Open Carry requirements
Can I lawfully open carry a firearm in Texas?
Yes, as of January 1, 2016, you can carry any handgun openly or concealed as long as you are licensed by Texas or a state with reciprocity. By law, the handgun must be carried in a "shoulder or belt holster." Long arms do not require a license.
Can I open carry at my university or college? NO
The new law changes the name of our Texas Concealed Handgun License to a Texas “License To Carry,” or LTC. The great news for current license holders is that there are no other changes to a license holder’s currently-held handgun license or their ability to carry a concealed handgun. There are no new requirements that a current license holder receive any additional training, obtain a new license, or carry a concealed handgun in a holster (though new applicants will be required to undergo training on the use of holsters as part of their initial license training).
Effective Sept 1 2021, Most people here in Texas will be able to lawfully carry a visible handgun in a holster anywhere the license holder can currently carry a concealed handgun, with one significant exception. Campuses of public or private institutions of higher learning (i.e. colleges, universities, and technical institutes) are “no open carry” zones. In a compromise made to ensure the passage of separate “campus carry” legislation, the Texas Legislature has decided that a license holder can only carry concealed handguns while on college or university sidewalks, walkways, streets, parking lots, parking garages, and buildings (as of August 1, 2016 for colleges, universities, and technical institutes, or August 1, 2017 for public junior colleges).
The unlicensed carry of a handgun in places with 'No Firearms" or 30.05 signage, other than one’s premises, vehicle/watercraft, or premises under one’s control will continue to be considered “unlawful carrying of a weapon,” a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a $4,000 fine and/or up to a year in county jail.1. There is NO defense to prosecution if you are unlicensed!
I live out of state and have a license to carry, can I open carry in Texas?
Yes. There are no residencies restrictions to legal open carry as long as follow Texas law. You MUST adhere to the rules and laws of the state you are visiting
I already have a CHL. Will I need to get another license to open carry?
No. Your concealed handgun license will "qualify" you to openly carry a handgun. The CHL will become just a handgun license referred to as an LTC.
Is there additional training for open carry. Do I need to retake the class?
No, the new training will be added to the LTC classes as mandated by the law for those required to take the class. No additional training required for current CHL holders.
Am I required to use a "retention holster”
No. While we HIGHLY recommend a retention holster to better ensure that your firearm remains secure while carried openly or concealed, there is no requirement to have any specific holster, However NEW applicants must go through the new covered training of holsters,
Can Peace Officers require you to present LTC and ID for open carry?
YES. As might be imagined, the open carry bill did not get through the Texas Legislature without some controversy. An amendment to restrict a police officer’s ability to stop and verify that a person who is carrying a handgun is licensed to do so (or falls under some other exception) was initially put into the bill to prevent possible police abuses of open carriers (Dutton Amendment), but was later removed by the Legislature’s conference committee to ensure that the bill would pass. This means that a police officer who sees a person in a public place with a handgun may detain them to determine if they are exempted from the general prohibition against carrying a handgun without a license. If a person is stopped by a police officer, and the officer asks to see ID, the LTC holder is obligated to show the officer both their ID and/or LTC. Once the person is verified to be in possession of a valid LTC or legal to carry, the police encounter should end.
Sec. 411.205. REQUIREMENT TO DISPLAY LICENSE.
If a person is carrying a handgun on or about his/her person when a magistrate or a peace officer demands that the person display identification, that person shall display either the license holder's driver's license, LTC or approved government Identification
(CLASS C Misdemeanor) *************** SEE PAGE TAB - HARRIS COUNTY DA ******
Sec. 411.206. SEIZURE OF HANDGUN AND LICENSE. (a) If a peace officer arrests and takes into custody a person who is carrying a handgun under the authority of this sub-chapter, the officer shall seize the persons handgun and and if LTC carrier, the persons license to carry as evidence.
(b) The provisions of Article 18.19, Code of Criminal Procedure, relating to the disposition of weapons seized in connection with criminal offenses, apply to a handgun seized under this subsection.
Do I give up my right to open carry if I get a concealed handgun permit?
No. One you have completed the CHL (LTC- License To Carry) you can carry either way.
Can I open carry on private property?
Yes. As the owner or a representative of the property and does not have to be concealed NOR are you required to have a license to carry as long as you are not hired for security purposes.
Can I open carry in a vehicle?
Yes, HOWEVER, THE WEAPON MUST BE IN A HOLSTER even in your vehicle if you chose to open carry. Sept 1 2021, the use of console or other vehicle mounted holsters are approved.
