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Texas Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & Gun Laws

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1.5M
Licenses Issued
44
STATES HONORED
37
RECIPROCATING STATES
29.4M
STATE POPULATION
21
MINIMUM AGE TO CC
73
ATTORNEYS IN USCCA NETWORK
5.1%
License PERCENTAGE
5
YEARS License VALID
515
USCCA CERTIFIED INSTRUCTORS

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Summary of Texas Gun Laws

Texas is a shall-issue state, with concealed weapons licenses issued at the state level by the Department of Public Safety.

There is no permit, background check or firearms registration required when buying a handgun from a private individual.

As of Sept. 1, 2021, permitless concealed and open carry will be legal for anyone at least 21 years old who may lawfully possess a handgun. The new law applies to both open carry in a holster and concealed carry, where no part of the firearm is visible. Texas law is quite specific in that openly carried handguns must be kept in a holster.

Until Sept. 1, 2021, open carry is only legal with a Texas License to Carry (LTC) or a concealed carry license/permit from a state with reciprocity, provided the handgun is in a shoulder or belt holster. The minimum age is 21 years old or 18 years old for active-duty military.

Until Sept. 1, 2021, concealed carry is legal for residents with a Texas LTC and for non-residents with a concealed carry license/permit from a state that Texas honors. Concealed carry is defined as no part of the handgun being partially or wholly visible. 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). They require a four- to six-hour training course as well as passing both a written exam and a shooting proficiency demonstration. Some areas are off-limits, including racetracks and secure areas of airports. In terms of reciprocity, Texas honors permits from states that meet specific criteria.

Self-Defense

Texas is a Castle Doctrine and “stand your ground” state. There is no duty to retreat from any place a person has a right to be if that person is faced with a situation where he or she has to use force or deadly force to protect himself or herself or another.

Using Force
A person is justified in using force when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the actor against the attempted use of unlawful force. The actor’s belief that the force was immediately necessary as described by this subsection is presumed to be reasonable if the actor:

  • Knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the force was used:
    • Unlawfully and with force entered or was attempting to enter the actor’s occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment;
    • Unlawfully and with force removed or was attempting to remove the actor from the actor’s habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment; or
    • Was committing or attempting to commit aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery or aggravated robbery.

Deadly Force in Defense of Person
The actor’s belief that deadly force was immediately necessary as described by that subdivision is presumed to be reasonable if the actor:

  • Knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the deadly force was used:
    • Unlawfully and with force entered or was attempting to enter the actor’s occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment;
    • Unlawfully and with force removed or was attempting to remove the actor from the actor’s habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment; or
  • Was committing or attempting to commit aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery or aggravated robbery.

A person who uses deadly force within a residence, business, dwelling or vehicle is presumed to have held a reasonable belief of imminent death or serious bodily injury to self, family, a member of the household or a person visiting as an invited guest when the force is used against someone who unlawfully and forcibly entered the place.

Defense of Third Person
A person is justified in using force or deadly force against another to protect a third person if:

  • Under the circumstances as the actor reasonably believes them to be, the actor would be justified in using force or deadly force to protect himself or herself against the unlawful force or unlawful deadly force he or she reasonably believes to be threatening the third person one seeks to protect; and
  • The actor reasonably believes that his or her intervention is immediately necessary to protect the third person.

Protection of One’s Own Property
A person in lawful possession of land or tangible, movable property is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to prevent or terminate the other’s trespass on the land or unlawful interference with the property.

Deadly Force to Protect Property
A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property:

  • If one would be justified in using force against the other; and
  • When and to the degree he or she reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:
    • To prevent the other’s imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or
    • To prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and
    • He or she reasonably believes that:
      • The land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means;  or
      • The use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

Protection of Third Person’s Property
A person is justified in using force or deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property of a third person if, under the circumstances as he or she reasonably believes them to be, the actor would be justified in using force or deadly force to protect his or her own land or property.

Texas law presumes you acted reasonably and justifiably if you use deadly force to protect yourself against an unlawful, forceful intrusion into your occupied habitation (a structure that is detached from where you sleep at night is not considered to be your habitation), vehicle, or place of business or employment; or to prevent an unlawful, forceful attempt to remove a lawful occupant from the occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment; or to prevent certain serious felonies such as burglary or arson.

[Tex. Pen. Code §§  9.31, 9.32, 9.33, 9.41, 9.429.43]

Texas Gun Laws at a Glance

Carry Basics

Constitutional Carry?

Does Texas allow constitutional carry?

