How and why I got my carry permit.
Why should an American carry a gun in the first place? Well in this free country it is our second amendment right, and to exercise that right is to keep us free. I have spent the majority of the last 5 years traveling throughout the USA and I have been to some of the most rural, urban, and crime ridden areas in the country. I chose to get my handgun carry permit because I want to feel confident that wherever I go, I will have the best odds of coming home safely. Some people carry guns because of personal experience, being robbed, or worse. But whatever the reason, Tennessee is a great state to live in, if you want to carry, currently TN has reciprocity agreements with 38 states, that is if you live in TN you're permit will be honored in 38 of the 50 states. This is great news for those of us who travel, even occasionally, as most states don't have such a broad number compliant states for permit holders. The permit may be earned in 1 to 2 days and received within a 90 day period.
Check with your local gun stores for classes or just google gun stores in your area and check their websites for class listings, this is easy to find. Prices range from $60 to $125 approximately, and most classes are conducted on weekends. I paid $80 for mine on a weekday and was 1 of 2 people there, so if you prefer less crowded settings try to get one during the week. This also provides the benefits of more one on one training time with the instructor. There is a classroom part for half the day and a range test for the other half, most ranges will rent you a gun at very reasonable rates if you don't have one yet, just ask. At the end of the classroom instruction you will be given a written test which is pretty easy to pass if you pay attention is class. Following the class session the range test consists of putting 50 rounds into center mass on a silhouette target at 3, 7, and 15 yards. If you're a proficient shooter this should be no problem, if you're fairly new as I was you might want to spend a little time at the range the weekend before the class so you can be more comfortable when it's time to pass the test. Being fairly inexperienced I passed the range test my first try with 98 percent accuracy, and even learned a lot about proper shooting from my instructor along the way. Upon completion of the course you will receive a certificate that you can take to the closest drivers license center and fill out an application for you license.
The application costs $115 which is non-refundable. This cost covers the administrative expenses as well as the 3 background checks the state will run on you to make sure you're not a criminal or mentally unstable person. You will then have your picture taken after waiting in line so be ready. The drivers license center will provide you with contact information to get fingerprinted for the government database, prior to receiving your permit. I used the online website they have and set up an appointment that was convenient for me the following morning. After you've been finger printed you can set back and relax, check the mailbox with anticipation each day and receive your handgun carry permit within 90 days.
Handguns are very dangerous, never point them at anything you're not willing to destroy and face the consequences of, loaded or unloaded. I pray that you and I will never need to use our handguns for self protection but there are psychotic criminals out there and to get the training and carry a handgun is a great choice to make in my humble opinion. If you doubt me check out YouTube for true stories of those who have protected their lives by carrying legally. Thanks for reading, I hope this helps you understand the process behind concealed or open, legal firearm carry in TN.