Texas Gun Law:
There is no denying it. Gun law can be confusing.
Even those who consider themselves experts do as poorly on The Self Defense Gun Law Quiz as those who don’t. In fact, the average score is between 5 and 6 out of 10, regardless of the professed amount of legal knowledge.
It makes sense; gun law is tricky. The legal jargon can be almost impossible to wade through without having passed the Bar Exam.
I hope to shed light on Texas state laws regarding carrying a firearm into businesses that don’t allow it and the differences between a 30.06 sign and a 30.07 sign.
What could happen when owners of a business that prohibits guns discover you violated their policy? This 22-year-old man recently found out after he accidentally shot himself in a Chuck E.Cheese’ss.
Hopefully, you won’t have a negligent discharge in a children’s restaurant. But there are other ways they may find out you have a firearm. Such as, if you were to grab something off the top shelf and your shirt comes up revealing your holstered pistol.
Some establishments choose not to allow weapons onto their premises for a variety of factors. Whether you agree with these reasons or not, it is the choice of the business. After all, it is private property, and they have the right to say who is and is not allowed on their property.
Your constitutional right to “keep and bear arms” does not supersede their constitutional right to do as they wish with owned property.
If a business doesn’t allow weapons on their property, they must notify their customers with verbal and/or written notice. Both carry the same weight in court.
Business That Sell Alcohol:
Texas law requires certain businesses to post specific signs on the property.
According to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, if a business derives 51% of its revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption, it must post a” “51” sign.
If a business derives any revenue from alcohol sales up to 50%, they must post this sign at every entrance:
Notice this sign says “Unlicensed.”
So, if you see this sign in a restaurant and have a concealed handgun license, don’t worry; you’re good to go.
Some businesses don’t have a choice, so keep that in mind and don’t be too hard on them.
Signs banning guns are not a friendly suggestion. In Texas, they actually carry the weight of the law. However, to be enforceable, the business must display the sign in a particular way.
The sign must:
- Say the following exactly, in both English and Spanish:
“Pursuant to Section 30.06, Penal Code (trespass by a license holder with a concealed handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not enter this property with a concealed handgun.”
- Be posted on the property and be displayed conspicuously, clearly visible to the public. Business owners should post 30.07 signs at each entrance, but at this time is not a requirement of 30.06 signs.
- The signs must appear in contrasting colors with block letters at least one inch in height.
In other words, police cannot enforce the law where an owner posts a hand-written sign in the window with “NO GUN” scrawled across it.
For businesses that do not want to allow weapons on their property, this is the law.
Is the offense called “Trespass by License Holder with a Concealed Handgun”
What’s at stake when you violate a 30.06 Sign?
Ignoring a sign is at least a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $200. However, depending on factors, a violation could be a Class A misdemeanor.
To better clarify the consequences of ignoring the signs, I’ll use the case of the man who shot himself in the Chuck E. Cheeses as an example:
If (under Texas law) the man possessed a firearm in an establishment that displayed a written notice banning guns, he faces a Class C misdemeanor.
If, however, he was approached by Chuck E.Cheese’ss staff and asked to leave because he was carrying a pistol and did not, he could face a Class A misdemeanor offense (on top of the gunshot wound to his leg.)
Class A misdemeanors are substantially more severe.
The offense carries a punishment of up to a year in county jail and a fine of up to $4,000. That slice of greasy cheese pizza isn’t worth it in my book.
Some people don’t understand the difference between Section 30.06 and Section 30.07. But hang in there; this is an easy one to sort out.
Section 30.07 or “Trespass by License Holder with an Openly Carried Handgun” is essentially the same as Section 30.06.
Except, code 30.07 specifies open carry, while 30.06 specifies concealed carry. Everything else is essentially the same.
You can carry concealed in a 30.07 labeled establishment, but you cannot open carry. If the business wants to prohibit both open and concealed carry, the business should display both signs.
Some businesses may feel customers will be afraid of open carry but don’t mind having licensed concealed carriers on their property.
You might notice that the 30.07 sign says the following:
“A person licensed under subchapter H Chapter 411, Government Code (Handgun Licensing Law), may not enter this property with a handgun openly carried.”
This section clarifies that even if a person has a Concealed Handgun License, they are still not allowed to open carry on a property with a posted 30.07 sign.
Whether or not we agree with a business’s choice to prohibit concealed carry, they have that right. Furthermore, please understand that you could face legal trouble if you ignore the signs.
If you strongly feel you should be allowed to carry inside every business, vote with your wallet. Read here for a list of businesses that are not 2nd Amendment friendly.
I am not a lawyer. This article is my interpretation of the laws as I read them and my research of legal opinions on the topic.
If you have a legal background or a greater understanding of the law than I do, leave a comment and tell me what you think I got wrong.
What is your opinion on businesses that are not 2nd Amendment friendly? Let me know in the comments below.
We spent a lot of time creating the best legal resource that you can use to determine any state’s firearm laws, and much, much more. Our App called Concealed Carry Gun Tools is completely free and provides legal information for every state and DC.
-This post has been updated and was originally published in 2019