*** FURTHER You MAY carry a loaded firearm in your vehicle CONCEALED without a license to carry.
Do businesses have the right to refuse entry?
YES. Businesses can refuse entry to any person. Sept 1st 2021, the new 'Constitutional Carry" can post ANY "No Firearms" signs or 30.05 signage (trespass) which will ONLY effect unlicensed carriers. With concealed carry and Open carry. The 30.06 for concealed carry must be present and in clear view upon entry and IF the business DOES not want open carry, The 30.07 sign must be placed in the same manner. A BUSINESS CAN REFUSE OPEN CARRY WHILE ALLOWING CONCEALED Carry.
Can I carry open into a business.
Yes, provided the property does not display a "No firearms" or 30.05 for Constitutional carry, or 30.07 sign will ban open carry for Licensed carrier, while the 30.06 sign will still apply to ban concealed carry. A business wanting to completely ban firearms is required to post all three.
** However, On January 1st 2016, If you do carry a weapon onto property displaying either sign, A representative of the business must advise you verbally to exit and secure the weapon. This becomes a CLASS C misdemeanor BUT if you refuse to leave you will be charged and arrested with a class A misdemeanor of Criminal Trespass by a licensed holder and will have your CHL/LTC suspended.
if the owner requests removal of the weapon or asks you to leave the property, please respect his or her wishes and your credibility as a good citizen. I great deal of your time and money was spent getting this license to carry... Do not lose it due to poor choices. Constitutional carrier violators will then become no able to carry further, up to 5 years
New Constitutional Carry signs:
This signage can be ANY sign that is easily recognizable to notify constitutional carriers, firearms are forbidden on the property... This would be such as the "Ghost Buster" type sign, "No firearms" sign or 30.05 (trespass) signs
The New “30.07” sign
In anticipation of the potential for alarm that openly-carried handguns might cause, the Texas Legislature also enacted a new law that acts as an open-carry duplicate to Texas Penal Code 30.06 (criminal trespass by a license holder carrying a concealed handgun). The new Texas Penal Code Sec. 30.07 allows private property owners to restrict the open carry of handguns by license holders on their property by posting a new “30.07” sign or giving written or verbal “30.07” trespassing notice. If a property owner wishes to prevent license holders from carrying either concealed or open handguns on their property, they must post both a “30.06” sign and a “30.07” sign.
An unexpected benefit of the debate over the “open carry” bill is that it resulted in lowering the potential penalty for anyone accused of violating a “30.06” sign from a Class A misdemeanor (punishable by up to a year in county jail and/or a $4,000 fine) to a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by a maximum fine of $200 only. This is the penalty for the new 30.07 law as well. This means that even if a license holder is convicted of trespassing in violation of a property owner’s “30.06” or “30.07” sign. However,if a license holder is given a personal, verbal “30.06” or “30.07” warning such as “we don’t allow guns in here” or “you are not allowed to open carry in here,” and the license holder refuses to leave or conceal their handgun, the potential penalty remains a Class A misdemeanor.
Senate Bill 273 Effective September 1, 2015
Relating to certain offenses relating to carrying FIREARMS on property owned or leased by a governmental entity; providing a civil penalty.
Prohibits a state agency or political subdivision from posting signs stating where LTC holders are prohibited from carrying a concealed handgun on the premises, unless specifically prohibited by Texas Penal Code 46.03 and 46.035.
Provides a civil penalty to a state agency or political subdivision if falsely notifying a LTC holder that entering or remaining on certain governmental premises, leased or owned, is illegal.
Limits the scope of the governmental meeting prohibition by restricting it to the specific room or rooms in which the meeting is being held, and to public meetings for which notice is required under the Open Meetings Act.
This means that if a building is USED for commercial AND Government services, PROHIBITING the carrying of handguns is UNLAWFUL unless all business in the building agree to post the 30.05 (or No Firearms), 30.06 and 30.07 signs.
EXAMPLE…. County building which has a tax office, court….. AND has a coffee shop, gift store or any other private business cannot prohibit the carrying of a weapon simply because it is a “Government building” you still CANNOT carry into those offices, however you CAN in fact carry into the building.
The building owner, County or municipal owners can receive a civil penalty for just posting the signage.
**** THERE ARE NUMEROUS BENEFITS, INCLUSIONS, DEFENSES AND MORE TO HAVING YOUR LTC ****