The decision to open carry a firearm is one you must make with a full understanding of how gun laws work. In Texas, you can open carry your firearm provided you have a license to carry and you follow a few basic protocols. For you to be considered to be open carrying, only a portion of your gun has to be visible to others. Understanding the difference between open and concealed carrying can help you avoid unintentionally breaking a gun law. The firearms experts from LTC Austin, your premier choice for Austin conceal carry online classes, explain the difference.
Identify the Reasons to Open Carry Your Firearm
The state began allowing people to openly carry their firearms several years ago, and there are many reasons you may choose to do so. Some firearms owners prefer to let other people know they’re carrying weapons as a way to deter crime and help others feel safer in public areas. Other people choose open carry for the sheer ease of being able to access their weapons in emergencies. You might also prefer to carry your handgun on the outside of your clothing to protect your skin from chafing. Thinking about why you want to carry your firearm a certain way helps you prepare to comply with the law.
Know the Right Way to Open Carry
Licensed gun owners can open carry provided they’re 21 or older and only do so in areas where bringing handguns onto the premises is allowed. You’re also required to store your handgun in a shoulder or belt holster. This portion of the law is designed to keep your handgun secure and unlikely to be negligently discharged. When you’re driving, your loaded handgun is still expected to be concealed unless you’re wearing the firearm on or near your body. As a general rule, you should be able to reach the handgun without having to make a major position change. The handgun must also still be stored in its holster.
Avoid Accidentally Revealing a Concealed Handgun
Open carrying is defined as having any part of your firearm visible to others. If part of a concealed handgun becomes visible, you could be held accountable for improper open carrying if it isn’t in a holster. For example, this could occur if a concealed handgun in your car manages to slip into view from inside the console. For this reason, you’ll want to be extra cautious to keep your handgun concealed if your intention isn’t to open carry.
Practice Responsible Gun Ownership
Making sure you store your firearm properly can ensure it’s in the proper position for either open or concealed carrying. As a gun owner, you must also be cautious to avoid brandishing your weapon. If you have a concealed gun hidden beneath your clothes in a non-shoulder or belt holster, make sure your movements don’t cause it to become visible. If you do choose to open carry, continue to model responsible gun-handling practices that promote a positive view of firearms owners in the community.
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 online LTC course 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.