Many people erroneously believe that Texas is a place where everyone carries around huge guns all the time where everyone can see them. In actuality, Texas has some specific and somewhat strict laws when it comes to the carrying and use of any firearm. If you plan on moving to Texas and own a firearm, or if you’re visiting and have a firearm with you, here’s what you need to know.
Anyone over the age of 18 can own a firearm, but even minors can purchase a firearm if they have proof of their parents’ permission. Anyone who has been convicted of a Class A misdemeanor or a felony may not have a handgun. For concealed carrying of a firearm, You need a license; however, you don’t need a license to have a gun in your home, motor vehicle, or for lawful hunting and fishing.
Adults over the age of 18 may use firearms. However, a minor is permitted to use a firearm for hunting, fishing, sporting activities, and agricultural activities only under close adult supervision. Minors are also legally able to use a firearm for the protection of their home and family members. Texas gun laws are strict, so a Dallas criminal defense lawyer who specializes in guns may be useful if you’re concerned about the use of a firearm.
You can carry a firearm anywhere as long as you have a Concealed Handgun License, or CHL. However, some areas are gun-free zones, and you can’t even conceal carry in these places: government buildings, religious worship facilities, race tracks, airports, or places that sell mostly alcohol. A person cannot carry a handgun if they’re intoxicated, nor can they carry anywhere where proper warning against it is given.
Texas has allowed non-threatening and non-alarming open carry of shotguns or rifles, but only in 2016 did they start allowing open carry of handguns. Even then, you must have a Texas CHL to legally open carry a handgun. This includes passing a background test, taking a class and passing a shooting test. Only about 3 percent of Texans have a concealed handgun license.