Many factors can impact your ability to legally open carry a firearm in Texas. Restrictions vary depending on the type of firearm you plan to carry and how you intend on carrying it. A new open carry law was signed in 2016 that has been confusing for residents and nonresidents alike. The firearms experts from LTC Austin, your premier choice for Austin conceal carry online classes, explain what you need to know about open carry in Texas.
License to Carry
Texas law requires any individual who wishes to carry a handgun, openly or concealed, to possess a license to carry. To obtain a license, you must be at least 21 years of age, have a clean psychological and criminal record, complete classroom training, and pass a shooting test. Law enforcement officers are permitted to ask for proof of a license to carry from any individual carrying a handgun.
A handgun is a firearm designed to be operated with one hand. These types of firearms include revolvers and pistols. To openly carry a handgun, you must obtain a Texas-issued license to carry. Also, you must carry the handgun in a belt or shoulder holster. Carrying a handgun openly in any other manner is prohibited by law.
A long gun is a firearm designed to be operated with two hands. Traditional long guns, such as rifles and shotguns, can be carried openly in Texas without a license. This has long been the case, and the open carry legislation of 2016 doesn’t change the requirements for the legal open carry of long guns.
Locations Prohibiting Firearms
Though the law allows for open (or concealed) carry of firearms by those who possess Texas licenses to carry, there are some locations where you may not carry a firearm under any circumstances. Private businesses may prohibit the carry of firearms on their premises provided they display appropriate signs. These signs must conform to the requirements of Texas Penal Code Sections 30.06 and 30.07. It’s also important to note that under Texas law, the definition of “premises” only extends to a building or part of a building and doesn’t include a driveway, walkway, sidewalk, parking structure, or parking lot. Firearms are also prohibited in federal government buildings, schools, universities, airports, courthouses, and polling places.
Out-of-State Visitors & Open Carry
Visitors to Texas who are nonresidents are permitted to open carry as long as they possess licenses to carry firearms from their states of residence and those states have recognized reciprocity with Texas. If you don’t have a carry permit from your state of residence or that state doesn’t have a reciprocity agreement with Texas, you’re not legally permitted to carry a handgun, either openly or concealed.
If you’re carrying a firearm in Texas, it’s essential to make sure you learn how to do it safely and follow all the applicable laws. License to Carry Austin is committed to providing the best firearms training available. Whether you want to take an Austin concealed carry class online to get your carry permit or you simply want to learn how to shoot and handle a gun safely, LTC Austin has what you need. Give us a call today at 512-766-3039.