The Constitution gives Texans the right to keep and bear arms, like all other Americans. More than one million residents of the Lone Star State hold concealed carry permits for handguns, primarily for self-defense purposes. Unless an individual is on his/her private property, it’s illegal to carry a handgun without a license. The state has the power to regulate where and how handguns are carried. One of the best ways to be informed about carrying firearms in Texas is to take an Austin LTC class, where you’ll learn your legal responsibilities as a gun owner, including the requirement to tell a police officer you have a gun in your car.
Regulations & Restrictions
Law enforcement officers have the right to stop anyone violating a traffic law. It’s important to know what can happen when this occurs. Officers have the right to ask for your identification, driver’s license, and vehicle registration during a routine traffic stop. They can request drivers get out of their cars but cannot legally perform searches of vehicles without a reason for doing so. If the officer suspects a driver is carrying a weapon, he or she can search the individual and the vehicle. Almost any traffic violation gives a law enforcement officer probable cause to pull a vehicle over.
Traffic Stops with a Handgun in the Vehicle
If there’s a handgun in the vehicle, the gun owner must do everything possible to alert the officer to the fact that a handgun is present. In Texas, the police officer must be told immediately that there’s a gun in the vehicle if the owner has a Texas License to Carry. IN this case, the driver is legally responsible for informing the officer about the weapon before being asked. The law requires the driver to present a valid driver’s license and a valid Texas concealed firearms permit. Texas doesn’t restrict an individual from carrying a shotgun or rifle in a vehicle but it’s recommended that the gun owner inform the officer for safety reasons.
Safety Procedures During a Traffic Stop
Defuse the problem before it can start. Roll down the driver’s side window as the officer approaches, and put your hands on the steering wheel. If it’s nighttime, turn the interior car lights on. Inform the officer that a handgun is in the vehicle before being asked. Don’t make any sudden moves or attempt to retrieve identification papers from the console or glove compartment without the officer’s permission. Explain the handgun was obtained legally and then present your concealed weapons permit. Remain calm, and don’t make any sudden moves.
Transporting Weapons in a Vehicle
Texas law doesn’t require a license to carry a handgun to transport a gun in a vehicle. The gun must be concealed and not displayed out in the open. It’s legal to carry a handgun in a recreational vehicle or a boat whether or not the owner has a valid concealed weapons permit. Any handgun must be safely stored in the vehicle in a place where anyone under 17 years of age cannot access it.
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.