Texas Gun Laws

Get the Latest Facts on Gun Laws in Texas

Updated November 19, 2018:

Updated November 19, 2018:

 

Your guide
mark woodward

Mark Woodward

Mark Woodward

Texas is classed as a "shall Issue" state with the law regulating ownership of firearms to any person at least 18 years old. Texas gun laws do not regulate the possession of firearms so any person, no matter what age, can possess a firearm as long as they are not a felon. To purchase a handgun a person must be at least 21 years old if buying from a federally licensed dealer. Licences to carry are issued to both residents and non-residents with a 4-6 hour training course required. Open carry is legal provided the handgun is in a shoulder or belt holster.


Your guide
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Mark Woodward

New York gun laws are some of the toughest in the United States. There are separate laws for New York state and New York City where you are required to have a license for both long guns and handguns. The New York state gun laws are regarded as very restrictive and operate on a “May Issue” policy at the local county level. This means that the issuance of a pistol license is entirely up to the issuing officer. As a rough rule the higher the population of a county the more restrictive the gun laws become with New York City being the most restrictive.

Texas is classed as a "shall Issue" state with the law regulating ownership of firearms to any person at least 18 years old. However, Texas gun laws do not regulate the possession of firearms so any person, no matter what age, can possess a firearm as long as they are not a felon. To purchase a handgun a person must be at least 21 years old if buying from a federally licensed dealer. Licences to carry are issued to both residents and non-residents with a 4-6 hour training course required. Open carry is legal provided the handgun is in a shoulder or belt holster.

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Quick facts

Carry In Vehicle SEE DETAILS
Must Notify Officer NO
State Park Carry YES
Gun Signs Enforced YES
Open Carry SEE DETAILS
Restaurant Carry YES
Constitutional Carry NO
See Details

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total active ccw
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licenses in TX
States honoring
0
TX license
CCW licenses
0
TX honors
States not
0
honoring TX license

Texas Reciprocity Map

  • Issuing State
  • TX license honored
  • TX license not honored
  • TX residential license only
  • Issuing State
  • TX license honored
  • TX license not honored
  • TX residential license only

Texas reciprocity guide for LTC licenses

All non-resident permits from states that Texas honors will be accepted in Texas as long as the holder of the permit is at least 21 years old.

Texas has signed reciprocity agreements with 31 other states which can be viewed at the Texas Department of Public Safety's website.

States that will honor a Texas LTC licence
0
states

Resident Licences
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Non-Resident Licences
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Handgun licences Texas will honor
0
states

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, New York City, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming

States that will not honor a Texas LTC license
0
states

California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington.

District
Washington D.C.

Rhode Island - Only permits issued by the Rhode Island Attorney General will be honored by Texas
Ohio - Permits must have been issued or renewed after 3/23/15 to be honored in Texas.

411.174 - Non-resident licence


Overview of the Texas LTC license

texas state flag
Texas state flag
  • Issue policy - Shall Issue
  • Issued to - Residents & Non-Residents
  • License Fee - $40
  • License Valid - 5 years

Pistol license Overview

The Texas License To Carry (LTC) is issue to qualified applicants who are at least 21 years old or 18 if in the military. The license is also required if a person wants to carry a handgun openly. Previously the handgun permit was called a Concealed Handgun License CHL however this was changed to License To Carry (LTC) in January 2016.

Applications for a license are handled by the Department of Public Safety who require first time applications to be made online. There is a fee of $40 with the license being valid for 5 years.

Non-Resident Licenses

Non-residents can apply online for a Texas LTC or mail in the forms. The application will need to contain the following;

  1. A color copy of your state drivers license or ID card. There must be a copy of the front and back.
  2. A handgun proficiency certificate that is not more than two years old.

Texas Non-Resident License is valid in:
AK, AL, AR, AZ, DE, GA, IA, ID, IN, KS, KY, LA, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NV, NM, OH, OK, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WI, WV, WY

Handgun Training

All applicants are required to complete a 4-6 hour instruction course set by the state and taught by a licensed instructor. The cost of the courses varies but on average are around $100-$125. Course topics usually include state gun laws, handgun safety, liability and conflict resolution. There is a written and practical part to the course with the practical qualification requiring 50 rounds of ammunition to be fired. Once the course has been passed the instructor will supply a Certificate of Training (CHL-100) which the student must submit to the DPS.


