How to Legally Carry a Firearm in Texas

It’s a widely held notion that Texas has some of the most generous firearm laws (for gun users) among the 50 states in the U.S.A. And, that reputation is rightly earned: restrictions on selling, manufacturing, and carrying firearms and few and far between. There are, however, a handful of regulations that Texans need to be aware of when traveling by foot or vehicle while carrying a gun. 

Carrying a Firearm in Your Vehicle

There isn’t much you need to know in the way of legal restrictions on transporting your firearm while driving a car or watercraft in Texas. As long as you are legally able to own a gun, you may carry it (loaded or unloaded) in a vehicle that you either own or control. The type of gun you are transporting in your vehicle does not matter. 

While transporting your gun in your vehicle, though, you’re not legally permitted to “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly” carry it in plain view of others. In other words, flashing your gun at another driver who just cut you off in traffic is generally against Texas law.

Open Carrying in Texas

Unless you are open carrying long arms (rifles and shotguns) in a way that’s “calculated to cause alarm,” you may open carry those types of firearms without any permits or licenses in Texas. And, as of a few years ago, Texans who are otherwise authorized to carry concealed handguns (more on that below) may open carry handguns with a license. 

Concealed Carry

There are a few conditions you must meet in order to lawfully carry a handgun (openly or in a concealed manner) in Texas. These requirements are: 

  • You must be at least 21 years of age (18 for active-duty or veterans of the U.S. military)
  • You have not been convicted of a felony
  • You are not chemically dependent on certain substances
  • You are able to exercise sound judgment
  • You are not a fugitive from justice

Those five requirements are ones any Texas must have in order to lawfully own a handgun. If you have a license in a state with reciprocity (not every state applies here), you are free to lawfully carry guns within the bounds of Texas law.

One important note is that handguns and other firearms are prohibited in secured areas in airports, courthouses, polling places on voting days, or on the premises of schools. There are a few other places and situations where carrying firearms is illegal, as well. 

We Stand By Gun Owners

While Texas laws governing the carrying of firearms seem relatively straightforward, things can get quite complicated if you are transporting guns across state lines or you use a firearm in commission of a crime. Facing charges associated with firearms means you need an experienced and trustworthy criminal defense attorney like Charles A. Banker. 

Our firm is well-equipped to provide an effective and powerful defense against gun charges and many other state and federal crimes. You need to act fast to have the best chance of beating your charges in court. Call us at 713-227-4100 to receive a free consultation today.

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The Law Offices of Charles A. Banker, III

Our firm’s founder, Charles A. Banker III, has been a solo criminal defense practitioner with offices in Houston and McAllen, TX for over 30 years. He understands what it means to work independently in today’s hyperconnected world, but he also knows that sometimes you need to lean on others.

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