The United States Constitution recognizes American citizens’ right to bear arms. In Texas, state regulations further afford residents who meet specific qualifying criteria the authority to own and carry firearms such as handguns from one place to another. That said, the state has established mandates regarding how licensed gun owners are instructed to carry such firearms while in public. The firearms safety and training experts from LTC Austin, your premier choice for Austin LTC online training, offer the following information on Texas laws governing concealed carry and the use of holsters.
Rules established by the Texas State Code dictate licensed handgun carriers are required to secure their weapons inside holsters fastened to their belts or shoulders. These guns can be concealed provided they’re properly holstered in accordance with this mandate.
The Purpose of the Holster Mandate
While state officials recognize their citizens’ constitutional right to purchase and carry guns, these officials maintain holstering firearms serves as an added safety measure. Accidental shootings can occur if weapons aren’t properly secured, leading to tragic injuries and deaths. Lawmakers believe appropriately holstered handguns aren’t as easily accessed by others during altercations, gun owners who use holsters are less likely to lose control of their weapons during movement, and holstered guns will still be readily accessible should owners need them at a moment’s notice.
Holsters aren’t one-size-fits-all products. Certain models are made to enclose handguns entirely, while other accessories are geared toward encasing only portions of firearms. Additionally, certain holsters are equipped with single restraints, while others are made with multiple gun-restraining features. Kydex holsters are among the most popular and recommended options. Kydex is a type of plastic that’s molded to your specific make and model of handgun. This type of holster is rigid, which allows for a pistol to be holstered easily after the gun has been drawn.
Specific restraints aren’t mandatory under the Texas penal code. As long as the gun is properly secured in a belt or shoulder holster, the carrier is following established law. That said, for safety and proper usage purposes, handgun owners are urged to familiarize themselves with all the restraints on their holsters so they possess the capacity to easily draw their weapons if called upon to do so. Restraints can be automatic or manual. Automatic devices lock firearms in place without carriers’ intervention. Manual restraints must be affixed and unfastened manually by gun owners.
Potential Penalties for Individuals Found in Violation
Carrying a handgun without a proper holster is not only dangerous, but also against the law. Unlawful carrying of a firearm is a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted of this infraction, an individual could be subject to as much as one year in county jail and a fine of up to $4,000. Several underlying factors could have an impact on the ultimate penalty, including the offender’s previous criminal record.
No matter what type of gun you own, safety should be your top priority, and a good holster can help you carry your weapon safely. If you’d like to learn more about gun safety, taking an Austin license to carry online class, or any other aspect of firearm ownership, reach out to the experts at LTC Austin today at 512-766-3039.