Carrying a firearm for self-defense comes with a lot of responsibility. Knowing the laws where you carry is just one important task armed Americans must undertake. To help with that, we will be providing you with a summary of basic carry laws for several states. Learn about the most important things to know when carrying in Texas below.
Getting a Permit to Carry
Both open and concealed carry are only legal with a Texas License to Carry (LTC) or a concealed carry license/permit from a state that Texas honors. In addition, open carry is only legal if the handgun is in a shoulder or belt holster. Texas LTCs are issued to both residents and non-residents who are at least 21 years of age (18 if a member or veteran of the U.S. military).
A four- to six-hour training course is required for a concealed carry permit, as well as passing both a written exam and a shooting proficiency demonstration. You may carry a small chemical dispenser of pepper spray sold commercially for personal protection, a stun gun or a Taser. All are legal to purchase and possess without a permit.
A permit is not required when buying a handgun and there is no firearms registration in Texas. No background check is required when buying a handgun from a private individual. There is also no mandatory waiting period for handgun purchases or magazine capacity restrictions.
Where Can One Carry Concealed?
In terms of locations where a concealed handgun may be carried, an LTC or a concealed carry license/permit from a state that Texas honors is required in order to carry a handgun in a vehicle. The handgun must also be concealed or carried in a shoulder or belt holster. Without a concealed carry permit, anyone not prohibited by law from possessing a firearm may transport a handgun so long as it is concealed. Carry is also allowed at roadside rest areas with a permit.
Other areas where permitholders can carry concealed are:
- Restaurants that serve alcohol, unless posted
- State/national parks
- State/national forests
- Wildlife management areas
- Public college and university campuses, except in posted areas
Where Is Concealed Carry Off-Limits?
Locations where carry is prohibited if approved signage is posted, even for permitholders:
- On the grounds or building where a high school, collegiate or professional sporting or interscholastic event is taking place
- In a permanent amusement park
- Places of worship
- At any meeting of a governmental entity
Locations where concealed carry is prohibited, even for permitholders, include:
- School buses
- Hospitals and nursing homes
- On the premises of a civil commitment facility
- The premises of a correctional facility
- On the premises of any government court or offices utilized by the court
- Anywhere if you are intoxicated
- Anywhere if the handgun is unholstered and in plain view
- Polling places on election day
- Premises of a racetrack
- Secured area of airport
- Anywhere while engaged in unlawful activity
- Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law or state law or regulation
Texas honors permits from specific states, provided the permit holder is at least 21 years old.
The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and, as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.
We’ve changed our commenting platform to help protect your private information and make sign-in and commenting easier! Our new commenting platform is also our USCCA Online Community platform and allows you to use your USCCA login information for all of the USCCA website.
You do not need a USCCA Membership to comment on the blog posts or in the Online Community. If you’re not a member, sign up for a free USCCA account.