No. Texas is not a constitutional carry state. As of Sept. 1, 2021, permitless concealed and open carry will be legal for anyone at least 21 years old who is not prohibited from lawfully possessing a handgun under federal law or Texas state law. The following individuals are prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm under Texas state law:

  • Any individual convicted of a felony cannot possess a firearm:
    • For at least five years after release from confinement, supervision or parole (whichever date is later); or
    • After the period described above at any location other than the premises at which the person lives.
  • Any individual convicted of Class A misdemeanor assault [under Texas Penal Code § 22.01] involving a member of the person's family or household cannot possess a firearm:
    • For at least five years after release from confinement or community supervision (whichever date is later).
  • A person, other than a peace officer, who is subject to a protective order cannot possess a firearm after receiving notice of the order until expiration of the order [Texas Penal Code § 46.04].

Provided a person has not been convicted of any of the following offenses within the preceding five-year period:

Open Carry Permitted?

Is open carry permitted in Texas?

Yes, with a Texas LTC or a concealed carry license/permit from a state Texas recognizes, provided the handgun is in a shoulder or belt holster. As of Sept. 1, 2021, permitless open carry will be legal for anyone at least 21 years old who may lawfully possess a handgun, provided the handgun is carried in a holster.

[Texas Penal Code § 46.035]

Gun Permit Licensure?

If Texas requires a license to carry a concealed firearm, how are those licenses issued?

Texas is a shall-issue state.

Minimum Age for Concealed Carry?

What is the minimum age in Texas to get a concealed carry license?

You must be 21 (18 if a member or honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. military) to carry concealed in Texas.

Weapons Other Than Handguns Allowed?

Can you concealed carry weapons other than handguns in Texas with a concealed carry license (or under permitless carry if applicable)?

No. A Texas LTC does not apply to weapons other than handguns.

Tasers or Stun Guns?

Is it legal to own a taser or stun gun in Texas?

Yes. Stun guns and Tasers are legal to purchase and possess without a license.

Chemical Spray/Pepper Spray?

Is it legal to buy or use chemical spray/pepper spray in Texas?

Yes. There is no statute prohibiting the purchase or use of small chemical dispensers of pepper spray sold commercially for personal protection.

[Tex. Pen. Code § 46.05 (a)(3)]

MAGAZINE LIMITS FOR HANDGUNS?

Does Texas have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?

No. Texas has no limit for handgun magazine capacity.

AMMUNITION RESTRICTIONS?

Does Texas have ammunition restrictions?

Carry Locations

Carry in Vehicle?

Can you carry a concealed handgun in a vehicle in Texas?

Yes. With a LTC provided the handgun is carried in a concealed manner or in a shoulder or belt holster. Without a LTC, anyone not prohibited by law from possessing a firearm may carry a handgun provided the person is in a vehicle owned by the person or under the person’s control. There are exemptions for peace officers, military, other security and governmental professionals, to name a few.

[Texas Penal Code §§ 46.02(a-1) and 46.15]

As of Sept. 1, 2021: Yes, in plain view or with an LTC or permit that Texas honors, provided the handgun is carried in a concealed manner or in a holster and provided you are not a member of a criminal street gang. There are exemptions for peace officers, military, and other security and governmental professionals, to name a few.

Carry at Roadside Rest Areas?

Can you carry a concealed firearm at roadside rest areas in Texas?

Yes, Texas LTC or a concealed carry license/permit from a state that Texas honors. 

Carry in State/National Parks, State/National Forests and Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs)?

Can you carry a concealed firearm in state/national parks, state/national forests and Wildlife Management Areas in Texas?

Yes, with a Texas LTC or a concealed carry license/permit from a state that Texas honors. See the National Parks webpage for links to each Park in Texas. Except no firearms are allowed on or across the land of the Lower Colorado River Authority [Tex. Parks & Wild. Code § 62.081], on or over the water of Murvaul Lake in Panola County [Texas Parks and Wild. Code § 283.022] or in the following game sanctuaries:

Carry in Bars/Restaurants That Serve Alcohol?

Can you carry a concealed firearm in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol in Texas?

You can concealed carry in the restaurant area of an eatery that serves alcohol (those that make less than 51% of their profits from alcohol) with a Texas concealed carry license or a permit/license from a state that Texas honors. 

Carry is prohibited in businesses that sell alcoholic beverages for on-premise consumption whose alcohol sales constitute more than 50% of gross receipts that display a red sign with, "51%" in large red letters superimposed over a warning that says possession of a concealed weapon on the premises is a felony. As of Sept. 1, 2021, only permit holders have a legal defense if effective notice is not given by the business [Texas Penal Code § 46.03(p)].

[Texas Penal Code § 46.035(b)(1) and Texas Bev. Code §§11.041 and 61.11]

Carry/Possess at a hotel?

Can you carry or possess a firearm on hotel property in Texas?

Texas law allows private businesses to prohibit individuals from entering the premises with a concealed or openly-carried handgun, if the proper signage is posted. The individual hotel should be contacted to inquire about it's concealed carry policy. 

