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Compare State Gun Laws

Pick any two states to see how they compare head-to-head on all 50 policies. You can also click on any state or policy for more detail.

Rank for gun law strength

#29

Same rank as last year

#49

Up from #50 last year

Gun Law Strength

Composite score

Gun Law Strength: 16.5

Last year: 16.5

Gun Law Strength: 3

Last year: 3

Gun Violence Rate

Gun deaths per 100,000 residents (national average: 14.4)

Gun Violence Rate: 20.9
Gun Violence Rate: 29.7
Foundational laws

Background Check and/or Purchase Permit

Requires Background checks for handgun purchases at point of sale and/or for permit to purchase

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no

Concealed Carry Permit Required

Requires any person who carries a concealed firearm in public to first obtain a permit

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no

Extreme Risk Law

Allows law enforcement (and often family members) to petition for a court order to temporarily prevent someone in crisis from accessing guns.

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no

No Shoot First Law

Does not have a dangerous Shoot First law in place

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no

Secure Storage or Child Access Prevention Required

Requires that firearms be stored locked, unloaded, and separate from ammunition in certain circumstances

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no
Gun industry and product safety

Assault Weapons Prohibited

Bars purchase of certain assault-style weapons originally designed for military use

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no

Consumer Safety

Requires new handgun models sold in the state to have childproofing features

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no

Ghost Guns Regulated

Regulates ghost gun parts, ensuring they cannot be sold without serial numbers and a background check

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no

High Capacity Magazines Prohibited

Bars purchase of gun magazines larger than a prescribed size

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no

Microstamping for New Handguns

Requires new handgun models sold in the state to include microstamping technology

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no

No Special Immunity for Gun Industry

Does not have a dangerous legal immunity law in place

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no
Guns in public

Crime Gun Tracing

Requires officials to trace all guns recovered at crime scenes, using the federal tracing system

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no

No Carry After Violent Offense

Bars concealed carry by people with assault or other violent misdemeanor convictions

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no

No Guns Mandate on College Campuses

Does not force colleges and universities to allow concealed carry

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no
If not, where and to whom does the mandate apply?
Full-time employees with permits must be allowed to carry on public campuses.
Enhanced carry permit holders must be allowed to carry on public campuses. Students and employees are not included in the mandate.

No Guns at State Capitols and/or Demonstrations

Blocks the public carry of guns on state capitol grounds and/or political protests

Tennessee: yes
Mississippi: no

No Guns in Bars

Blocks the concealed carry of guns in bars

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no

No Guns in K-12 Schools

Does not have a law allowing carry in K–12 schools by staff or other permit holders

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no
If not, who is allowed to carry under state law?
School personnel
Any permit holders; School personnel

Open Carry Regulated

Regulates how guns may be carried visibly in public, either requiring a permit or else barring open carry altogether

Tennessee: yes
Mississippi: no
How is open carry regulated?
Open carry not regulated for handguns; prohibited for rifles and shotguns (unless unloaded).

Strong Concealed Carry Authority

Allows officials to bar concealed carry by people who pose a danger

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no
Keeping guns out of the wrong hands

Emergency Restraining Order Prohibitor

Bars domestic abusers from having guns while subject to short-term emergency orders

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no

Felony Prohibitor

Bars gun possession by people with felony convictions

Tennessee: yes
Mississippi: yes
How long is a person prohibited by the state law?
Indefinitely
Indefinitely

Fugitive from Justice Prohibitor

Bars gun possession by fugitives

Tennessee: yes
Mississippi: no
Does the state prohibitor cover any people with outstanding warrants?
No

Gun Removal Program

Requires officials to identify and seek removal of illegal guns

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no

Hate Crime Prohibitor

Bars people from having guns after a hate crime conviction

Tennessee: yes
Mississippi: no

Mental Health Prohibitor

Bars gun possession by people who have been involuntarily committed or found to be a danger to self or others

Tennessee: yes
Mississippi: no
How long is a person prohibited by the state law?
Indefinitely

Minimum Age to Purchase

Requires handgun buyers to be 21+ and rifle and shotgun buyers to be 18+

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no

No Gun Purchases After Violent Offense

Bars gun purchases by people with assault or other violent misdemeanor convictions

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no

Prohibition for Convicted Domestic Abusers

Bars domestic abusers from having guns after a misdemeanor conviction

Tennessee: yes
Mississippi: no
Does the law close the boyfriend loophole by covering abusive dating partners?
No

Prohibition for Domestic Abusers Under Restraining Orders

Bars domestic abusers from having guns while subject to restraining orders

Tennessee: yes
Mississippi: no
Does the law close the boyfriend loophole by covering abusive dating partners?
No

Relinquishment for Convicted Domestic Abusers

Requires domestic abusers to turn in guns after a misdemeanor conviction

Tennessee: yes
Mississippi: no
Does the state bar the surrender of firearms to third parties?
No

Relinquishment for Domestic Abusers Under Restraining Orders

Requires domestic abusers to turn in guns when a restraining order is placed

Tennessee: yes
Mississippi: no
Does the state bar the surrender of firearms to third parties?
No

School Threat Assessment Teams

Requires threat assessment programs to identify students at risk of violence

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no

Stalker Prohibitor

Bars gun possession by convicted stalkers

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no
Policing and civil rights

Funding for Services for Victims of Gun Violence

Issues targeted solicitations to use federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funds to assist victims of gun violence or for gun violence intervention

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no

Local Gun Laws Allowed

Does not preempt towns and cities from making their own gun safety policy

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no
If not, does the state also threaten to punish localities that regulate firearms?
Yes
Yes

No Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights

Does not impede efforts to hold police accountable for excessive force and other misconduct

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: yes

Office of Violence Intervention

Has a dedicated office for gun violence prevention

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no

Police Use of Deadly Force Standard

Bars deadly force unless necessary to prevent serious bodily injury, does not make exception for felony suspects fleeing arrest

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no

Police Use of Force Incident Data Collection and Reporting

Requires law enforcement agencies to collect and report data on use of force incidents

Tennessee: yes
Mississippi: no

Qualified Immunity Limited

Limits qualified immunity, a legal shield for police officers accused of civil and constitutional violations

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no

Violence Intervention Program Funding

State budget includes funding for community violence intervention programming

Tennessee: yes
Mississippi: no
Sales and permitting

Authority to Deny Gun Purchase for Public Safety

Allows officials to deny sales if buyer poses a danger

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no

Charleston Loophole Closed or Limited

Ensures gun sales can’t proceed while a background check is still ongoing

Tennessee: yes
Mississippi: no
What does the state law require?
Authorities deny sales if prospective purchaser charged with crime that would prohibit them from firearm possession, even if final disposition is not available to background check operator.

Dealer License Required

Requires all gun dealers to obtain a state license

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no

Lost and Stolen Reporting

Requires gun owners to notify law enforcement if their guns are lost or stolen

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no

Mental Health Record Reporting

Requires or allows officials to report prohibiting records into the background check system

Tennessee: yes
Mississippi: yes
Are officials required to report, or merely allowed to do so?
Required
Allowed

Notification of Failed Background Checks

Requires notice to law enforcement when a prohibited person tries to buy a gun

Tennessee: yes
Mississippi: no

Sales Records Sent to Law Enforcement

Requires all handgun sale information be recorded by officials

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no

Training Required to Purchase Guns

Requires certain gun buyers to take a training course before their purchase

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no

Waiting Periods

Requires gun buyers to wait a prescribed time before completing a purchase

Tennessee: no
Mississippi: no