This article is meant to take a look at Texas’s open and concealed carry laws so that you folks can get a better idea what is and is not legal in the state.
Texas protects the right to bear arms under Article I, Section 23 of the state constitution, but this does not mean that everyone may carry a gun, or that you may always carry a gun wherever you like. Texas requires a concealed carry permit to carry a weapon concealed on (or near) you body or vehicle unless you are in your own premises (or premises under your control, such as a house that you rent), or inside (or directly en route to) your motor vehicle or watercraft.
A person applying for a license to carry a handgun must apply by obtaining a request for application materials from a handgun dealer, the Department of Public Safety, or any other person approved by the department. The Department of Public Safety shall review all applications materials and make a preliminary determination as to whether or not the individual is qualified to receive a handgun license. The Department will forward application materials to qualified applicants, or send written notification with the reasons that that the preliminary review indicates the individual is not qualified to receive a license. On receipt of the application materials a criminal history record check is conducted by the Department of Public Safety. The Department must issue or deny the license within 60 days of receipt of the completed application. The Department must be notified within 30 days of a name or address change.
However, not everyone is able to carry in the state. The following individuals are prohibited from carrying a weapon (open or concealed) in Texas.
- people younger than 21 years
- people who are not legal residents of Texas for at least six months prior to the date of application
- people convicted of a felony offense or charged with the commission of specified misdemeanors within the last five years
- someone who has committed an offense in the past ten years as a juvenile delinquent that, if committed as an adult, would have been a felony
- those under a court protective order or restraining order having to do with domestic offenses
- people who are delinquent in making child support payments as collected by the attorney general
- people who are delinquent in state tax payments
- fugitives from justice
- chemically dependent people
- those incapable of exercising sound judgment regarding the proper use of a handgun, and
- people who are not qualified to carry a handgun under federal law.
Now, there are certainly additional questions as well as more in-depth looks into such things as gun penalties and what public places do or do not allow concealed or open carry firearms. We will be going over those in specific articles, later on, due to the complexity of some of the situations. For right now, however, we have a wonderful FAQ page on our Texas site with a lot of helpful information.
If you have specific questions that you would like covered in future articles about Texas’s open carry laws, shoot us a comment below, and we will make sure to add them to future reports.
Information compounded from the NRA and Texas state legal texts.