As of September 1, 2021, unless possession of a handgun or other firearm or ammunition on hotel property is prohibited by state or federal law, a hotel may not adopt a policy prohibiting a hotel guest from:

  • Carrying or storing a firearm or firearm ammunition in the guest's hotel room or in the guest's vehicle located on the hotel property;
  • Carrying a firearm or firearm ammunition directly en route to or from the hotel, guest's hotel room or the guest's vehicle;

A hotel may adopt a policy requiring a hotel guest carrying a firearm or firearm ammunition in a common area on the hotel property to carry a handgun in a concealed manner or carry a firearm or ammunition in a case or bag.

[Tex. Pen. Code §§ 30.05, 30.06 and 30.07]

Store in a Vehicle in an Employee Parking Lot?

Does Texas have laws relating to storing firearms in private vehicles in an employee parking lot?

A public or private employer may not prohibit an employee who holds a valid concealed carry license from transporting or storing a firearm or ammunition the employee is authorized by law to possess in a locked, privately owned motor vehicle in a parking area the employer provides for employees except in locations prohibited by state or federal law. This includes school districts or open-enrollment charter schools per Texas Education Code ​​​§ 37.0815 and institutions of higher education per Gov. Code § 411.2032 provided that the firearm or ammunition is not in plain view. There are exceptions including oil and gas refineries.

[Tex. Labor code § 52.061]

Key State Laws

Duty to Inform Officer You're Carrying?

Do you have a duty to inform a police officer that you're carrying a concealed firearm in Texas?

You have a duty to inform a law enforcement officer that you're carrying a concealed firearm in Texas when an officer demands that you display identification, you must display both your driver’s license or identification and your handgun license.

[Tex. Gov't Code § 411.205

DRIVER'S LICENSE LINKED TO Carry License?

Is my Texas driver’s license linked to my Texas carry license?

Yes. Texas does show if the registered driver of the car has a license to carry (LTC). So when pulled over, the license plate trace shows that data. If the DL is run independently of a license plate it will also show that you have a LTC.

"No Weapons Allowed" Signs Enforced?

Are "No Weapons Allowed" signs enforced in Texas? If yes, violating the sign would be considered to be a crime. If no, violating the sign would not be considered a criminal offense.

Yes. A license holder commits an offense if the license holder carries a concealed handgun on property of another without effective consent and having received verbal or written notice that entry on the property by a license holder with a concealed handgun was forbidden. Texas Penal Code §§ 30.06 provides a legal defense for LTC holders who unknowingly enter establishments with 30.06 signs, as long as they promptly leave when verbally informed of the policy.

It is an exception to this law that the property on which the license holder carries a handgun is owned or leased by a governmental entity and is not a premises or other place on which the license holder is prohibited from carrying the handgun under Texas Penal Code §§ 46.03 or 46.035. Texas Penal Code § 30.07 mirrors § 30.06 for openly carried handguns.

[Texas Gov't Code § 411.209

As of Sept. 1, 2021, signage will be more complicated in Texas, and anyone carrying a firearm will need to understand the differences between the definitions of each sign. The Firearm Carry Act of 2021 creates two additional weapons signs: 

  • Texas Penal Code § 30.05 signs will indicate locations where just permitless carry of firearms is prohibited. It will be up to private individuals and businesses to decide what their policies will be moving forward regarding permitless carriers.
  • Texas Penal Code § 46.03(o) signs will state "Pursuant to Section 46.03, Penal Code (places weapons prohibited), a person may not carry a firearm or other weapon on this property." If this sign is posted in a conspicuous location, no firearms are allowed.

Regardless of which sign is posted, once a person receives effective consent (either verbal or written notice) that entry on the property is prohibited, he or she must promptly leave or risk being charged with a misdemeanor. 

[Texas Penal Code § 30.05]

Preemption?

Does Texas have preemption laws related to concealed carry (i.e. Does state law supersede local laws regarding the possession of handguns)?

Yes, the state has preemption of firearms laws in Texas, except local municipalities may:

  • Regulate the discharge of firearms within their limits, other than at a sport shooting range;
  • Regulate the carrying of a firearm or air gun by a person other than a person licensed to carry a concealed handgun under Texas law at:
    • A public park;
    • A public meeting of a municipality, county, or other governmental body;
    • A political rally, parade or official political meeting; and
    • A non-firearms-related school, college, or professional athletic event.

In addition, in any county building that houses a justice court, county court, county court at law, or district court, or in any office used by these courts, any person who possesses a firearm without the court’s written authorization, or without complying with any written regulation of the court, is subject to criminal liability.

Based on an Attorney General opinion, counties may prohibit concealed handgun license holders from carrying concealed handguns in county parks and rapid transit authorities may prohibit concealed handgun licensees from carrying handguns while on public transportation.

[Tex. Local Gov't Code § 229.001(b)(6)]
[Tex. Local Gov’t Code § 291.010(c)]

Red Flag Law?

