Pursuant to T.C.A. § 39-17-1315(a)(1), the sheriff has the authority to authorize the carry of handguns by bonded and sworn deputy sheriffs who have successfully completed and continue to successfully complete on an annual basis a firearm training program of at least eight hours duration. The sheriff’s authorization must be made by a written directive, a copy of which must be retained by the sheriff’s office. Pursuant to the sheriff’s written directive, POST-certified deputy sheriffs may carry their handgun at all times, regardless of the deputy’s regular duty hours or assignments. Nothing in T.C.A. § 39-17-1315(a)(1) prohibits the sheriff from placing restrictions on when or where a deputy may carry his or her service handgun.
POST-certified deputy sheriffs and commissioned reserve deputy sheriffs may carry firearms at all times and in all places within Tennessee, on-duty or off-duty, regardless of the deputy’s regular duty hours or assignments, except as provided by T.C.A. § 39-17-1350(c) (see below), federal law, lawful orders of court or the written directive of the sheriff. T.C.A. § 39-17-1350(a) and (d).
The authority conferred by T.C.A. § 39-17-1350 does not extend to a deputy sheriff or commissioned reserve deputy sheriff:
T.C.A. § 39-17-1350(c). See Op. Tenn. Atty. Gen. No. 10-111 (November 3, 2010). See also T.C.A. §§ 39-17-1305; 39-17-1306; 39-17-1309; and 39-17-1311; 39-17-1321. Op. Tenn. Atty. Gen. No. 99-024 (February 16, 1999).