Texans have long had an appreciation for the Second Amendment, which grants the right to keep and bear arms. At the same time, there are some justifiable concerns about the presence of firearms in situations where emotions may run high. The firearms education pros from LTC Austin, a premier provider of CHL online classes, explain what you need to know about the legality of guns at protests and similar public expressions of personal views.
Guns Are Currently Legal at Public Demonstrations
Currently, there are no laws on the books in Texas that restrict or prohibit guns at public demonstrations. In Texas, it’s legal to open carry long guns such as rifles and shotguns without a license. However, a license is required to conceal carry or open carry a handgun in Texas. This applies to any situation where a handgun is carried outside your own property, which can include vehicles you own.
Some Lawmakers Want to Make Changes
More than 70 gun-related bills are currently pending in the Texas legislature. One of the proposed bills would limit firearms at public demonstrations or protests. The bill defines such gatherings as ones involving “one or more persons” in a public place and would make a violation a Class B misdemeanor. According to the Texas Law Library, such legal infractions could include a fine of up to $2,000 and/or jail time that could last up to 180 days.
Texans Are Leery about New Gun Restrictions
Opponents of the bill mentioned above note that Texans, in general, aren’t inclined to support any new restrictions on the ability to responsibly carry firearms. It’s not yet clear how much support any of the proposed bills may have among the general public or the more than 800,000 legal firearms owners in Texas.
Current Federal & State Gun Laws Provide Some Protections
Those supporting the bill and others like it have expressed concerns about how emotionally charged gatherings may present public safety risks. However, Texas gun owners already have to comply with federal and state gun ownership and use guidelines. Federally, this means not being able to possess a firearm if you’ve been convicted of a felony. Also, Texas limits the open and concealed carry of handguns to individuals 21 and older, except for military members at least 18 years of age.
There Are Already Some Public Carry Limitations
Texas currently prohibits carrying firearms in certain publicly accessible locations. For instance, it’s not legal to carry any type of firearm on school grounds or in a courthouse. According to World Population Review, Texas ranks 34th out of the 50 states when it comes to the strictness of gun laws already on the books. However, to obtain a license to carry in the Lone Star State, a handgun owner must take and pass a gun safety course, so there are some safeguards in place to promote responsible gun use and carrying in various situations.
No matter why you’re choosing to carry a firearm, it’s essential to make sure you learn how to do it safely and follow the laws in your jurisdiction. License to Carry Austin is committed to providing the best firearms training possible. Whether you want to take an Austin license to carry online 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.