Does Texas have a red flag law?

No. Texas does not have a red flag law.

Brandishing?

Does Texas state law define brandishing?

No definition of brandishing was found in Texas law.
However, a person commits disorderly conduct if he or she intentionally or knowingly displays a firearm or other deadly weapon in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm.

[Tex. Pen. Code § 42.01]

Carry While Using Alcohol or Drugs?

Does Texas have laws regarding carrying a concealed firearm while using alcohol or drugs?

Not while intoxicated. "Intoxicated" is defined as:

  • Not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body; or
  • Having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.

[Texas Penal Code §§ 46.035(d) and 49.01(2)]

As of Sept. 1, 2021, carry will be prohibited If you are intoxicated anywhere other than:

  • On your own property or property under your control or on private property with the consent of the owner; or
  • Inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle or watercraft:

As a responsibly armed American, regardless of the laws in your state, it is unwise to carry while under the influence of any substance that could impair your judgment, slow your reaction times or impact your decision-making abilities. Any decision you make while carrying a firearm could have life-altering consequences.

NON-RESIDENT PERMITTING?

Does Texas issue concealed carry licenses to non-residents?

Yes. The process is the same as for residents.

PUBLIC ACCESS TO CONCEALED CARRY REGISTRY?

Does Texas allow the public to access concealed carry registry information through public records law?

No, however the information is available to to any criminal justice agency.

Handgun Purchase & Possession

Purchase Permits?

Is a permit required to purchase a handgun in Texas?

No. Permits are not required when buying a handgun in Texas.

Background Checks for Private Gun Sales?

Are background checks required for private gun sales in Texas?

No. Private firearms transfers are not subject to a background check requirement, although federal and state purchaser prohibitions, including age restrictions, still apply. It is recommended that you retain any sales receipts to prove ownership of the gun.

Texas license Exempts from Background Check?

Does my current Texas concealed carry license exempt me from needing a background check when I purchase a firearm?

Yes.

Waiting Period?

Is there a waiting period after purchasing a handgun in Texas?

No. Texas has no mandatory waiting period for handgun purchases.

Handgun Registration?

Do handguns need to be registered in Texas?

No. Texas does not require handgun registration.

Minimum Age to Possess and Transport?

What is the minimum age to possess and transport a handgun in Texas?

You must be at least 18 years old to possess or transport a handgun in Texas.

[Tex. Pen. Code § 46.06]

Possess a handgun on my private property without a license?

Can I possess/carry a handgun in my home without a license?Can I possess/carry a handgun in my home without a license?

Yes. A license is not required in a person’s own premises or premises under the person's control. “Premises” includes real property and a recreational vehicle that is being used as living quarters, regardless of whether that use is temporary or permanent.

[Tex. Pen. Code § 46.02(a)]

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State Constitutional Provision
Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the State; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime."
ARTICLE 1, § 23

Texas Concealed Carry Reciprocity With Other States

Which states' permits does Texas honor?

Alabama (at least 21 years old)
Delaware (at least 21 years old)
Florida (handguns only)
Indiana (at least 21 years old)
Maryland (at least 21 years old)
Missouri (at least 21 years old)
Montana (at least 21 years old)
New Mexico (at least 21 years old)
North Dakota (at least 21 years old)
Rhode Island (issued by the RI Attorney General only)
South Dakota (at least 21 years old)
Utah (at least 21 years old)
West Virginia (at least 21 years old)

Texas honors permits from specific states provided the permit holder is at least 21 years old. Residents must have a Texas License to Carry (LTC) to carry in the state.


Other States' Reciprocity With Texas

Which states honor permits from Texas?

Arkansas (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
Idaho (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
Mississippi (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
Missouri (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
New Hampshire (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
South Dakota (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
Vermont (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)

Note: Firearms must be carried in accordance with the laws of the state you are visiting. Be sure to check the laws of the other state before traveling there with your firearms.


States That Have Restricted Reciprocity with Texas

Texas offers resident and non-resident licenses. If indicated with “Resident only” below, that state only honors Texas resident licenses (and not those issued to non-residents).

Arizona (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Alaska (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Colorado (at least 21 years old and resident permits only)
Florida (at least 21 years old and resident permits only)
Kansas (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Kentucky (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Maine (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)
Michigan (resident permits only)
Nebraska (at least 21 years old)
Oklahoma (at least 21 years old)
Pennsylvania (at least 21 years old and resident permits only)
South Carolina (at least 21 years old and resident permits only)
West Virginia (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Permitless Carry States

Alaska PC-21
Arizona PC-21
Arkansas PC-18
Idaho PC-18
Kansas PC-21
Kentucky PC-21
Maine (permits recognized; see Maine Reciprocity section for details or PC-21)
Mississippi PC-18
MontanaPC-18
North DakotaPC-18 for residents only
Oklahoma PC-21
UtahPC-21
VermontPC-18
Wyoming PC-21 for residents only

Anyone who can legally possess a firearm may carry it concealed in permitless carry states without a permit/license. The minimum age* for permitless carry is shown. Check each state’s page for more information and any restrictions that may apply.

