An estimated 36 percent of all Texans own a gun, and at least 1.2 million of them held an actively concealed carry permit in 2017. Texas firearms laws are primarily focused on who can carry a gun, where they can carry it, and how they can carry it. The law does not concern so much with who can own what type of guns.
“Shall Issue” State
Texas is considered a “shall issue” state where anyone, including a minor, can possess firearms subject to certain regulations under Texas firearms laws. The state also does not require gun owners to register their firearms or obtain a license.
When buying a handgun from federally licensed dealers, the buyer’s minimum age should be 21 years. Texas issues the license to carry (LTC) to residents as well as non-residents, provided they undertake a training course of four to six hours.
As long as the handgun is in a belt or shoulder holster, it is legal to carry the weapon openly in Texas. The state law also does not impose any restrictions on possessing large-capacity magazines or assault weapons. But to buy a rifle, the person should be at least 18 years old.
To ensure that you are on the right side of the law with regard to the ownership and purchase of guns, it is best to consult with an experienced Texas firearm attorney.
Which Weapons Are Prohibited in Texas
Section 46.05 prohibits the following weapons:
- Short-barreled firearms
- Machine guns
- Explosive weapons
- Brass knuckles
- Firearm silencers
- Chemical dispensing devices
- Tire deflation devices
- Zip guns
- Armor-piercing ammunition
Gun Carry Laws for Schools and Colleges
With a few exceptions, Texas prohibits firearms in and around school premises. Public four-year universities and two-year colleges allow concealed carry within campus grounds and buildings.
New Gun Laws in Texas from September 1, 2019
The following new laws came into effect in Texas on September 1, 2019:
- Senate Bill 535: permits the carrying of firearms in a church, synagogue, or another place of worship, except when it is specifically banned by the place with appropriate signage.
- Senate Bill 741: prohibits the banning of gun storage on rental properties by property owners’ associations.
- House Bill 121: legal protection for the owner of a licensed handgun who unintentionally enters a place which has banned guns, provided the person leaves when asked.
- House Bill 302: prohibits a property owner from banning a tenant or their guests from carrying a firearm.
- House Bill 1387: relaxes restrictions on how many school marshals can carry firearms at private and public schools in the state.
- House Bill 1177: allows the residents to carry firearms without a license for up to seven days following a natural disaster.
- House Bill 1143: prohibits Texas school authorities from banning licensed firearm owners from storing their firearms in their car in the parking lot.
- House Bill 2363: permits specific foster homes to store firearms in a locked place.
Who is Prohibited from Owning a Firearm in Texas?
Certain persons in Texas may not have the right to own or possess a firearm. These include individuals confined to penal institutions, minors who do not have the parental permission to own a firearm, and convicted felons until five years of their parole or release. If you are facing a firearm violation, choose a knowledgeable Texas firearm lawyer to protect your rights.
A firearm violation charge doesn’t mean you’re guilty. Your case can be fought, and it can be won. Flood-Lewis & Associates has a team of dedicated Texas criminal defense attorneys that will fight tooth and nail for victory on your behalf. Call our team 24/7, 365 at 713-224-5529 for a free case review or contact us online to request a free consultation with one of our attorneys.