Texas

Texas is a county that categorizes gun-carrying laws into the ‘Shall-Issue’ class. Any resident can avail of a license if he or she is at least 18-years-old. In the subsequent sections, we shall talk about the Texas gun laws and regulations in detail. The first aspect of gun-carrying in Texas is that authorities do not regulate firearm possession in this county. This means that an individual of any age can keep a firearm, provided he or she isn’t a felon.

Moreover, the person should attain the age of 21-years-old before he or she can purchase guns legally. The concept of gun licensing in Texas is valid for both residents and non-residents. However, both need to undergo a firearm training course, spanning across 4 to even 6 hours. Open gun-carrying isn’t an issue in Texas. However, it would help if you carry the firearms in a belt holster or shoulder bag to avoid detection.

At present, 36 counties honor the gun-carrying laws in Texas. Most importantly, Texas is quite gun-friendly and accepts the gun-carrying regulations of 44 counties, which is a pretty good number. At present, there are more than 1300000 active CCW gun licenses in this county, which validates the awareness. Here are the basics of gun carrying in Texas, and any person looking to enter or reside in this county must keep a close eye on the purported changes, if any.

Texas CCW Process

Here are the basic eligibility criteria to obtain a handgun permit:

  • The applicant must be a minimum of 21 years or 18 years (a member of Army) of age to apply for a permit.
  • Must have completed the firearms training recently within 12 months of time.
  • Must be a legal resident of the state of Texas at least for a period of 6 months.
  • Must be the legal US resident or citizen.
  • Must not be getting benefits due to mental disability
  • Shall not be convicted of any charges against any felonies related to drug addiction in the past 10 years.
  • Shall not be hospitalized in an asylum or mental treatment-related institutions in the past 5 years.
  • Must abide by the Federal law requirements.

To obtain a permit below are the steps to be followed:

  1. Download and print the application form or you may even choose to submit an online application.
  2. The next step is to schedule an appointment for fingerprint verification. 
  3. Applicants will have to take up a class-room training and pass an examination with proficiency.
  4. Upon successful completion of the training, you may proceed to submit the certificate for verification.

Note: It may take up to 60 days to process a new permit application

List of documents required:

  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Residency 
  • Proof of full SSN
  • Tennessee driver license
  • Fingerprint document
  • Photograph

Address to mail the application:

Texas Department of Public Safety
Concealed Handgun - MSC 0245
PO Box 4087
Austin, TX

Renewal of Permit

  • The renewal application may be processed 6 months prior to the expiration of the current license.
  • After the expiration, you get 12 months of time to renew the permit.
  • Post 12 months, you may have to submit a new application to get the permit.
  • You may also choose to renew the permit via online mode.
Application ConditionsOriginalRenewal
IndividualUSD 40USD 40
Law Enforcement OfficersUSD 25USD 25
Senior CitizenUSD 40USD 35
VeteranUSD 25USD 25

Texas CCW Basics

Must Notify Officer

No - Must Notify Officer

Texas Gun Laws did not mention that you are required to inform a law enforcement officer upon contact. However, you are required to hand over your permit and ID if requested.

No Weapons Sign

Yes - "No Weapons Sign" Enforced

Texas gives the "No Weapons Sign" the force of law.

Vehicle Carry

 YES – WITHOUT A PERMIT

Texas gun laws permit any individual with a valid permit to carry the firearm in the vehicle but should safely be enclosed in a case. If it is a long gun, it is a must to unload the gun and keep them visible in the vehicle, while in case of short guns; they must be unloaded and enclosed inside a case.

You may carry a firearm, in your vehicle without the need to carry a permit at all times.

Penal code 46.02

Open Carry

No

Open carry is permitted only if you have a valid permit or LTC. You can legally carry weapons and firearms openly in the shoulder, vehicle or to the place of work for personal defense purposes.

