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DUI Convictions Prohibit Handgun Carry Permits in Tennessee

SIG P210 1sr series IMG 3086.jpg
SIG P210 Handgun Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

A client of mine have recently inquired about the effect a DUI conviction would have on their ability to obtain a handgun carry permit.  I explained that even though a 2021 Tennessee law (T.C.A. §39-17-1307(g)) essentially eliminated the general requirement for certain individuals to obtain a handgun carry permit, certain locations within the State may still require a handgun carry permit.  See, e.g., T.C.A. § 39-17-1311.  In addition to suspending or revoking a handgun carry permit for a variety of reasons including when the permit holder is arrested for certain felony offenses (T.C.A. § 39-17-1352(a)(4)), Tennessee law also requires the surrender of a handgun carry permit upon conviction of a Class A misdemeanor offense (such as a first offense DUI conviction).

In fact, several DUI-related issues may prohibit a person from obtaining a handgun carry permit. For instance, an application for a handgun carry permit, whether it be an original application or renewal, will not be granted if the applicant has been convicted of DUI in Tennessee or any other state two or more times within 10 years from the date of the application, the most recent of which cannot have occurred within five years of the date of the application. T.C.A. § 39-17-1351(c)(11).

Moreover, a permit will also not be issued to an applicant who is under indictment or information for DUI, whether a felony or misdemeanor at the time of the application. T.C.A. § 39-17-1351(c)(7). This does not, however, seem to affect an applicant who has been arrested by warrant or citation and whose case is still pending in General Sessions Court. See T.C.A. § 39-17-1351(c)(7). As always, the best advice to take every measure possible to avoid a DUI conviction.  The punishment and collateral adverse consequences continue to increase.

About the Author: Steven Oberman has been licensed in Tennessee since 1980, and successfully defended over 2,500 DUI defendants.  Steve was the first lawyer in Tennessee to be Board Certified as a DUI Defense Specialist by the NCDD. Among the many honors bestowed upon him, Steve has served as Dean of the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. (NCDD) and currently serves as chair of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers DUI Committee.

He is the author of DUI: The Crime & Consequences in Tennessee, updated annually since 1991 (Thomson-West), and co-author with Lawrence Taylor of the national treatise, Drunk Driving Defense, 9th edition (Wolters Kluwer/Aspen).  Steve has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee Law School since 1993 and has received a number of prestigious awards for his faculty contributions.  He is a popular international speaker, having spoken at legal seminars in 30 states, the District of Columbia and six foreign countries.  After being named a Fulbright Scholar, Steve was honored to teach as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Latvia Law School in the capital city of Riga, Latvia during the Spring Semester of 2019.  If you would like to contact the author, please visit his website at

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Steve Oberman

Steve Oberman

Since graduating from the University of Tennessee Law School in 1980, Mr. Oberman has become established as a national authority on the intricacies of DUI defense law. Steve is a former Dean of the National College for DUI Defense, co-author of a national treatise ("Drunk Driving Defense" published by Aspen/Wolters-Kluwer), and author of "DUI: The Crime and Consequences in Tennessee" (published by Thomson-Reuters/West). He has taught thousands of lawyers, judges, and members of the general public about the intricacies of this crime. Steve was selected as a Fulbright Scholar to teach American Criminal Law and American Trial Advocacy at the University of Latvia School of Law in 2019; in 2023 taught for a semester as a visiting professor at Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) Faculty of Law in Budapest, Hungary; and as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Ljubljana Faculty of Law in 2024. Steve has also presented at a number of judicial conferences in the United States and Canada as well as for law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Czech Republic Police Academy. As a Tennessee DUI attorney, Mr. Oberman has successfully defended over two thousand clients charged with Driving Under the Influence of alcohol and/or drugs. In 2006, Mr. Oberman became the first DUI lawyer in Tennessee to be recognized by the National College for DUI Defense as a Board Certified Specialist in the area of DUI Defense law.

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