Requirements to qualify for a Texas LTC license

  • Is a legal resident of this state for the six-month period preceding the date of application under this subchapter or is otherwise eligible for a license under Section 411.173(a);
  • Is at least 21 years of age; or at least 18 if you are a member or veteran of the US Armed Forces, Reserves or National Guard or was discharged under honorable conditions.
  • Has not been convicted of a felony;
  • Is not charged with the commission of a Class A or Class B misdemeanor or equivalent offense, or of an offense under Section 42.01, Penal Code, or equivalent offense, or of a felony under an information or indictment;
  • Is not a fugitive from justice for a felony or a Class A or Class B misdemeanor or equivalent offense;
  • Is not a chemically dependent person;
  • Is not incapable of exercising sound judgment with respect to the proper use and storage of a handgun;
  • Has not, in the five years preceding the date of application, been convicted of a Class A or Class B misdemeanor or equivalent offense or of an offense under Section 42.01, Penal Code, or equivalent offense;
  • is fully qualified under applicable federal and state law to purchase a handgun;
  • Has not been finally determined to be delinquent in making a child support payment administered or collected by the attorney general;
  • Has not been finally determined to be delinquent in the payment of a tax or other money collected by the comptroller, the tax collector of a political subdivision of the state, or any agency or subdivision of the state;
  • Is not currently restricted under a court protective order or subject to a restraining order affecting the spousal relationship, other than a restraining order solely affecting property interests;
  • Has not, in the 10 years preceding the date of application, been adjudicated as having engaged in delinquent conduct violating a penal law of the grade of felony; and
  • Has not made any material misrepresentation, or failed to disclose any material fact, in an application submitted pursuant to Section 411.174.
  • Federal Law Requirements

texas LTC license to carry


How to apply for a Texas LTC license

Follow these steps to obtain a permit

  1. Download the application form or submit an online application.
  2. Schedule an appointment for fingerprinting. All fingerprints must be submitted through L-1 Enrollment Services
  3. Applicants must also complete 4 - 6 hours of classroom training and pass a written exam and then pass a proficiency demonstration (shooting). The classroom training can be done online.
  4. Once training is completed you must submit a Certificate of Training to the Dept. of Public Safety to complete the application.

If you are making the application by mail send your application to;
Texas Department of Public Safety
Concealed Handgun - MSC 0245
PO Box 4087
Austin, TX

NON-RESIDENTS
Out of state residents must supply a color copy, front and back, of your state drivers license or ID card. A proficiency certificate not greater than two years old from a course approved by the DPS. Non-Residents can make applications online or via mail. Application for a Handgun License


How to renew your Texas LTC license

  • Handgun license renewals can be submitted 6 months prior to the expiration date of the license.
  • Renewals can be made up to 12 months after the expiration date of license.
  • Renewal applications made after 12 months from the expiry date will be treated as a new application.
  • From the 1 September, 2013 renewal applicants no longer have to attend a training class.
  • Renewals can be made online
  • You will usually be notified about 6 months before your license expires to renew it.

Schedule of fee's for a Texas LTC license

Application ConditionsOriginalRenewal
Individual$40$40
Active Judicial or Probation Officer$25$25
Retired Judicial Officer$25$25
Active Military/Peace Officer/Correctional Officer/County Jailer$0$0
Retired Peace Officer/Federal Officer$25$25
Senior Citizen$40$35
Veteran (Honorably Discharged)$25$25
State Fee Schedule

Essential forms for a Texas LTC license


Off-limit places in Texas for carrying a firearm

Image Image
Places listed as off limits apply even if you have a Texas license to carry.

Off-limits

  • On the premises of a business that derives 51% or more of its income from the sale or service of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption
  • On the premises where a high school, collegiate, or professional sporting or interscholastic event is taking place
  • On the premises of a correctional facility
  • *On the premises of a hospital or nursing home
  • *In a permanent amusement park
  • *On the premises of a church, synagogue, or other place of worship
  • *At any meeting of a governmental entity
  • It is an offense to carry a handgun if the person is intoxicated
  • It is an offense to carry a handgun un-holstered and in plain view
  • Members of criminal street gangs are prohibited from carrying a concealed handgun
  • It is an offense to carry a concealed handgun if a person is involved in criminal activity
  • Polling places on day of election
  • Premises of a Racetrack
  • Secured area of airport
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law.

* The sections marked with an asterisk (*) do not apply if the person was not given effective notice under Section 30.06 or 30.07. (And must be posted with approved signage)

Allowed

  • State parks
  • State and national forests
  • Road side rest areas
  • Vehicle
  • All areas of the state not listed as Off-Limits

Texas gun laws & statutes

texas state capitol building
Texas state capitol building
All the most important Texas gun laws you should be aware of are listed below. Make yourself familiar with these laws before carry a firearm.

