Texas Gun Laws You Need To Know in 2022
Texas is classified as a “shall Issue” state, which means that anybody over the age of 18 can own a handgun. Texas gun laws do not control gun ownership, therefore anybody, regardless of age, can own a handgun as long as they are not a felon.
When buying a firearm from a federally regulated dealer, you must be at least 21 years old. Residents and non-residents alike are awarded carry permits after completing a 4-6 hour training session. It is lawful to carry a handgun openly if it is holstered in a shoulder or belt holster.
Texas reciprocity guide for LTC licenses
Texas will accept any non-resident permits from states that Texas recognizes as long as the license holder is at least 21 years old.
The Department of Public Safety has signed reciprocity agreements with 31 additional states, which may be seen on their website.
States that will honor a Texas LTC license
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Handgun licenses Texas will honor
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, New York City, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming
States that will not honor a Texas LTC license
California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington.
Texas LTC license requirements
To qualify for a Texas LTC license, you must be a legal resident of this state for the six months preceding the date of application under this subchapter or be otherwise eligible for a license under Section 411.173(a); be at least 21 years old; or be at least 18 if you are a member or veteran of the United States Armed Forces, Reserves, or National Guard who was discharged under honorable conditions; have not been convicted of a felony; have not been convicted;
Is not accused of committing a Class A or Class B misdemeanor, or an offense under Section 42.01 of the Penal Code, or a comparable crime, or a felony under an information or indictment; Is not wanted for a crime, a Class A or Class B misdemeanor, or a comparable offense; Isn’t chemically dependant on anything;
Is not incapable of making appropriate decisions about the safe use and storage of a weapon; Has not been convicted of a Class A or Class B misdemeanor or comparable offense, or of an offense under Section 42.01 of the Penal Code, or equivalent offense, in the five years before the date of application; is fully qualified to acquire a weapon under relevant federal and state law;
Has not been judged to be late in making a child support payment that the attorney general administers or collects; Has not been adjudged to be overdue in the payment of a tax or other money collected by the comptroller, a political subdivision’s tax collector, or any other state agency or subdivision;
Is not now subject to a judicial protective order or a restraining order that affects the marital relationship, save for a restraining order that only affects property interests;
Has not been adjudicated as having participated in criminal activity breaking a felony-level penal statute in the ten years before the date of application; and has not made any substantial misrepresentation or omitted to disclose any material truth in an application submitted according to Section 411.174.
How to Obtain an LTC License in Texas
To be a license holder, follow these procedures: to begin, either print out the application form or fill out an online application.
Make an appointment to have your fingerprints taken. L-1 Enrollment Services is required to submit all fingerprints.
In addition, applicants must take 4 to 6 hours of classroom training, pass a written test, and then demonstrate competency (shooting). Online classroom instruction is available.
To complete the application, you must submit a Certificate of Course to the Department of Public Safety once the training is finished.
If you are submitting your application by mail, please send it to:
Texas Department of Public Safety
Concealed Handgun – MSC 0245
PO Box 4087
Non-residents and out-of-state residents must provide a color copy of their state driver’s license or ID card, front and back. A competency certificate from a DPS-approved course that is less than two years old. Non-residents can apply online or through the mail.
Texas Gun License Renewal
Handgun license renewals can be submitted up to 6 months before the license expires. Renewals are also possible up to 12 months beyond the license’s expiration date.
In addition, renewal applications submitted more than 12 months after the expiration date will be processed as new applications.
Renewal candidates are no longer required to attend a training class as of September 1, 2013. Renewals may also be done online, and you’ll normally be alerted approximately 6 months before your license expires that it needs to be renewed.
Off-limit places for carrying a firearm/CCW
Even if you have a Texas license to carry, you are prohibited from carrying on the premises of a business that derives 51 percent or more of its revenue from the sale or service of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption, on the premises of a high school, collegiate, or professional sporting event or interscholastic event, on the premises of a correctional facility, on the premises of a hospital or nursing home, and in a permanent amusement park.
Furthermore, it is illegal to carry a handgun when inebriated, as well as to carry a handgun un-holstered and in plain sight. Carrying a concealed firearm is likewise forbidden for members of violent street gangs.
Furthermore, carrying a concealed handgun is illegal if a person is involved in criminal activity, and you cannot carry a handgun in polling booths on election day, racetrack grounds, airport guarded areas, public or private driveway or any other location where the carrying of guns is forbidden by state or federal law.
Whereas, you are allowed to carry a handgun for concealed carry weapon in state parks, state and national forests, road side rest areas, in vehicles and also all areas of the state not listed as Off-Limits.
Essential Texas Handgun Laws
Vehicle carry (with no pistol license)
Anyone who is legally allowed to carry a handgun in a vehicle is allowed to do so.
If you do not have a Texas concealed carry license or a gun license from another state that Texas recognizes, the handgun must be concealed in the glove box, console, or other place, not on your person.
You can carry it in a vehicle if the handgun is in a shoulder or belt holster if you have an LTC license. You may also conceal carry in whichever mode you choose.
Open carry (with no pistol license)
In Texas, you’ll need an LTC license to open carry a handgun.
If you have an LTC or another state license that Texas recognizes, you can only open carry if the handgun is holstered on your shoulder or waist. Only in certain circumstances is it legal to open carry in Texas. When you open carry, the police have the power to inquire for your license to carry.
