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September 12, 2019

Following recent high-profile announcements about carrying guns at Walmart and Kroger, we thought folks might like to know how to legally ban weapons on their property. 

Last week, Walmart and Kroger asked their shoppers to leave their guns at home.  Tennessee is an open carry state, where citizens can obtain a permit to carry a gun in most public places, including restaurants, bars, hotels and music venues. 

We find ourselves humming Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Saturday Night Special.

            Mr. Saturday night special

            Got a barrel that’s blue and cold

            Ain’t good for nothin’

            But put a man six feet in a hole

            Oh, it’s the Saturday night special, for twenty dollars you can buy yourself one too

Walmart and Kroger merely asked shoppers not to bring their guns. The retail giants did not ban guns.

Tennessee businesses can prohibit the legal carrying of firearms by posting signs that state “NO FIREARMS ALLOWED” in letters that are at least one inch high and eight inches wide.  Updated in 2017, the law also requires that the sign state: “As authorized by T.C.A. §39-17-1359.” And if that’s not enough, the sign also has to include the universal “No Handgun” sign, inside a circle at least four inches in diameter.

Here is a sample:

Image title

Keep in mind that law enforcement officers may still carry firearms, regardless of sign postings.

Businesses must post the sign at every public entrance to the business.  We recommend that the signs be posted at patios, backdoors and other portals that could arguably be considered a public entrance.  If you want to prohibit guns, better safe than sorry.

Carrying a gun on a property with proper signage is a misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $500.

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