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
Image

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
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TX license
CCW licenses
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TX honors
States not
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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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charlie whittCoreyAmber M Dunbarwilliam onderlindeAntonio Kheir Recent comment authors
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charlie whitt
Guest
charlie whitt

Is there anything different I need to know about before I carry in the states that recognize Texas LTC

charlie whitt
Guest
charlie whitt

Of the 36 states that honor Texas LTC are there anything different from Texas laws I need to know about before I travel in these states

Corey
Guest
Corey

I’m a resident of Texas but my license to carry is from TN. Do I have to change and get my license through TX now since becoming a resident?

Amber M Dunbar
Guest
Amber M Dunbar

Can I conceal carry in Texas with a Tennessee conceal carry permit while vacation

william onderlinde
Guest
william onderlinde

Call me confused. Here’s what I read (an excerpt from Tx Penal Code 46.035): 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. WHICH IS IT? What is the VALUE of having a LTC then in TX(where I’m a LEGAL Resident? Seems more valuable in other states? ALSO. Quest # 2: If I TRANSPORT a LOCKED weapon in a Non-easily Accessible location through the “BLUE”… Read more »

william onderlinde
Guest
william onderlinde

I RETRACT THE FIRST PART OF MY COMMENT! I GROSSLY MISREAD THE RULE! I would still appreciate some comments on my 2nd question.

Antonio Kheir
Guest
Antonio Kheir

Can I (19yr old) keep a handgun in my vehicle in Texas?

Mark
Guest
Mark

In Texas. No you cannot legally carry a firearm on your person without a LTC. Except Long guns.. Yes you can have it in your vehicle in the glovebox or console without a LTC. Yes you can carry concealed or unconcealed in your business or on your property without an LTC. Yes if in a hotel or Motel you can carry it in a bag, and have it in your room without a LTC. Castle doctrine applies in your vehicle, hotels, and motels. If you discharge that firearm in a self defense situation get an attorney.

Ben Caraway
Guest
Ben Caraway

Is it legal to conceal carry on your property, to and from your vehicle, and conceal carry in your vehicle without a ltc?

Juan
Guest
Juan

An I carry my gun in my backpa k to work if my boss allows it but i dont have a permit to carry

Bob Argentine
Guest
Bob Argentine

Can I buy a gun and practice shooting before I go for A license to carry

Steve
Guest
Steve

What does Texas Residential Only License mean? For Florida

Carl
Guest
Carl

It means you have to be a resident if Texas Permit to be Legal in Florida. Texas Issues Resident and Non-Resident Permits Like Florida does.
However a Florida Non-Resident Permit is Legal in Texas even if you are a Texas Resident.

Bad boi
Guest
Bad boi

Guns should be legal. Its uncontustional to take our guns away

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Can I just straight open carry in Texas or do I need an LTC

spartacus
Guest
spartacus

The law requires any person open carrying a handgun to have it in either a belt or shoulder holster and they must have a LTC license.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

My busy is coming to texas from arkansas to hunt and there they have constitutional carry, can he conceal carry in Texas, will texas honor arkansas’s constitutional carry right

spartacus
Guest
spartacus

Yes the law is reciprocal meaning Texas will honor your home state laws. As long as the two state have a compact agreement.

Karen Samford
Guest
Karen Samford

Can’t we carry one in our purse?

Jay
Guest
Jay

Yes, If you have a LTC .

Patricia
Guest
Patricia

I’m moving from Mississippi to Texas soon. Right now I drive back and forth. Is there anything I need to know regarding the laws in Texas as far as carrying in my vehicle?

Michael S Kitchens
Guest
Michael S Kitchens

You van freely do that as long as it’s in your console or glove box. Unless you have a carry license.

Jay
Guest
Jay

Your hand gun should not be kept in plain sight.

Walt
Guest
Walt

We own a towing business in a rural county in Texas. Is it legal for us to carry a gun in our truck without a license?

Craig
Guest
Craig

Yes you can. Under Texas law you can legally carry in any vehicle, you just cant carry outside of the vehicle unless going into a gun range or your home.

Alvaro
Guest
Alvaro

What would be needed to carry a handgun on yourself,your vehicle and not have a problem when asked about it?

Janet W
Guest
Janet W

Does Texas have a “stand your ground” law?

Bukk
Guest
Bukk

Yes

D Stenberg
Guest
D Stenberg

Are there exceptions to the written or the field portion of the coursework if they are an NRA Certified Firearms Instructors who is moving into the state, and/or has a current concealed carry permit from a state that doesn’t have reciprocity with Texas, but who also has a Non-Resident Carry Conceal Permit from Utah – and the person in question is also an honorably discharged veteran?