Summary table

SubjectHandgunsLong GunsNotes
Carry permit requiredYesNoPolicy is Shall Issue.
Purchase permit requiredNoNo
Registration of firearmNoNo
Open carry allowedYesYes
Background checks on private gun sales requiredNoNo
Magazine size restrictionNoNo

Rating of gun laws

Rates how friendly Texas gun laws are compared to other states.
Good

Texas gun laws you need to know

Vehicle carry

(With no pistol license)

YES
Any person who can legally possess a handgun can carry it within a vehicle.

However, if you do not have a Texas license to carry or a firearms license from another state that Texas honors then the firearm must be concealed in the glove box, console or other area but not on your person.

If you do have a LTC license then you can open carry in a vehicle if the firearm is in a shoulder or belt holster. And you can conceal carry in any mode you desire.

Penal code 46.02

Open carry

(With no pistol license)

NO

In order to open carry a handgun in Texas you will need a LTC license.

If you do have a LTC or other state license Texas honors then you can only open carry if the firearm is in a shoulder or belt holster. These are the only ways Texas law allows a person to open carry. The police also have authority to ask for your license to carry when you open carry.

Penal code 46.035

Must inform officer

(On contact by law)

NO

There seems to be a bit of confusion here with some websites claiming you need to inform a law enforcement officer you have a weapon. The fact is the law does not mention this and you are not legally required to inform law enforcement you have a weapon. However, the law does require you to hand over your firearm licence and ID if requested to do so by law enforcement. Please watch the video on traffic stops for more clarification.

Sec. 411.205 Requirement to Display License

State park carry

YES

It is legal to carry in the following areas;

State Parks:    YES  
State/National Forests:    YES
State Game Management Units:    YES
Road Side Rest Areas:   YES

No gun signs enforced

YES

Texas gun laws give "No Weapons" signs the force of law if they meet certain criteria. There are currently three signs that are legally enforced in Texas to prohibit carrying of weapons, an image of each of the signs is displayed below. Note that any other no weapons signs such as the traditional circle with a line through it are not enforceable or legally binding, the sign must be exactly as those pictured below to be legally enforceable.

Any establishment that derives more than 50% of their income from alcoholic beverages is required to post the 51% sign. Even with a LTC license you are not permitted to carry in these establishments.


Sign 30.06 bans concealed carry



Sign 30.07 bans the open carry of handguns


51% Sign bans carry in liquor establishments

Restaurant carry

YES

"Yes" or "No" states if you can carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Some restaurants may be posted with "NO GUN" signs. Check with the staff if this means just the bar area. If we have indicated a "Yes" then it should be legal to have a meal without drinking alcohol.


Penal code 46.03

Constitutional carry

NO

Texas does not have constitutional carry.

"Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the State; but the legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime".
(art. I § 23)

Off-limit statutes


Other CCW statutes


Miscellaneous laws


History of Texas gun laws

1871

First Texas law against concealed and open carry enacted.
 

1995

The first concealed carry law is signed by Governor George W. Bush
 

1997

Law modified to clarify carrying on premises where alcohol was served. Also established 30.06 signs as the only sign that could be used by property owners to ban carry. And removed nursing homes, hospitals, amusement parks and places of worship and government meeting where carry is automatically banned.
 

2001

Restriction added that prohibits the carrying of a firearm within 1000ft of a place of execution on the day a execution is scheduled to take place.
 

2003

The rules on licensee's from other states and reciprocity are relaxed.
 

2005

Licences can now be renewed every 5 years instead of 4. Military personnel can now obtain a license at 18 years old and license fee's are reduced for military and seniors.
 

2007

The license fee for veterans is reduced by 50% and a private auto is classified as "premises under control". The retreat requirement from the Castle Doctrine bill is removed seizing of firearms during any disaster is prohibited.
 

2009

Suspension penalty for failing to display your license to law enforcement is removed.
 

2011

Carry of handguns in boats is legalized and employers can no longer prohibit their employees from storing a handgun in their car on company parking lots.
 

2013

Training classes are reduced to 4-6 hours and campus carry on colleges is blocked.
 

Texas licensing offices

Image
Quickly locate the office where you can apply for a License To Carry (LTC).

Texas Department of Public Safety

Contact


Address 5805 North Lamar Blvd.

CityAustin, TX 78752-4431

Phone (512) 424-7293

Hours


Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm

Saturday Closed

Sunday Closed


Frequently asked questions on Texas gun laws


The research

Disclaimer

The information contained on this page is not legal advice but is merely a starting point for your own research. It is up to you to decide what the best course of action is for your circumstances. We are not lawyers, if you'd like individualized legal advice, we'd be happy to refer you to some law practices with known firearm specializations. It is crucial that you understand the law before you carry a firearm. Also, remember that just because a statute may clearly say one thing or another, that doesn't mean all members of law enforcement know it. That also goes for lawyers and even judges too.