*PC-18 = permitless carry if at least 18 years old

*PC-21 = permitless carry if at least 21 years old


Texas Concealed Carry License Information

Requirements:

An applicant must:

  • Be a legal resident of Texas for 6 months or have relocated with the intent to establish residency in the state;
  • Be at least 21 years of age, 18 if a member or veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, Reserves or National Guard or discharged under honorable conditions;
  • Meet training requirements;
  • Have not been convicted of a felony;
  • Have not been charged with the commission of a Class A or Class B misdemeanor or equivalent offense, or of an offense under Section 42.01, Penal Code, or equivalent offense, or of a felony under an information or indictment;
  • Not be a fugitive from justice for a felony or a Class A or Class B misdemeanor or equivalent offense;
  • Not be chemically dependent;
  • Be capable of exercising sound judgment with respect to the proper use and storage of a handgun;
  • Not, in the 5 years preceding the date of application, have been convicted of a Class A or Class B misdemeanor or equivalent offense or of an offense under Section 42.01, Penal Code, or equivalent offense;
  • Be fully qualified under applicable federal and state law to purchase a handgun;
  • Not have been finally determined to be delinquent in making a child support payment administered or collected by the attorney general;
  • Not have been finally determined to be delinquent in the payment of a tax or other money collected by the comptroller, the tax collector of a political subdivision of the state or any agency or subdivision of the state;
  • Not be currently restricted under a court protective order or subject to a restraining order affecting the spousal relationship, other than a restraining order solely affecting property interests;
  • Not, in the 10 years preceding the date of application, have been adjudicated as having engaged in delinquent conduct violating a penal law of the grade of felony; 
  • Not have made any material misrepresentation, or failed to disclose any material fact, in an application submitted pursuant to Section 411.174; and
  • Meet federal law requirements.
Fees:

$40 for standard initial licenses and renewals.

$25 for initial licenses and renewals for honorably discharged military vets.

Valid For:

5 years

Processing Time:

60 days

Application:
Non-Resident Concealed Carry Licenses:

Out-of-state residents must supply a color copy, front and back, of a state driver’s license or ID card and a proficiency certificate not greater than 2 years old from a course approved by the Texas Dept. of Public Safety. Applications may be submitted online or via mail. 

Name/Address Changes:

You can make name and address changes online.

Lost/Stolen Licenses:

You can submit a request for a new license online. You will be issued a new license number for security reasons.

Residency Changes:

Moving to Texas and interested in applying for a resident license? How soon can you apply?
Texas issues resident and non-resident licenses, so you can apply for your license at any time. In order to apply for a resident license, you need to be a legal resident of Texas for six months or have relocated with the intent to establish residency in the state.

Moving from Texas and have a Texas resident license? Does that license transfer to your new state? Is there a grace period during which your Texas license remains valid?
If a person with a Texas license to carry establishes residency in another state, the license is valid until it expires provided he or she submits the above referenced name/address change form.


Texas Concealed Carry License Application Process

How to Apply for a Texas Concealed Carry License

Step 1:

Download the application form or submit an online application.

Step 2:

Schedule an appointment for fingerprinting. All fingerprints must be submitted through L-1 Enrollment Services. There is a fee of $9.95 for fingerprinting.

Step 3:

Complete classroom training. Pass the written exam and pass a shooting proficiency demonstration.

 

Step 4:

Submit the Certificate of Training to the Dept. of Public Safety to complete the application.
If you are making the application by mail, send your application to:

Texas Department of Public Safety
Concealed Handgun – MSC 0245
P.O. Box 4087
Austin, TX 78773-0001

Step 5:

You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved.


Firearms Training Requirements in Texas

A handgun proficiency course must include 4-6 hours of classroom or online instruction in:

  • Laws that relate to weapons and to the use of deadly force;
  • Handgun use and safety, including use of restraint holsters and methods to ensure the secure carrying of openly carried handguns;
  • Non-violent dispute resolution; and
  • Proper storage practices for handguns, including storage practices that eliminate the possibility of accidental injury to a child.
  • The range instruction part of the course must include an actual demonstration by the applicant of the applicant’s ability to safely and proficiently use the applicable category of handgun. An applicant may not be certified unless he or she demonstrates, at a minimum, the degree of proficiency that is required to effectively operate a handgun. However, active duty and honorably discharged members of the military, may not be required to complete the range instruction portion of a handgun proficiency course.
    • The shooting test requires 50 rounds of ammunition fired at three distances:

      • 3 yards – 20 rounds fired
      • 7 yards – 20 rounds fired
      • 15 yards – 10 rounds fired

The proficiency examination must also include a written (or online portal) test concerning the subjects listed above, as well as the physical demonstration of proficiency in the use and safety procedures of one or more handguns and in handgun safety procedures.

