New Open Carry Gun Laws in Texas

As of January 1, 2016 Texas residents are able to carry a handgun in public as long as they are licensed by the state of Texas or a state with reciprocity. The hand gun may be concealed or open as long as it is carried inside a “shoulder or belt holster”. While this means that Texans can walk around freely with their guns, it does not mean they can bring them everywhere.

For example, open carry does not apply to schools and universities. Also, private businesses can still refuse open carry on their property. It does not apply to all types of guns, so those that plan on carrying a weapon contact an experienced firearms and weapons attorney to learn more about the new open carry law.

Weapons Lawyer in Dallas Texas

Since this is a new law many Texans will not familiar with all of the rules. As a result, some may find themselves in trouble with authorities and charged with a weapons offense. Whether the law was broken accidentally or intentionally, an individual can still face harsh criminal penalties.

Requirements For Open Carry

Not everyone has the right to openly carry a handgun in Texas. First an individual must obtain a concealed handgun license of a (CHL). In order to obtain a CHL, an individual must:

· Be over the age of 21. (Members and former members of the armed forces must be at least 18 years of age);

· Have a clean criminal history, including military service and juvenile records;

· Not be under a protective order;

· Not be chemically dependent;

· Not be of unsound mind;

· Not be delinquent in financial obligations (i.e. paying of fines or child support);

· Undergo a background check; and

· Complete required training.

The CHL requirements disqualify felons, fugitives, persons with chemically dependency, persons with certain mental illness, individuals served with a protective order, and those that owe money for taxes or child support. An inability to obtain a concealed handgun license, automatically disqualifies an individual from the right to open carry.

Those that already had a concealed handgun license before the new law was passed will be able to openly carry their handguns. New applicants will need to go through updated training.

Where Can You Carry A Gun?

Before January 1, 2016, Texans were allowed to openly carry a handgun on their property. Now with open carry, they are able to carry them outside of their homes as long as they are licensed and place the gun in a “belt holster or shoulder”.

Private business owners still have the right to refuse open carry on their property and can do so by placing a sign 30.07 or 30.06 “No Carry” sign on their front door. A business wishing to ban concealed carry and open carry will have to display both signs. Several businesses, including Target, H-E-B grocery, and Whole Foods, have opted out of open carry.

Open carry laws respect the wishes of private business owners. So, even if the owner of the business does not place the sign, if they ask an individual with a gun to leave then the person will have to respect their wishes or risk facing criminal charges for trespass and unlawful carry.

As of now, you cannot open carry at a college or university. Open carry will allow individuals to carry their handguns on a campus after August 1st, 2016.

Open Carry in A Vehicle

Texans no longer have to conceal their weapons in their vehicle while driving if they have the proper license. The handgun must be “within arm’s reach”, meaning the person should be able to reach for their handgun without having to shift their sitting position. If the individual does not possess the proper license then they will have to continue to keep their handgun concealed.


While open carry now allows people to roam around with their guns, improper use of a gun can still result in an arrest. Taking a gun into a government building or private business that displays a 30.06 and 30.07 sign is still against the law.

If you have been arrested for carrying a weapon make sure to get in touch with an attorney immediately. You can contact the criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy for a free consultation by email them or calling them at (888) 978–2756.

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