The short answer is no: Texas law no longer requires most people to have a license in order to carry a handgun.
This does not mean you may do whatever you wish with the gun, nor does it mean you can simply go out and buy a gun without taking additional steps. For example, first time applicants must still complete classroom training, pass a written exam, and pass a shooting test conducted by a Texas Department of Public Safety officer.
Classroom instruction covers gun safety, laws relating to weapons and the use of deadly force, and non-violent dispute resolution.
In addition, there are still a number of places where firearms are prohibited in Texas. These include:
- K-12 schools and on the grounds of educational institutions are conducting sponsored activities
- School busses
- College campuses, if you don’t havea license
- On the premises of a polling place on the day of an election or while early voting is in process
- On the premises of a racetrack
- In or onto secured areas of airports, which are covered by Federal law
- Stores where you’ve been asked to leave for carrying a weapon
- Private property displaying signs prohibiting guns
- Your workplace, when employers prohibit you from carrying a firearm at work
- Within 1,000 feet of any premises designated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice designated as a place of execution on the day that a death sentence is about to be carried out, unless that person is on a public road going to or from their place of business
- On the premises of a business licensed by the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission that derives 51% or more of its business from the sale of alcohol
- On the premises of a correctional facility
- On the premises of a state licensed hospital or nursing home
- In an amusement park
- Into any meeting of a governmental entity subject to the Open Meetings Act
- Churches, synagogues, or other established places of religious worship
If you want to carry in your car you need a license. Otherwise the gun has to be out of plain view instead of worn on a holster.
It is also unlawful to carry a handgun while you’re intoxicated.
You may still wish to get a license, since licensed individuals may take their gun some places where unlicensed people can’t, such as college campuses. In addition, you may need a license if you wish to carry your handgun into another state.
Permitless carry does not mean that having a gun on your person while committing certain crimes won’t complicate your case. Some sentences may still enhanced if you are found to have brandished your gun or used it in an unlawful manner.
If you are a gun owner who has been accused of a crime, you’ll still need expert help to defend your case. Reach out to our office to schedule a case review today.
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