**Click here for the  USCCA online course and in-person qualification.**

Find a USCCA Class Near You

Find a Shooting Range in Texas


Texas Concealed Carry License Renewal Process

How to Renew a Texas Concealed Carry License

Step 1:

You will usually be notified about 6 months before your license expires to renew it. Handgun license renewals can be submitted 6 months prior to the expiration date of the license. Renewals can be made up to 12 months after the expiration date of license. Renewal applications made after 12 months from the expiry date will be treated as a new application.

Step 2:

Download the application form or submit an online renewal application.

Step 3:

Complete the application and pay the fee.

Step 4:

You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved.


Law Enforcement Officers (LEO)/Retired LEOs

Law enforcement officers (LEOs) and Retired LEOs (RLEOs) may choose to carry under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), often referred to as HR 218. Under 18 U.S. Code §§ 926B & 926C, qualified LEOs and qualified retired LEOs, or those separated from service in good standing, can carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with some exceptions. For details check out our Federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) page.

Tex. Penal Code § 46.15(5) LEOs and RLEOs carrying under LEOSA are exempt from requiring a Texas License to Carry. Per Texas Gov’t Code §411.199, qualified RLEOs may obtain a sworn statement from the head of the law enforcement agency employing the applicant. The head of a law enforcement agency may not refuse to issue a statement under this subsection. An applicant described by this subsection may submit the application at any time after retirement. The RLEO shall submit the sworn statement and retirement credentials along with an application to carry under LEOSA. The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) establishes annual firearm qualification standards. Any certified TCOLE firearms instructor can qualify applicants. 

Under §§ 411.1991 through 411.201, the following LEOs may apply for a license under LEOSA: 

  • Peace officers employed by a law enforcement agency;
  • Members of the Texas military forces, excluding Texas State Guard members who are serving in the Texas Legislature;
  • Reserve law enforcement officers with at least 15 years with one or more state or local law enforcement agencies;
  • County jailers who hold a county jailer license; 
  • Correctional officer of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice;
  • Active and retired judicial officers; and
  • United States attorneys, assistant United States attorneys, and attorneys elected or employed to represent the state in the prosecution of felony cases.

Qualified Retired Federal or Out-of-State Officer Firearms Certificate Form
Instructions for Online Applications to Carry a Handgun under LEOSA


Texas Location Restrictions

Where Can I Carry a Concealed Firearm in Texas?
  • Carry in bars/restaurants that serve alcohol? You can concealed carry in the restaurant area of an eatery that serves alcohol (those that make less than 51% of their profits from alcohol), unless posted. However, concealed carry is not allowed in bars or the bar areas of restaurants.
  • Carry in my vehicle without a permit/license? Yes, only if concealed. 
  • Carry in roadside rest areas? Yes.
  • Carry in state/national parks, state/national forests, and WMAs? Yes.
  • Carry on the campuses of public colleges and universities? Yes, with a license except in posted areas (a 30.06 sign means one cannot carry a concealed handgun in a certain area even if licensed, and a 30.07 sign means one cannot openly carry a handgun). Private or independent institutions of higher education may  regulate or prohibit the concealed carrying of firearms on their campuses, any grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by the institution is being conducted, or a passenger transportation vehicle owned by the institution. Public colleges and universities are authorized to establish reasonable rules, regulations, or other provisions regarding the carrying of concealed handguns by license holders on the campus or premises of the institution so long as they do no not generally prohibit or have the effect of generally prohibiting license holders from carrying concealed handguns on the campus of the institution.
  • Carry in places of worship? Yes, unless they have posted signs prohibiting firearms.
Where Can't I Carry a Concealed Firearm in Texas?

Places off-limits even with a permit/license

  • If given effective notice under Section 30.06 or 30.07 and posted with approved signage:
    • On any portion of a premises located on the campus of an institution of higher education in this state on which the carrying of a concealed handgun is prohibited;
    • On the grounds or building where a high school, collegiate, or professional sporting or interscholastic event is taking place (handguns can be stored in locked, privately owned or leased motor vehicle in a parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area provided by the district or charter school provided that the handgun, firearm, or ammunition is not in plain view);
    • On the premises of a hospital or nursing home;
    • In a permanent amusement park;
    • On the premises of a church, synagogue or other place of worship; and
    • At any meeting of a governmental entity;
  • On the physical premises of a school or educational institution, any grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by a school or educational institution is being conducted, or a passenger transportation vehicle of a school or educational institution;
  • On the premises of a business that derives 51% or more of its income from the sale or service of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption (these businesses must be posted);
  • On the premises of a civil commitment facility; and
  • On the premises of a correctional facility;
  • Anywhere if you are intoxicated; and
  • Anywhere if the handgun is un-holstered and in plain view.

