Texas is one of the states in the USA that does not allow constitutional carry or permitless carry. It is a shall-issue state, and you can apply for your gun license with the department of public safety.
To purchase firearms like handguns in the state, you need to complete the NICS background check, and this includes buying firearms from private citizens and gun shows in the state.
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Possession of Firearms In Texas
Open carry of firearms is also not illegal in Texas. But you need to own a Texas License to Carry before you can open carry as a resident. Non-residents that want to open carry in Texas will need a concealed carry permit from any of the states that Texas has reciprocity with.
To open carry in Texas, the gun must be visible on a shoulder strap or a belt holster. The age limit for open carry is 21 years old for ordinary citizens of the USA, and 18 years old for those that are active military members.
Just like open carry you can conceal carry in Texas with either a License to carry for residents and a concealed carry permit for non-residents from reciprocated states.
Nonresidents that are not from states that have reciprocity with Texas can either open or conceal carry applying for the Texas License to carry. Nonresidents who wish to apply for this must be at least 21 years old.
To apply for an LTC in Texas, you have to pass the training course that has a duration of 6 hours. The license will also come with two types of examinations. The first one is a written test, while the next one is a firearm proficiency examination.
In Texas, it is an offense to deliberately carry a weapon in a reckless manner. Also, moving up and down and not carrying the weapon in an appropriate way is deemed unlawful. The only exception to this is if you possess the firearm in your home or on someone's property with the person’s permission.
Texas Gun License (License to Carry)
Since there is no constitutional carry in Texas, you must apply for a license to carry before possessing a firearm. The first process to get a Texas license to carry is by first applying to receive application material from a firearm dealer, the public safety department, or anyone that the department endorses for such.
Upon filling and submitting your application, the department of public safety will then review it. If you meet all requirements provided by the state of Texas for License application and firearm possession, the department will approve it.
After completing a review of your firearm application, the department of public safety will then send back the application to you if you qualify. If you do not qualify for a gun license, the department will send you a note stating the reasons why your application is not successful.
If your application is accepted, the next step is to complete a NICS background check. The check is also conducted by the department of public safety. If you complete the check, the department will issue you a license to carry firearms in Texas. If your check is incomplete, the department will deny your license immediately. NICS background check must be complete within the duration of 60 days after receiving a complete license application.
If a need ever arises for you to change important details on your License to carry, it is important that you notify the state department of safety in not more than one month of the change. Examples of these are name change and address changes.
The expiration of your Texas License to carry is on your first birthday, four years after the day the license was issued to you. Then you will have to renew your license.
When you renew your license, its expiration date will be on your birthday five years after the time you renew the license.
Prohibition for Firearm Possession in Texas
Even though constitutional carry in Texas is unlawful, there are still some places where you cannot possess firearms with your license to carry. They include the following:
- You are not allowed to conceal carry in any area of a university that restricts the possession of firearms.
- You cannot conceal carry in high schools and colleges, except if the firearm is encased in the vehicle, kept away from public view.
- You cannot conceal carry in a stadium or any event center hosting a professional sporting activity in the state.
- You cannot conceal carry in state parks.
- You cannot conceal carry in mosques, churches, or any other place of worship.
- You cannot conceal carry during a meeting organized by governmental bodies.
- You cannot conceal carry in any location or building that is under use for schooling activities. This also includes vehicles used for the transportation of school students.
- You cannot conceal carry in business ventures where the sale of alcohol is responsible for more than half of their income. These businesses must have signage prohibiting the possession of firearms on their premises.
- You cannot conceal carry in a hospital or any health care center.
- You are not allowed to conceal carry in prisons, criminal detention facilities, and correctional facilities.
- You cannot conceal carry anywhere in Texas if you are under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicating substance.
- You cannot conceal carry if you are a member of a local gang or you are involved in illegal activities.
- You are not allowed to conceal carry in any place where the execution of a criminal that is sentenced to death is taking place. The closest you can be with your firearm in these places is one thousand feet.
- You cannot conceal carry in a court or offices that are used for court activities.
- You cannot conceal carry in polling units on election dates.
- You cannot conceal carry in secured locations of an airport.
- You are not allowed to conceal carry in any private property or building that has a post restricting the possession of firearms on the premises.
- You cannot conceal carry in business places except if you have your firearm locked away in your car, or you have permission from the employer to do so.
- You cannot conceal carry in places restricted by federal laws.
Purchasing Firearms in Texas
Residents of Texas that do not have any law indictment for the purchase of firearms may buy handguns, shotguns, rifles and various types of ammunition from Texas and neighboring states.
However, gun law in Texas prohibits the sales, lending, or renting of a firearm to anybody that will use it illegally.
In the same vein, it is unlawful to sell, lend, or rent out a firearm in Texas to anyone that is not yet eighteen years old, without a written agreement from either his/her guardians or parents. Another prohibition for the sales of firearms in Texas is selling to someone who is under the influence of alcohol, this also includes the sales of ammunition.
Texas Requirements for Firearm Purchase, Open and Concealed Carry, and License Application
Before you can buy firearms in Texas, apply for the state LTC, or open and concealed carry, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must reside legally in Texas for at least six months, or if you are a new resident, you must establish residency in the state.
- You must be at least twenty-one years old or eighteen years old if you are a member of the United States Armed Forces. Out of service officers must also be honorably discharged from duty.
- You must not be a felon.
- You must not be guilty of any class A or class B misdemeanor charge, or under any form of an indictment.
- You must not be a fugitive or have an arrest warrant in your name.
- You must not be intoxicated dependent.
- You must be knowledgeable on how to handle a firearm and the proper storage of firearms.
- You must not be convicted for any misdemeanor charge five years before Texas concealed carry permit application.
- You must meet all federal and state qualifications to possess firearms.
- You must agree to pay the necessary fee for child support, according to an attorney general in the state.
- You must be a taxpayer in Texas, or pay any other comptroller fee levied by the state, a municipality or a county.
- You must not have any restriction or a protective order from the court that has to do with spousal relationship, and also a restraining order for properties.
- All documents you submit for processing a license to carry must be original without any forgery or misinterpretation.
- You must meet all federal law requirements for applying for a CCW permit.
Is Constitutional Carry a Preemption Law in Texas?
Texas is a preemption gun law state, so local areas and municipalities are allowed to regulate their firearm laws for safety purposes.
However, municipalities cannot make regulations of firearms or ammunition that has to do with possession, sales, transfer, ownership or registrations.
This implies that permitless carry Texas is prohibited in every part of the state.