Concealed Handguns and Texas Open Carry Law

In Texas, open carry of a handgun in public has long been illegal except when the carrier was on his/her own property, was legally hunting, or was participating in some public gun-related event like a gun show or shooting competition. As of January 1, 2016, holders of a CHL or LTC (License to Carry) may openly carry handguns in the same places that allow concealed handgun carry. The handgun must be in a shoulder or belt holster. Persons currently holding a CHL may continue to carry with a valid license. New applicants will be required to complete training on the use of restraint holsters and methods to ensure the secure carry of openly carried handguns.

In order to obtain a License to Carry one must be eligible to purchase a firearm under the State and Federal Laws. In addition, the following factors may make a person ineligible either temporarily or permanently to obtain a license, including:

1. Felony convictions (permanent) and Class A or B misdemeanors (5 years, permanent in cases of domestic violence), including charges that resulted in probation or deferred adjudication;

2. Pending criminal charges (indefinite until resolved);

3. Chemical or alcohol dependency (defined as 2 convictions for substance-related offenses in a 10-year period; 10-year ban from the date of the first conviction);

4. Certain types of psychological diagnoses (indefinite until the condition is testified by a medical professional as being in remission);

5. Protective or restraining orders (indefinite until rescinded); or

6. Defaults on taxes, student loans, child support and/or other governmental fees (indefinite until resolved (“Texas License to Carry Handgun Laws”)

A licensed handgun carrier is permitted to carry in most public places in the State of Texas however there are some State and Federal restrictions. Public places such as Federal buildings, schools, public sporting events, correctional facilities, courts, election polls, race tracks, businesses posting a compliant “51% sign”, or while intoxicated (Penal Code 46.035.).

Texas does recognize the “Peaceable Journey Law” stating that an unlicensed person may carry a loaded handgun while in or heading directly to a motor vehicle or watercraft they own or control. Texas also enforces the “Castle doctrine/stand your ground law” which states a person is presumed justified in using deadly force to protect themselves against an unlawful, forceful intrusion into their dwelling, or to prevent an unlawful, forceful attempt to remove a lawful occupant from the dwelling, or to prevent certain serious felonies such as burglary or arson. There is no duty to retreat from any place where the shooter has a legal right to be.

Texas has full reciprocity agreements with 30 states, meaning you are allowed to carry in those state just as you do in Texas. Make sure you know which states those are!

This entry was posted in LEGAL.

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