[Tex. Pen Code 46.035]

  • Anywhere if you are a member of a criminal street gang; and
  • Anywhere while engaged in unlawful activity. 

[Tex. Pen Code §§ 46.02(a-1)(c)]

  • Within 1,000 feet of any premises the location of which is designated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as a place of execution on a day that a sentence of death is set to be imposed;
  • On the premises of any government court or offices utilized by the court;
  • Polling places on election day;
  • Premises of a racetrack; and
  • Secured area of airport (Texas state law provides a concealed carry permit holder the ability to avoid arrest if he or she immediately exits the screening checkpoint if found to possess a firearm. If the permit holder doesn’t immediately exit the screening checkpoint after being advised by a peace officer to do so, he or she is subject to arrest. [Texas Penal Code 46.03(5)(e-1) and (e-2)]).

[Tex. Pen Code §§ 46.03]

As of September 1, 2021, these locations are off-limits to concealed carry, even with a permit:

  • Prohibited locations posted with Texas Penal Code §§ 30.06 or §46.03 signs;
  • On the physical premises* of an elementary or secondary school or educational institution, any grounds or building on which a school-sponsored activity is being conducted, or a passenger transportation vehicle of a school or educational institution, without authorization;
  • Premises* where a professional sporting event is taking place;
  • Premises* of a racetrack;
  • Premises* of any government court or offices utilized by the court, unless authorized by the court;
  • Polling places on election day or while early voting is in progress;
  • Premises* of a correctional facility;
  • Premises* of a civil commitment facility;
  • Within 1,000 feet of any premises* of a place of execution on a day that a sentence of death is set to be imposed by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice; or
  • On the premises* of a business that derives 51% or more of its income from the sale or service of alcoholic beverages for on-premises* consumption (posted with a red sign with “51%” in large red letters superimposed over a warning that says possession of a concealed weapon on the premises* is a felony.

As of September 1, 2021, these locations are off-limits to open carry, even with a permit:

  • Prohibited locations posted with Texas Penal Code §§ 30.07 or §46.03 signs;
  • On the physical premises* of an elementary or secondary school or educational institution, any grounds or building on which a school-sponsored activity is being conducted, or a passenger transportation vehicle of a school or educational institution, without authorization;
  • On the premises* of an institution of higher education, any grounds or building on which a school-sponsored activity is being conducted, or a passenger transportation vehicle of an institution of higher education;
  • Premises* where a professional sporting event is taking place;
  • Premises* of any government court or offices utilized by the court, unless authorized by the court;
  • Premises* of a racetrack;
  • Polling places on election day or while early voting is in progress;
  • Premises* of a correctional facility;
  • Premises* of a civil commitment facility;
  • Within 1,000 feet of any premises* of a place of execution on a day that a sentence of death is set to be imposed by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice; or
  • On the premises* of a business that derives 51% or more of its income from the sale or service of alcoholic beverages for on-premises* consumption (posted with a red sign with “51%” in large red letters superimposed over a warning that says possession of a concealed weapon on the premises* is a felony).

As of September 1, 2021, these locations are off-limits to permitless carry:

  • Prohibited locations posted with Texas Penal Code §§ 30.05 or §46.03 signs;
  • On the physical premises* of an elementary or secondary school or educational institution, any grounds or building on which a school-sponsored activity is being conducted, or a passenger transportation vehicle of a school or educational institution, without authorization;
  • Within 1,000 feet of a school (outside of school buildings);
  • On the premises* located of an institution of higher education, any grounds or building on which a school-sponsored activity is being conducted, or a passenger transportation vehicle of an institution of higher education;
  • Premises* where a high school, collegiate or interscholastic event is taking place;
  • Premises* where a professional sporting event is taking place;
  • Polling places on election day or while early voting is in progress;
  • Premises* of any government court or offices utilized by the court, unless authorized by the court;
  • Premises* of a racetrack;
  • Secured area of an airport;
  • On the premises* of a business that derives 51% or more of its income from the sale or service of alcoholic beverages for on-premises* consumption (posted with a red sign with “51%” in large red letters superimposed over a warning that says possession of a concealed weapon on the premises* is a felony);
  • On premises* where the possession of any concealed weapon is illegal;
  • Premises* of a correctional facility;
  • Premises* of a civil commitment facility;
  • Within 1,000 feet of any premises* of a place of execution on a day that a sentence of death is set to be imposed by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice;
  • Premises* of a hospital;
  • Premises* of a mental hospital or nursing home;
  • Premises* of a permanent amusement park;
  • In the room of an open meeting of a governmental entity; and
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law.

