Is It Legal to Have a Gun in My Car in Texas?

It’s largely well known that law-abiding citizens with the proper permits are allowed to carry and use handguns in Texas. Even so, you may not be fully aware of other nuances when it comes to the use and transport of guns of this nature. One of these involves the placement of handguns in vehicles. If you’re not sure if you can keep a handgun in your car or other vehicle in the Lone Star State, read on for the basics of what you need to know. If you want to learn even more, one of the best ways to be informed about carrying firearms in Texas is to take an Austin LTC class, where you’ll discover all your legal rights and responsibilities as a gun owner.

Generally, You’re Fine if You Own or Control the Vehicle

To many people’s surprise, Texas doesn’t require handgun owners to have a valid license to carry to simply carry or store a handgun in a car or other motor vehicle. The gun can be loaded or unloaded. Unlike other states, the gun and ammunition don’t have to be stored in separate locations.

But There Are Some “Plain View” Guidelines

While you can keep your handgun in your car in Texas, it’s not legal to have it out in plain view inside the vehicle. This means the handgun cannot be visible to anyone outside the vehicle. It can be in the center console, under the seat, in the truck, or anywhere else out of sight. The only exception is if you have a license to carry and are open carrying on your hip or shoulder holster.

“Plain View” in Texas Doesn’t Specify a Location

In Texas, restrictions related to keeping a gun in your vehicle out of “plain view” aren’t specific to a certain location in the vehicle. In other words, the handgun simply has to be out of obvious sight. But you’re free to meet this requirement in any sensible and suitable way.

There Are a Few Other Reasonable Restrictions

Understandably, there are some other restrictions most Texas handgun owners should find reasonable. For instance, you cannot have a gun in your vehicle and be engaged in criminal activity. Plus, you must not be prohibited by federal law from owning a firearm for another reason. Lastly, you cannot be a member of a criminal gang and keep a handgun in your car in Texas.

Safely Store Your Handgun in Your Vehicle

Safety should be kept in mind with regard to any location where a gun is kept. If you regularly keep or transport a handgun in your car in Texas, there are several options for safe storage. One option is to place the handgun in a locked glove compartment. You can also keep it on you at all times in a holster. Other possibilities include:

• A car safe designed to be discreetly nestled under a passenger’s or driver’s seat
• A dedicated console safe that replaces the standard vehicle console
• A specially designed concealed compartment that blends in with your car’s interior 

One of the most important parts of being a safety-conscious, responsible gun owner is knowing your jurisdiction’s laws governing how to carry your firearm, both on your person and in a vehicle. Fortunately, high-quality firearms training is readily available. If you’re wondering “Can I get my LTC online?” the answer is “absolutely.” Whether you want to take a concealed carry class to get your carry permit or you simply want to learn how to shoot, LTC Austin has what you need. LTC Austin provides online and private classes with one-on-one attention, professional instruction, flexible scheduling, affordable pricing, and insights from a current law enforcement officer. For information on our wide array of classes, give us a call today at 512-766-3039.