciprocity with the 37 states that recognize Tennessee’s Handgun Carry Permit/ECP. What’s more, reciprocity agreements take many months — and sometimes years — to develop. On the other hand, there are some states which, by statute, recognize other state permits with or without conditions or stipulations. It is important to note that the general rule is that those states which recognize another state’s concealed carry permits to do so while subjecting out-of-state carriers to the handgun laws of the host state.
The bottom line is that it’s the responsibility of the handgun carry permit holder to contact/research the state that they will be traveling to — or through — to determine whether they can legally carry in that state and to know what restrictions they will be subject to when doing so. This is especially so for those holding the new Tennessee CCP.