Note: “Premises” means a building or a portion of a building. The term does not include any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area.

[Texas Penal Code § 46.03]


FAQ: Texas Concealed Carry Questions

What Are the Knife Laws in Texas?

Anyone under the age of 18 can open or concealed carry a knife less than 5.5 inches in length nearly anywhere. An adult can open or concealed carry any knife longer than 5.5 inches anywhere other than the same locations that are off-limits to firearms, which includes schools. 

[Tex. Pen. Code §§ 46.01, 46.02, 46.03]

WEAR A COVID MASK & CARRY?

I can legally carry a concealed firearm in Texas, but can I wear a COVID 19 protective mask while carrying concealed?

There is no known statute in Texas making it illegal to wear a COVID mask while carrying concealed.

CARRY WHILE GUN HUNTING?

Can you concealed carry while shotgun/rifle hunting in Texas?

Yes, with a Texas LTC or a concealed carry license/permit from a state that Texas honors.

CARRY WHILE BOW HUNTING?

Can you concealed carry while bow hunting in Texas?

Yes, with a Texas LTC or a concealed carry license/permit from a state that Texas honors.

HUNTER HARASSMENT LAW?

Is there a Hunter Harassment Law in Texas?

Yes. No person may intentionally interfere with another person lawfully engaged in the process of hunting or catching wildlife.

[Tex. Parks & Wildlife Code § 62.0125]


Texas Gun Laws Updates:

Date Details
2021-05-19

Added info on driver's license link to permit in At A Glance table

2020-11-24

Added information on training exemption for military in the Training Section

2020-10-15

Updated the vehicle carry in At A Glance table

2020-09-03

Added information on Self Defense in the Summary

2020-06-30

Added information on wearing a COVID 19 mask while carrying concealed above the Summary

2020-06-26

Added link to National Parks to At A Glance table

2020-06-04

Added info and statutory links for ammunition restrictions in At A Glance table

2020-05-06

Added info on handguns at hotels in At A Glance table

2020-04-20

Added info on handguns on private property in At A Glance table

2020-04-07

Added info on private gun sales in At A Glance table

2020-02-20

Added related blog posts with links

2020-02-18

Added info regarding residency changes and resulting impacts on carry permits

2020-01-31

Updated the knife laws and added statutory references

2019-12-04

Added info on whether a valid state ccw permit exempts a person from needing a background check when purchasing a firearm to the At A Glance table

2019-11-22

Added statutory references and links for can’t carry locations

2019-11-04

Added brandishing info to At A Glance table

2019-10-16

Added Hunter Harassment info to At A Glance table

2019-10-01

Added Chemical Spray/Pepper Spray to the At A Glance table

2019-09-09

Added Carry While Hunting info to At A Glance table

2019-09-03

Updated wording in Can't Carry section with updates to Code effective on September 1, 2019 regarding handguns in school parking lots

2019-09-02

Updated wording regarding No Weapons Signs in At A Glance table effective as of September 1, 2019

2019-08-13

Added anchor links to various sections below the Summary

2019-07-26

Added minimum age to possess and transport a handgun to At A Glance table

2019-06-25

Updated knife info in FAQ based on the Governor's signing of HB446

2019-06-18

Added gun storage in vehicles in school parking lots info to the Where Can't I Carry section per the passage of HB 1143

2019-05-24

Added stun gun/Taser info to At A Glance table

2019-05-03

Added permit renewal and name/address change info

2019-04-19

Links checked

2019-04-02

Added info on state implementation of Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA)

2019-03-13

Updated school carry info in Where Can I and Where Can't I Carry sections

2019-02-22

Added info and link to vehicle carry in At A Glance table

2019-02-15

Added pages for Federal Gun Laws, Traveling with Firearms & Terminology

2019-02-09

Added ammunition restrictions to At A Glance table

2019-02-06

Added red flag law info to At A Glance table

2019-01-25

Added church carry info to location restrictions section

2019-01-24

Added info about alcohol or prescription medication in At A Glance table

2019-01-10

Mag limit added to At A Glance table

Did We Miss Something?

Here at the USCCA, it is our mission to provide responsible gun owners with the tools they need to be educated and trained. Our team is constantly working to provide you with the most up-to-date and comprehensive list of self-defense laws available for every state.

If you have any questions that you don’t see answered here — let us know! Just email [email protected] and we will be sure to get your question resolved. Your feedback matters to us, and we appreciate you helping to make this page the best possible resource for responsible gun owners!

Permit numbers were obtained from the Crime Prevention Resource Center’s publication entitled, “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States.” Numbers include resident and non-resident permits for those states that issue both.

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.

If you have any questions regarding USCCA Membership, Delta Defense, handguns laws or the lawful process of carrying concealed, please contact the award-winning Delta Defense Customer Engagement Team.

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