What You Need to Know About Texas Firearm Laws

Texas Gun Safety Course

Texas is known to have some of the most permissive laws in the nation when it comes to legal carrying of a firearm; we’re known as a “Second Amendment sanctuary.” New laws took effect on September 1, 2021, so let’s explore what those laws mean. If you’re interested in a more comprehensive overview of gun laws in Texas, including what is considered a weapon, where you can and cannot carry a firearm, and the difference between concealed and open carry, Texas Court Classes offers a four-hour gun safety course.

What is Permitless or Constitutional Carry in Texas?

Permitless, or constitutional, carry was the most talked about new gun bill that the governor signed into effect; this law states that a permit or license to carry (LTC) is not required for anyone 21 and over (or at least 18 years of age for those serving in the military) to carry a handgun in Texas either openly or concealed. However, someone wanting to carry a handgun cannot have any prior felony convictions. Texas is a “shall issue” state, which means that all eligible applicants shall be issued a permit if they so desire, but a permit is not required for open carry. A person wanting to carry a firearm can do so either concealed or carried in a holster, but the new law did away with the requirement that the holster must be a belt or a shoulder holster. 

Where Are Guns Banned In Texas?

  • A polling place where voting is actively taking place
  • A government meeting open to the public
  • A courthouse
  • A place where a sporting event is being held
  • A racetrack
  • A correctional facility
  • An access-controlled airport terminal
  • An amusement park
  • A bar

Can Churches in Texas Ban Guns?

Churches and other private businesses are allowed to prohibit guns altogether with either written or verbal notice, and they can either ban the carrying of weapons entirely or choose to only ban open carry. If you bring a gun into a prohibited location, you can be charged with a class A misdemeanor or a third-degree felony. While HB1927 did not change the requirement for background checks mandated by federal law for sales through licensed gun dealers, it did get rid of restrictions on carrying a handgun in a public place not prohibited in the list above.

Are Guns Allowed In Colleges & Public Universities in Texas?

Public colleges and universities in Texas must allow the concealed carry of handguns on the premises — this is often called the “campus carry” law. While there is some discretion allowed on the part of an institution of higher education, any rules or regulations implemented must not have the effect of prohibiting license holders from carrying a concealed handgun on campus (except in locations and at activities otherwise prohibited by law). In K-12 schools, the premises are presumed to be gun-free zones by law; as with anything, there are exceptions, such as when a carrier is licensed by the state.  

What Gun Laws Affect Texans?

Some of the other gun laws in Texas that went into effect in 2021 include:

  • HB2622: The Second Amendment Sanctuary State Act, which prohibits state agencies and local governments from enacting laws that preempt state laws.
  • HB1500: Prohibits government entities from banning the sale or transportation of firearms or ammunition during a declared disaster or emergency.
  • HB957: Exempts firearm suppressors that are made and remain in Texas from federal laws and regulations.
  • HB1387: Allows certain first responders to carry handguns.
  • HB29: Allows state-owned public buildings to provide self-service weapon lockers.
  • HB2675: Requires the Texas Department of Public Safety to expedite the handgun license process for individuals “who are at increased risk of becoming victims of violence.” 
  • SB741: Allows school marshals in public school districts, open-enrollment charters, and private schools to carry concealed handguns rather than storing them.
  • SB20: Allows hotel guests to carry and store firearms and ammunition in their rooms.
  • SB162: Known as the “Lie and Try” bill, makes it a state crime to lie on a background check in order to illegally purchase a firearm.

What is a Texas Gun Safety Course?

The Texas online Gun Safety Course details the legal definition of a weapon in the state of Texas. Learners will identify where a person can and cannot carry a firearm. Explore the difference between concealed vs open carry and Texas law as it relates to firearms and a host of other topics. Offered by Texas Court Classes, this gun safety course is 4 hours and is self-paced. Once completed, you will get a downloadable certificate.   

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is not legal advice and shall not be construed as such. Please consult a licensed attorney if you have questions or need legal advice. 

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