Purchase and Possession

PURCHASE

All lawful residents of the state of Texas are permitted to purchase handguns, rifles and shotguns as well as the necessary ammunition and additional components given that the resident is not explicitly prohibited from doing so by state or federal law.It is illegal to willfully sell, distribute, trade or rent a firearm to any person who:

  • Is intoxicated as a result of consumption of alcohol or any controlled substance.
  • Is below the age of 18 without the expressed written consent of a parent or guardian.
  • Intends to use the firearm for malicious or unlawful purposes.

POSSESSION

The state of Texas does not mandate any license or permit for the possession of a handgun, rifle or shotgun. Possession of a firearm may, however, be limited or altogether restricted for any person who has been convicted of a felony or a violent misdemeanor (Class A) pertaining to the person’s family members. Persons under the restrictions of explicit orders concerning the Family Code or Code of Criminal Procedure may also be prohibited from possessing firearms.

Carrying a Firearm

No Texas resident or visitor shall carry a handgun, concealed or blatant, on his or her person unless that person is within the bounds of his or her respective property or is transporting the gun to or from a motor vehicle. Firearms are prohibited in motor vehicles if they are in plain sight to any outside pedestrians or motorists, if the carrier is attempting to commit a crime or other offense or if the owner is a gang member.

Applications for a license to carry a concealed handgun are available upon request at most handgun stores, of private dealers or to the Department of Public Safety. All submitted applications shall be preliminarily reviewed by the Department of Public Safety and this review used to evaluate the qualifications of the applicant. If he or she is deemed competent and trustworthy so as to carry a concealed handgun then a license shall issued following the payment of $140.00 license fee (subsequent renewals are $100.00). Within 60 days of application receipt the Department shall issue the license to the approved applicant or send a notice of denial which will include any and all reasons that led to decision to deny the license. License holders are required to inform the Department of any changes of name or address within 30 days of the changes initiation.

All licenses are valid throughout the state of Texas for a period of no more and no less than five years following the date of issuance (the license does not expire exactly five years to the day of issuance but rather during the birthday of the license holder following the fourth year of permit holding).

To qualify for a license all applicants must submit a proper application, proof residency and age, a set of valid fingerprints, a proficiency certificate from a handgun training and safety course or certified facilitator, two recently taken color photos of passport quality, and a signed affidavit attesting that the applicant has read and fully understands all laws and regulations pertaining to carrying a firearm, the license itself and the use of lethal force. Given that the applicant satisfies all requirements of license ownership and has no record of previous felonies, certain misdemeanors, tax issues, failure to pay child support, addictions to alcohol or a controlled substance or adjudicated mental illness he or she will be issued a license by the Department of Public Safety.

All applicants must complete both the range and classroom portions of handgun proficiency course. Certificates will only be accepted if they state whether the proficiency is in semi-auto pistols or revolvers and have been acquired within the past two years. Licenses shall only be valid for carrying the same type or types of handguns that are listed on the proficiency certificate. Renewal of a handgun proficiency certificate is mandated for any person seeking a license renewal.

Citizens of the United States who are unable to acquire a license to carry a concealed firearm in their state of residence may acquire a Texas license from the Department of Public safety provided that they incur the cost of a criminal history check. This license remains valid until expiration or until the non-residents state of origin issues a license that qualifies in the state of Texas.

No person may carry a handgun with or without a permit on the premises of any of the following:

  • Schools, colleges or other institutions of learning and events sponsored and primarily attended by students or participants from those institutions;
  • Businesses with a majority of their income deriving from the promotion and sale of alcoholic beverages that are consumed within the facility;
  • Circuit, state, federal or any other government court houses or rooms;
  • Professional sporting matches or events including race tracks;
  • Amusements parks;
  • Places of worship;
  • Meetings of any government agency or body;
  • Penal institutions and correctional facilities (and within 1000 feet of any correctional facility on the day of an execution)
  • Designated polling places on the day of an election;
  • Secured areas of airports;
  • Property owned by a person who has expressed the prohibition of handguns on his or her property.

