Perhaps the biggest, and least noticed, change in Tennessee firearms law is Tenn. Code §39-17-1307(e). This provision allows anyone who can legally possess a “firearm” (handgun, rifle or shotgun) to possess or carry a firearm and ammunition in a motor vehicle of which they lawfully possess. (An armed car thief gets no benefit from this defense).

Prior to the change, someone in a vehicle could not possess a firearm “with intent to go armed”, without a handgun carry permit. To comply with the law, firearms had to be unloaded, separated from unloaded magazines and not in the immediate vicinity of each other.

Like everything, there are exceptions. The motor vehicle cannot be owned or leased by or governmental or private entity that has adopted a written policy prohibiting firearms or ammunition within the vehicle and the vehicle is provided to the employee for use during the course of employment.

Caution: there are other statutes that might come into play, depending on the location of the vehicle, whether it is visible or being handled, and whether it is on property where firearms are prohibited, such school property.