The state of Texas has a long history with firearms, and as of 2023, there have been several changes to the state’s gun laws. In 2021, HB 1927 was signed into law, allowing Texans to carry handguns without a license or permit. Prior to this change, Texans were required to obtain a license to carry a handgun openly or concealed.
However, there are still some restrictions on where guns can be carried, and individuals with certain criminal backgrounds or mental health issues may be prohibited from possessing firearms. Whether you are a gun owner or not or simply interested in the state’s legislation, it’s important to stay informed about the latest updates.
The legal team at the Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC, has put together a comprehensive overview of Texas gun laws in 2023, covering everything from concealed carry permits to restrictions on assault weapons. By the end of this blog, you will have all the information you need to understand Texas gun laws in 2023.
Texas gun regulations that govern the carrying and ownership of weapons have undergone substantial revisions as of 2021. The state still offers a license to carry for those who seek additional privileges, but it is now legal for qualified people to carry handguns in public without one.
A person must fulfill certain standards, including being at least 21 years old and not having certain criminal convictions or orders of protection against them, to be carrying a handgun without an LTC. Rifles and shotguns are examples of long guns that are not specifically restricted, yet certain persons are legally forbidden from owning or having any firearms.
There are limitations on where weapons, especially long guns, may be carried, notwithstanding Texas law permitting open carry of long guns in public areas. For instance, it is illegal to carry a gun in public areas like pubs, voting stations, and schools.
In Texas, the laws regarding carrying a gun differ depending on whether you are carrying a handgun or a long gun such as a rifle or shotgun.
If you are carrying a handgun, it is required by law to carry it in a holster, but there is no specific requirement as to what type of holster is necessary. Before 2021, when a license was required to openly carry a handgun, it had to be carried in a shoulder or belt holster. However, with the new changes in the law, a license is no longer required, and the only requirement is that the handgun be carried in a holster.
Carrying a long gun is not specifically addressed in Texas law, but some people are prohibited from owning or possessing any firearm by law. In addition, the disorderly conduct law regulates how firearms can be displayed in public, and flaunting a firearm publicly in an alarming manner is a criminal offense.
A pistol kept in an automobile must likewise be hidden, according to Section 46.02 of the Texas Penal Code. The pistol must be stored in a case, a closed glove box, or a lockable center console if it is not in a holster.
The Texas Criminal Code’s Chapter 46 contains laws on the illegal carrying of firearms, including rifles and shotguns, and other non-handgun firearms. It also describes crimes involving the possession of weapons by specific people, such as convicts and those who have been found guilty of crimes involving family violence.
Section 46.03 in the Texas Penal Code includes the places where carrying a firearm is not allowed, including at an educational institution, a racetrack, a hospital, or a nursing home. Section 46.035 in the Texas Penal Code describes the different situations or places where carrying handguns is prohibited for those with licenses, including at a correctional facility.
It is important to be aware of where and how to carry your gun in the state of Texas, as well as what documents are required in order to stay in accordance with the law.
A measure approved by the Texas Senate would plug a legal gap that permitted the sale of firearms to individuals between the ages of 16 and 18 who were unintentionally admitted to a mental health facility. All involuntary mental hospitalizations that must be reported by the courts to the Texas Department of Public Safety, which then transmits the information to the FBI’s national guns background check system, were sometimes being misreported.
In Texas, open carry of a handgun is generally not allowed. This means that the gun must be concealed and not visible to the public. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, a person may carry a handgun openly if they are on their own property or if they are participating in certain activities like hunting, fishing, or target shooting.
In September 2021, Texas passed a new law that allows residents who are 21 or older and meet certain requirements to carry handguns without a license or training. This law, known as “Constitutional Carry,” took effect on September 1, 2021. There are some exceptions to this law, such as certain locations where firearms are prohibited, and it is important to familiarize oneself with the details of the law before carrying a handgun in Texas without a license.
In Texas, there is no general requirement to inform a police officer that you have a gun in your car during a traffic stop or other encounter with law enforcement. However, if the officer asks if you have any weapons in the car, you are legally required to answer truthfully. Failing to do so could result in criminal charges.
At the Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC, our team of experienced attorneys can help you understand the complexities of Texas gun laws and ensure that you are following them properly. Whether you are a gun owner or just want to learn more about the laws surrounding firearms, we are here to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your rights and responsibilities under Texas law.