License holders may not legally carry a concealed handgun while intoxicated with any alcoholic, medical or controlled substance. It is illegal for license holders to blatantly display their handguns or reveal them for nefarious purposes.

Antiques & Replicas

Firearms categorized as antique due to being manufactured before 1899 (or their replicas) which cannot utilize center-fire ammunition or rim-fire ammunition are exempt from most regulations pertaining to standard firearms.

Machine Guns

It is illegal in the state of Texas to manufacture, repair, sell, transport, possess or otherwise use a short-barreled firearm, silencer, explosive weapon or machine gun unless the weapon is properly registered with the federal government and complies with all laws and regulations including those relating to the National Firearms Act.

Range Protection

TEX. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE ANN. § 756. 041 (2011) 

Definition

In this subchapter, “outdoor shooting range” means an outdoor shooting range, outdoor firing range, or other open property on which persons may fire a weapon for a fee or other remuneration but does not include a deer lease or other similar leases of property for the purpose of hunting or an archery range.

Texas Concealed Carry Reciprocity

Texas' Reciprocity States

States that will honor a Texas LTC licence

Resident Licences
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Non-Resident Licences
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Handgun licences Texas will honor

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, New York City, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming

States that will not honor a Texas LTC license

California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington.

District
Washington D.C.

Miscellaneous

It is illegal in the state of Texas to:

  • Display a firearm in a threatening or aggressive manner in public.
  • Discharge a firearm across a public road, highway or street.
  • Discharge a firearm in a public place.
  • Manufacture, sell, transport or otherwise use armor-piercing ammunition for a handgun.
  • Manufacture, sell, transport, possess or otherwise use a normal device that has been modified to fire a projectile with explosive force.
  • Leave a loaded and operational firearm in relatively easy and unguarded reach of a person under the age of 17. Exempted from this regulation are persons who have their firearms stolen by a child unlawfully entering their property and in instances where the child is supervised by a person 18 years of age or older when engaging in a lawful use of a firearm such as hunting.

Any firearm-related crime committed within a zone of 300 ft surrounding any school shall be reprimanded with greater force and severe punishment.

Municipalities and localities of the state of Texas may not create new, or alter, omit or otherwise change existing, legislation pertinent to the carrying, possession, sale, dealing, ownership or use of firearms.  

No political subdivision or municipality in the state of Texas can file suit against a firearms manufacturer, dealer, or trader association for damages or compensation relating to aggressive or violent action committed by an offender after lawfully purchasing or acquiring a firearm. The state of Texas reserves the right to carry out suits pertaining to firearm malfunctions or other defects.

Texas Off Limit Statues

(a) A license holder commits an offense if the license holder carries a handgun on or about the license holder's person under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, and intentionally displays the handgun in plain view of another person in a public place. It is an exception to the application of this subsection that the handgun was partially or wholly visible but was carried in a shoulder or belt holster by the license holder.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 437 (H.B. 910), Sec. 47

(a-1) Notwithstanding Subsection (a), a license holder commits an offense if the license holder carries a partially or wholly visible handgun, regardless of whether the handgun is holstered, on or about the license holder's person under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, and intentionally displays the handgun in plain view of another person:

(1) on the premises of an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education; or
(2) on any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area of an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 438 (S.B. 11), Sec. 4

(b) A license holder commits an offense if the license holder intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries a handgun regardless of whether the handgun is concealed or carried in a shoulder or belt holster, on or about the license holder ’s person:
 

(1) on the premises of a business that has a permit or license issued under Chapter 25, 28, 32, 69, or 74,  Alcoholic Beverage Code, if the business derives 51 percent or more of its income from the sale or service of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption, as determined by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission under Section 104.06, Alcoholic Beverage Code;
 

(2) on the premises where a high school, collegiate, or professional sporting event or interscholastic event is taking place, unless the license holder is a participant in the event and a handgun is used in the event;

(3) on the premises of a correctional facility;

(4) on the premises of a hospital licensed under Chapter 241, Health and Safety Code, or on the premises of a nursing facility licensed under Chapter 242, Health and Safety Code, unless the license holder has written authorization of the hospital or nursing facility [home] administration, as appropriate

(5) in an amusement park; or

(c) A license holder commits an offense if the license holder intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed or carried in a shoulder or belt holster, at any meeting of a governmental entity. Subsections (b)(4) and (b)(5) and (c) do not apply if the actor was not given effective notice under Section 30.06 or 30.07.

