What Are the Texas Gun Laws?

What Are the Texas Gun Laws?

With the recent gun tragedy in Las Vegas, many of my friends and clients have asked me the status of gun laws in Texas.

Well, if you are a gun aficionado, the Texas gun laws couldn’t be much looser. If you are one that favors some gun restrictions, you better move to another state.

The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence ranks Texas[1] in the bottom half of states coming at number 34, as having lax gun laws with 1 being the state with the strongest gun laws.

Texas does not require background checks on private sales, allows open carry in public and on colleges and university campuses, does not require firearms dealers to have a state license and has no regulations on the sale of ammunition[2].

Texas requires a concealed carry permit to carry a weapon concealed on (or near) your 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.. [3] This is regardless whether it is carried openly or not.

To get a license to carry a handgun in Texas[4], all you need is:

  • Valid driver license or identification card,
  • Current demographic, address, contact, and employment information,
  • Residential and employment information for the last five years (new users only),
  • Information regarding any psychiatric, drug, alcohol, or criminal history (new users only),
  • Valid email address, and
  • Valid credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express)

As of January 1, 2016, you can carry any handgun openly or concealed as long as you are licensed by Texas or a state with reciprocity. By law, the handgun must be carried in a "shoulder or belt holster." Long arms do not require a license[5].

Therefore, license holders may still choose to carry a concealed handgun in any location that is not expressly prohibited by law in locations permitted by law[6].

Therefore, for all you gun lovers out there, Texas is your kind of place.

[1] http://lawcenter.giffords.org/gun-laws/state-law/texas/

[2] http://lawcenter.giffords.org/scorecard/

[3] Texas Stat. & Code Ann. § 46.02


[5] http://www.opencarrytexas.org/faq.html