Tennessee Code Annotated online: www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/tncode/.
Here are the answers to some common questions regarding Tennessee laws.
HUNTING & FISHING
While seasons and fees are subject to change annually, hunting and fishing licenses go on sale Feb. 18 and do not expire until the last day of February the following year. To contact the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Region 4 office, call 1-800-332-0900 or 423-587-7037 or go online at www.tennessee.gov/twra. Most licenses can be purchased at the County Clerk’s office, or at sporting goods stores, boat docks, hardware stores, all TWRA offices, and online. There may be additional fees to order a license by phone, to print a license at home, or to have a license mailed to you.
Applicants for handgun permits must be a resident of Tennessee, age 21 or older, have completed a state-certified handgun safety training course, and must not be federally prohibited from carrying or purchasing a handgun in any state. Permits are issued on a eight-year cycle. An eight-year handgun permit costs $100, and a lifetime handgun permit costs $300. Service members can get an eight-year handgun permit for $68, and a lifetime handgun permit for $268. Retired law enforcement officers can purchase a lifetime permit for $100. It costs $50 to renew a handgun permit, and renewals can be submitted up to six months before the expiration of an existing permit. Renewal applications can be submitted in person at any full-service Driver Service Center or mailed to Tennessee Department of Safety Handgun Permit Office, 1150 Foster Ave., Nashville, TN 37243-1000. First-time applications for a handgun permit can also be submitted at any full-service Driver Service center. People carrying handguns may not consume alcohol while carrying a handgun; however, persons carrying handguns may carry their firearms into a restaurant or bar unless otherwise posted. If there is a sign that prohibits handguns, that sign has the authority of law in the state of Tennessee. Laws about where it is permissible to carry handguns vary. For more information, call the Tennessee Department of Safety’s handgun permit office at 615-251-8590 or go to https://www.tn.gov/safety/handgunmain.html.
To be married in Tennessee, both parties must appear at the County Clerk’s office to obtain a marriage license that will be valid for 30 days. The Blount County Clerk operates offices in the Courthouse, 345 Court St., Maryville (865-273-5800) or located in Foothills Mall (865-273-5800). Blood tests are not required. Both parties must provide valid ID and proof that they are age 18 or older. Persons younger than 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. No one under the age of 15 can be married in Tennessee without a court order. The fee for a marriage license is $97.50, although a $60 discount is available for couples who have completed premarital counseling with an approved counselor. For information, go to the County Clerk’s office.
To vote in Tennessee you must be 18 or older, a U.S. citizen and a Tennessee resident. Voters must be registered to vote at least 30 days before election voting begins. Voters cannot have been convicted of a felony, or must have had their voting rights restored. To register in person, you can go to the County Clerk’s office, County Election Commission office, public libraries, or Register of Deeds office. You can also register during a transaction with the following Departments: Health; Human Services; Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities; Mental Health; Safety; and Veteran’s Affairs.
Smoking is prohibited in restaurants, health care facilities, public and private educational facilities, retail stores, sports arenas, child care facilities, hotels and motel and “common use” areas such as lobbies and restrooms. Bars that opt to allow smoking are restricted to ages 21-and-up at all times.
To drink in the State of Tennessee, people cannot be any younger than 21. Beer can be sold at grocery stores and convenience stores, but liquor must be sold in licensed stores. As of July 2016, wine can also sold in grocery stores in various locations throughout East Tennessee, including Alcoa and Maryville. Visit www.tn.gov/abc or call the Alcoholic Beverage Commission at 615-741-1602.