How Virginia Gun Laws Compare to Tennessee

By: Stephen McLamb
By: Stephen McLamb

Knoxville (WVLT) - Following Monday's shooting in Virginia, we're asking just how gun laws in Tennessee compare with those in Virginia.

A lot of questions about the law are being raised as CBS News has learned the shooter purchased his 9 millimeter Glock semiautomatic from a Roanoke, Virginia gun shop just 36 days ago.

"I think we do need stronger law, somehow to keep a guy like him who was over here on a permit or whatever you call it from getting a gun," says gun owner Ron Valdes.

As a lot of people including gun owners wonder how the Virginia Tech shooter got his weapon, gun laws in Tennessee and other states shown in blue are stronger than many states.

"The permitting system is the answer that many people had asked for years," says Maryville Police Captain John McCoulloch.

Both Tennessee and Virginia have tougher gun laws compared to many states.

But unlike Virginia according to the Brady Campaign website, Tennessee's permit system mandates a gun safety course.

"The individual be trained in the correct laws and use of the firearm," says Capt. McCoulloch

Violators of the Tennessee gun carry permit laws also face very stiff penalties.

"Can cause the revocation of the permit, forfeiture of the firearm to the seizing agency, and loss of permit privileges for life," says McCoulloch.

"The state of Tennessee has very good laws on the books," says Jess Hatmaker, from Guns & More.

But some people also feel that laws are not the cure all.

"Not saying that there's not crazy people out there who will find a way to hurt other people if given the chance, because there are," Hatmaker says.

McCoulloch says there are federal laws governing firearms but states also set their own standards.

For instance, Tennessee also has laws on the books that some other states don't have which prohibit intoxicated people from possessing a weapon.

Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus


6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 7070537 -
Gray Television, Inc.