There are more than 800,000 registered firearms in Texas, according to Statista. What’s more, the Lone Star State has consistently ranked as one of the top states for gun ownership in the United States. If you’re a newer gun owner in Texas, you’re not alone, but you may be wondering if you need a license to carry (LTC) to be legally good to go. The firearms education pros from LTC Austin, a premier provider of LTC and CHL online classes, explain what you need to know.
Possession Is Different from Carrying
Possessing or owning a gun isn’t the same thing as carrying one. There’s no specific license requirement to purchase a gun in Texas. However, you do need to be at least 18 to purchase a long arm and 21 to buy a handgun, although there are some exceptions. In other words, you don’t need a license just to be the owner of a firearm in Texas. In most cases, you could even have a gun while on your own property without a license. However, things change if you carry certain types of guns in publicly accessible places.
For Handguns, You’ll Need a License to Carry
According to Texas statutes and laws regarding firearms, you’ll need a license to carry for handguns. However, an LTC isn’t required for rifles. If you’re carrying a rifle to go hunting, you’re fine without a license. But if you carry your handgun outside your property, you’ll need a valid license to carry.
You Can Carry without a License in Vehicles
There are currently no laws in Texas specific to carrying long guns (rifles and shotguns) in motor vehicles. Therefore, an LTC isn’t necessary in this case. Also, Texas doesn’t require a valid license to carry a loaded handgun in a watercraft or vehicle. However, the gun must be owned by the person or under his or her control. There are some exceptions to this requirement that apply to military members, law enforcement officials, and security professionals.
Texas Is a “Shall Issue” State
As for obtaining a license to carry, states fall into two broad categories: “may issue” and “shall issue.” In a may issue state, local authorities have discretion when it comes to issuing a license to carry. In a shall issue state, on the other hand, you must receive an LTC as long as you meet the requirements specific to what applies in the state. In Texas, license to carry requirements include:
• Being a legal Texas resident for at least six months
• Being 21 years of age, since LTC applies only to handguns in Texas
• Not having been convicted of a felony
You’ll also need to be capable of exercising sound judgment to obtain a license to carry in Texas. Additionally, you’ll need to take a class, either in person or online, and pass an in-person assessment that involves going to an authorized shooting range.
When you’re ready to get your Texas LTC, make sure you choose a premier training provider. License to Carry Austin is committed to offering the best firearms training possible. When they need information on firearms safety or they want to take an Austin online CHL class, gun owners trust the expertise of the pros from LTC Austin. If you have questions about any aspect of gun ownership in Texas, give us a call today at 512-766-3039.