(d) A license holder commits an offense if, while intoxicated, the license holder carries a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed or carried in a shoulder or belt holster.

(e) A license holder who is licensed as a security officer under Chapter 1702, Occupations Code, and employed as a security officer commits an offense if, while in the course and scope of the security officer's employment, the security officer violates a provision of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code.

(f) In this section:
 (1) "Amusement park" means a permanent indoor or outdoor facility or park where amusement rides are available for use by the public that is located in a county with a population of more than one million, encompasses at least 75 acres in surface area, is enclosed with access only through controlled entries, is open for operation more than 120 days in each calendar year, and has security guards on the
premises at all times. The term does not include any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area.
 (2) "License holder" means a person licensed to carry a handgun under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code.
 (3) "Premises" means a building or a portion of a building. The term does not include any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area. (1-a) "Institution of higher education" and "private or independent institution of higher education" have the meanings assigned by Section 61.003, Education Code.

(g) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor, unless the offense is committed underSubsection (b)(1) or (b)(3), in which event the offense is a felony of the third degree.

(h) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a) or (a-1) that the actor, at the time of the commission ofthe offense, displayed the handgun under circumstances in which the actor would have been justified in theuse of force or deadly force under Chapter 9.
(i) Subsections (b)(4), and (b)(5) and (c) do not apply if the actor was not given effective notice under Section 30.06 or 30.07.
(j) Subsections (a), (a-1), and (b)(1) do not apply to a historical reenactment performed in compliance with the rules of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

(k) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (b)(1) that the actor was not given effective notice under Section 411.204, Government Code.

(l) Subsection (b)(2) does not apply on the premises where a collegiate sporting event is taking place if the actor was not given effective notice under Section 30.06.

(m) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsections (b) and (c) that the actor is volunteer emergency services personnel engaged in providing emergency services.

(a) A school district or open-enrollment charter school may not prohibit a person, including a school employee, who holds a license to carry a handgun under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, from transporting or storing a handgun or other firearm or ammunition in a locked, privately owned or leased motor vehicle in a parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area provided by the district or charter school and may not regulate the manner in which the handgun, firearm, or ammunition is stored in the vehicle,
provided that the handgun, firearm, or ammunition is not in plain view.

(k) Section 46.02 does not apply to a person who carries a handgun if:

(1) the person carries the handgun while:

(A) evacuating from an area following the declaration of a state of disaster under Section 418.014, Government Code, or a local state of disaster under Section 418.108, Government Code, with respect to that area; or
 (B) reentering that area following the person ’s evacuation;

(2) not more than 168 hours have elapsed since the state of disaster or local state of disaster was declared, or more than 168 hours have elapsed since the time the declaration was made and the governor has extended the period during which a person may carry a handgun under this subsection; and

(3) the person is not prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a firearm.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1281 (H.B. 1177)

(1) possessed, at the screening checkpoint for the secured area, a concealed handgun that the actor was licensed to carry under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code; and

(2) exited the screening checkpoint for the secured area immediately upon completion of the required Screening processes and notification that the actor possessed the handgun.

(e-2) A peace officer investigating conduct that may constitute an offense under Subsection (a)(5) and that consists only of an actor's possession of a handgun that the actor is licensed to carry under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, may not arrest the actor for the offense unless:

(1) the officer advises the actor of the defense available under Subsection (e-1) and gives the actor an opportunity to exit the screening checkpoint for the secured area; and

(2) the actor does not immediately exit the checkpoint upon completion of the required screening processes.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1049 (H.B. 1935)