Must inform officer (on contact by law)
There appears to be some misunderstanding here, with some websites saying that you must notify a law enforcement officer that you have a firearm. The Texas law makes no mention of this, and you are not required to notify Texas law enforcement officers if you have a weapon.
However, if police enforcement asks for your weapon license and identification, you must comply with the law. For further information, please view the video about traffic stops.
No gun signs enforced
If “No Weapons” signs fulfil specific conditions, Texas gun regulations make them legal. In Texas, there are now three signs that are legally enforced to restrict the carrying of firearms; a picture of each sign is shown below.
Any other no weapons signs, such as the typical circle with a line through it, are not enforceable or legally binding; to be legally enforceable, the sign must be exactly as those depicted below.
The 51 percent sign must be shown in any establishment that earns more than 50% of its revenue from alcoholic drinks. You are not authorized to carry in these businesses even if you have an LTC license.
If you may carry in a restaurant that offers alcohol, the answer is “Yes” or “No.” Some restaurants may have “NO GUN” signs displayed. Check with the staff to see whether this just applies to the bar. If we’ve chosen “Yes,” it should be legal to eat a meal without consuming alcohol.
The state of Texas does not have constitutional carry.
Miscellaneous gun laws
Private gun sales in Texas
Any individual 18 or older who is not a felon is entitled to buy, sell, or lease a firearm from a private citizen. In Texas, no gun registration or purchasing license is necessary.
A person must be 21 years old or older to acquire a firearm from a federally licensed gun dealer.
Preemption laws in Texas
Local Gov Code § 229.001. Firearms; Air Guns; Knives; Explosives.
(a) Notwithstanding any other law, including Section 43.002 of this code and Chapter 251, Agriculture Code, a municipality may not adopt regulations relating to:
the transfer, private ownership, keeping, transportation, licensing, or registration of firearms, air guns, knives, ammunition, or firearm or air gun supplies; or
the discharge of a firearm at a sport shooting range.
(b) Subsection (a) does not affect the authority a municipality has under another Texas law to:
require residents or public employees to be armed for personal or national defense, Texas law enforcement, or other lawful purpose;
regulate the discharge of firearms or air guns within the limits of the municipality, other than at a sport shooting range;
regulate the use of property, the location of a business, or uses at a business under the municipality’s fire code, zoning ordinance, or land-use regulations as long as the code, ordinance, or regulations are not used to circumvent the intent of Subsection (a) or Subdivision (5) of this subsection;
regulate the use of firearms, [or] air guns, or knives in the case of an insurrection, riot, or natural disaster if the municipality finds the regulations necessary to protect public health and safety;
regulate the storage or transportation of explosives to protect public health and safety, except that 25 pounds or less of black powder for each private residence and 50 pounds or less of black powder for each retail dealer are not subject to regulation;
(6)regulate the carrying of a firearm by a person other than a person licensed to carry a handgun under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, at a:
public meeting of a municipality, county, or other governmental body;
political rally, parade, or official political meeting; or
nonfirearms-related school, college, or professional athletic event;
regulate the hours of operation of a sport shooting range, except that the hours of operation may not be more limited than the least limited hours of operation of any other business in the municipality other than a business permitted or licensed to sell or serve alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption; or regulate the carrying of an air gun by a minor on:
public property; or private property without consent of the property owner.
The exception provided by Subsection (b)(6) does not apply if the firearm is in or is carried to or from an area designated for use in a lawful hunting, fishing, or other sporting event and the firearm or air gun is of the type commonly used in the activity.
The exception provided by Subsection (b)(4) does not authorize the seizure or confiscation of any firearm, air gun, knife, or ammunition from an individual who is lawfully carrying or possessing the firearm, air gun, knife, or ammunition.
In this section:
“Air gun” means any gun that discharges a pellet, BB, or paintball by means of compressed air, gas propellant, or a spring.
“Knife” has the meaning assigned by Section 46.01, Penal Code.
“Sport shooting range” has the meaning assigned by Section 250.001.
The attorney general may bring an action in the name of the state to obtain a temporary or permanent injunction against a municipality adopting a regulation in violation of this section.
Who Can Carry a Handgun
On September 1st, 2021, a new Texas law (HB 1927) went into force. People who meet the requirements can now carry a handgun in a public location in Texas without a license (LTC). Texans who qualify for an LTC may be eligible for extra benefits. For more information, see our License to Carry page.
The Texas Penal Code Sections 46.02 and 46.04 define unlawful carry and possession of a handgun. To carry a handgun in public in Texas without an LTC, a person must meet the following requirements: be at least 21 years old;
not have a prior felony conviction as defined in Texas Penal Code Section 46.04; not have a recent conviction for certain types of misdemeanors as defined in Texas Penal Code Sections 46.02 and 46.04; not be the subject of an unexpired protective order; not be prohibited from possessing a firearm under federal law or gun laws as defined in 18 United States Code Section 922(g (a-6).
Hello there, it’s Michael here. A gun lover since young, served the country for the last 20 years. I started the blog to share my experience and gun-related knowledge accumulated throughout the years. Hopefully, you will find something useful over here or just have fun! You can learn more about me here.