By Jedidiah McKeehan

In Tennessee, people love their guns.  You may be a gun lover yourself.  You may have multiple guns and have your handgun carry permit.

Not that long ago the laws were changed in Tennessee to allow gun owners more freedom to carry their guns at parks and in bars.  But what exactly do those laws say?

Tennessee Code Annotated Section 39-17-1321 states that even if a person has a permit that allows them to carry a handgun, it is an offense for that person to possess a firearm if that person is both:

  1. Within the confines of an establishment open to the public where liquor, wine or beer are served for consumption on the premises; and
  2. Consume any alcoholic beverage.

If someone does this, they are breaking the law and committing a Class A misdemeanor.  So the lesson here is, yes, you can go in to bars with your firearm, but the minute you start drinking, you are breaking the law.  It appears that the legislators decided that they didn’t want to make it legal to drink and carry a gun.  Probably for the best.


Jedidiah McKeehan is an attorney practicing in Knox County and surrounding counties.  He works in many areas, including criminal, personal injury, landlord-tenant, probate, and estate planning. Visit for more information about this legal issue and other legal issues.