Where Texas Gun Laws Stand Now
In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, state governments across the nation are re-examaning their gun laws.
No license is required for purchasing and owning a firearm there is no licensing requirement. All that is required is a state-issued ID that says you are at least 18 years to purchase a rifle, or at least 21 years to purchase a handgun.
Without a concealed handgun license (CHL) you are allowed to carry your weapon on your own property, in your own private motor vehicle (loaded and in reach), or engaged in a lawful sport involving firearms.
If you are a law abiding citizen you would need a CHL to carry a concealed handgun on your person. A CHL requires that you must:
- be a Texas resident for at least six months
- not be a convicted felon
- have not been convicted of a Class A or B misdemeanor within the last 5 years
- have not been diagnosed with a psychiatric condition that would impair sound judgment
- have no chemical dependency
- not be under a protective order
- renew your license every 4 years
If you are a licensed gun owner there are still places the Texas Penal Code prohibits arms, including but not limited to:
- amusement parks
- places of religious worship
- hospitals, nursing homes, or correctional facilities
- any court or government entity (unless otherwise authorized)
- polling places during election day
- a secured area of an airport
- an interscholastic, or professional sporting events
- vehicle of a public/private school
- a bar, or any business that derives most of its income from alcoholic beverages
As it currently stands, Texas is one of six states that bar “open carry,” or carrying handguns openly in a holster or otherwise. The debate is over whether law-abiding citizens carrying weapons in plain view would deter criminals. A gun in plain view would certainly be intimidating, but as others argue, also provocative for someone to grab it in an irresponsible way.