Firearm Permit Holders Can Now Carry In Knoxville Public Libraries

Image: The Lawson McGhee Library in downtown Knoxville, TN. Image Credit: / CC

The Tennessee Conservative [By Kelly M. Jackson] –

Mayor Glenn Jacobs has changed a policy with regard to guns in Knoxville, allowing those who have a concealed carry permit to enter public libraries with their firearm. 

Mayor Jacobs office stated, “I am a strong gun rights advocate, I made the decision to discontinue the policy of prohibiting concealed carry in Knox County libraries after a constituent brought the issue to my attention saying, ‘Self-defense should not end in the parking lot of the library.”


According to Mayor Jacob’s office and his policy advisor Andrew Davis, Mayor Jacobs informed the Knoxville City Council of the change and explained “According to TCA § 39-17-1359, the Mayor has changed our policy on firearms in the library. Previously, they were prohibited. We believe that TCA § 39-17-1359 mandates that handgun carry permit holders be allowed to carry in our libraries.”

TCA § 39-17-1359 essentially says that there can be prohibition of firearms by authorized persons, to be carried on the premises where certain types of meetings are being held, and the way those prohibitions should be posted at the entrances to those spaces. However, the law includes a list of spaces that are not subject to prohibition of the carrying of firearms, and in that code, subdivision G part 2, letter E is “Libraries”. 


Further, the notices now being posted on the doors of the libraries include a reference to § 39-17-1366, which is the legal criteria that must be met in order to obtain a permit to carry a firearm in the state of Tennessee.

Essentially if an individual meets all the criteria, and have obtained a permit,they have earned the right to carry a firearm. As explained above, the law excludes libraries as a public place where firearms can be prohibited. 

It seems that based on Tennessee law, as long as you are permitted to carry a firearm – no matter what kind of permit that is – or if you are a law enforcement officer or someone who carries a firearm as part of their employment with a local, state or federal entity, you are entitled to carry a firearm into a library. At least in Knoxville because the Mayor as the Executive that runs the city, can deem it so. 


It remains to be seen whether other libraries in other parts of the state will enact the same policy since the law is applicable statewide.  

It also begs the question, how many other places are firearms being prohibited, where when a little scrutiny of the law could illuminate rights that citizens were kept from exercising because of bureaucratic policies?

About the Author: Kelly Jackson is a recent escapee from corporate America, and a California refugee to Tennessee. Christ follower, Wife and Mom of three amazing teenagers. She has a BA in Comm from Point Loma Nazarene University, and has a background in law enforcement and human resources. Since the summer of 2020, she has spent any and all free time in the trenches with local grassroots orgs, including Mom’s for Liberty Williamson County and Tennessee Stands as a core member.  Outspoken advocate for parents rights, medical freedom, and individual liberty. Kelly can be reached at

One thought on “Firearm Permit Holders Can Now Carry In Knoxville Public Libraries

  • July 24, 2023 at 3:40 pm

    We’ve always been able to carry. Period.


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