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James Gomez
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James Gomez

Where can I carry if I have a motorcycle and no ltc? Can I put it in my backpack or side packs?

Fritz Abernathy
Guest
Fritz Abernathy

What about the right to keep your gun in your automobile in a parking lot at work if the employer doesn’t allow guns on thier property

Rif
Guest
Rif

Is there any provision for training credit for military, FFDO, training that qualifies you for a CCP in most other states?

Lorrie
Guest
Lorrie

Can a person carry a loaded ruffle strapped to his back legally?

Abraham
Guest
Abraham

Yes you can! I think you would be kind of funny to see you walking around with your loaded Ruffle! Lol

Juan
Guest
Juan

I just moved to San Antonio Texas from Miami Florida I still have yet to get a Texas ID but looking to purchase a firearm do I need a concealed to have the firearm on my belt in a holster?

jake
Guest
jake

It is now called a License to Carry instead of Concealed Carry Permit and you have to have one to carry a handgun either concealed or openly.

Abraham
Guest
Abraham

You do not need a conceal handgun license to purchase a gun. But you do need a TEXAS state issued ID or driver‘s license to buy one.

To answer the second question, you can open carry in Texas.

Jua
Guest
Jua

I just moved up here to Texas from Miami Florida don’t have a Texas driver’s license or ID yet but looking to purchase a firearm a handgun do I need a concealed weapons license to wear it on my belt in a holster??

Rick Cunningham
Guest
Rick Cunningham

Can a person with LTC permit sit at the bar area in a restaurant while carrying?

Eric Kite
Guest
Eric Kite

Where is the statute allowing Twxas business owners who carry cash to carry a concealed weapon without a liscence?

Ronnie
Guest
Ronnie

I am going to drive from Texas to Illinois and leave the vehicle there. I will be flying back to Texas from O’Hare in Chicago. With the current LTC rules in Illinois, do I need to know anything special. Illinois does not recognise Texas LTC laws. Or would it be smarter and wiser to fly back to Texas from Wisconsin that does have reciprocity with Texas?

Matthew Wilkins
Guest
Matthew Wilkins

Does anyone know if my current CCW (LTC) from California will meet the requirements for the Handgun Training portion? I’ll be moving there in 6 weeks.

Manuel Valdez Galvan
Guest
Manuel Valdez Galvan

Where can I get a texas concealed laws handbook?

Wayne R.
Guest
Wayne R.

With the growing popularity of ar-15 and now “ar-9” pistols, given their size, how could those ever be open carried with a LTC? Shoulder and belt holsters just won’t work.

Cameron
Guest
Cameron

Can I conceal carry in Colorado with a Texas CCW and Texas license?

aco1979
Guest
aco1979

My spouse is a retired police officer from another state. He does have his qualifying certificate. Is there any requirements in Texas for him to carry his gun? We will be there for a month.

Richard
Guest
Richard

Do federal law enforcement officers require a conceal carry when armed with their off duty weapon

Rashad
Guest
Rashad

I’m from ga and license to carry a concealed firearm can I purchase a new gun in tx now that I’m a resident here or do I have to get my license in tx now that I am here now

J. Perkins
Guest
J. Perkins

No license is required to purchase a firearm in Texas. As far as I can tell, your valid Georgia license should allow you to carry until it expires, but you should confirm that with DPS.

Josh Bond
Guest
Josh Bond

So to conceal carry I do not need a permit correct?

J. Perkins
Guest
J. Perkins

That is incorrect; to carry a concealed handgun outside of your own property or motor vehicle, you must have a valid License to Carry in your possession.

Brad
Guest
Brad

I have a NC concealed carry permit and just moved to Texas. Do I have to start over from the beginning? Or is there a transfer process?

Darrell Anderson
Guest
Darrell Anderson

You are good.

J. Perkins
Guest
J. Perkins

As far as I can tell, your valid North Carolina license should allow you to carry until it expires, but you should confirm that with DPS.

Anthony
Guest
Anthony

I have a NC concealed carry license and will be traveling via airline to Texas for a few weeks of vacation. I will not be traveling with my registered gun. Can I legally carry a friend’s or family member’s registered gun while in Texas?

J. Perkins
Guest
J. Perkins

Yes; a license recognized in Texas (whether from Texas or another state) permits the license holder to carry one or more handguns, regardless of whether they are registered in another state.

Matthew
Guest
Matthew

Does being in the military change any of the rules, for me being 20 I can’t buy a hand gun normally?

Darrell Anderson
Guest
Darrell Anderson

Matt, you can get your permit st 18 (military), but you wont be able to buy from a licensed dealer. Although, you can be gifted a pistol or private saler