Texas Gun Law
The laws governing the legal use, storage and carrying of firearms are constantly changing. Below are the applicable laws in the State of Texas as of 2/4/2013. The below information is designed to be a guide and not the final word. If you have specific questions, please refer to Texas state legislation at txdps.state.tx.us Another great resource is the Lone Star Citizens Defense League and can be found at lonestarcdl.org.
GC §411.172. ELIGIBILITY, A person is eligible for a license to carry a concealed handgun if the person:
1. 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);
2. Is at least 21 years of age.
3. Has not been convicted of a felony.
4. 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.
5. Is not a fugitive from justice for a felony or a Class A or Class B misdemeanor or equivalent offense;
6. Is not a chemically dependent person;
7. Is not incapable of exercising sound judgment with respect to the proper use and storage of a handgun.
8. 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.
9. Is fully qualified under applicable federal and state law to purchase a handgun.
10. Has not been finally determined to be delinquent in making a child support payment administered or collected by the attorney general.
11. 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.
12. 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;
13. 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
14. Has not made any material misrepresentation, or failed to disclose any material fact, in an application submitted pursuant to Section 411.174.
GC §411.174. APPLICATION, An applicant for a license to carry a concealed handgun must submit to the director's designee described by Section 411.176:
1. A completed application on a form provided by the department that requires only the information listed in Subsection (b)
2. One or more photographs of the applicant that meet the requirements of the department
3. A certified copy of the applicant's birth certificate or certified proof of age
4. Proof of residency in this state
5. two complete sets of legible and classifiable fingerprints of the applicant taken by a person appropriately trained in recording finger-prints who is employed by a law enforcement agency or by a private entity designated by a law enforcement agency as an entity qualified to take fingerprints of an applicant for a license under this subchapter;
FEES 6. A nonrefundable application and license fee of $140 paid to the department
7. Evidence of handgun proficiency, in the form and manner required by the department
8. an affidavit signed by the applicant stating that the applicant:
(A) has read and understands each provision of this subchapter that creates an offense under the laws of this state and each provision of the laws of this state related to use of deadly force; and
(B) fulfills all the eligibility requirements listed under Section 411.172
9. A form executed by the applicant that authorizes the director to make an inquiry into any noncriminal history records that are necessary to determine the applicant's eligibility for a license under Section 411.172(a).
An applicant must provide on the application a statement of the applicant's:
1. full name and place and date of birth;
2. race and sex;
3. residence and business addresses for the preceding five years;
4. hair and eye color
5. Height and weight
6. Driver’s license number or identification certificate number issued by the department;
7. Criminal history record information of the type maintained by the department under this chapter, including a list of offenses for which the applicant was arrested, charged, or under information or indictment and the disposition of the offenses; and
8. History, if any, of treatment received by, commitment to, or residence in:
(A) a drug or alcohol treatment center licensed to provide drug or alcohol treatment under the laws of this state or another state, but only if the treatment, commitment, or residence occurred during the preceding five years; or
(B) a psychiatric hospital.
(C) The department shall distribute on request a copy of this subchapter and application materials
GC §411.188. HANDGUN PROFICIENCY REQUIREMENT.
A. The director by rule shall establish minimum standards for handgun proficiency and shall develop a course to teach handgun proficiency and examinations to measure handgun proficiency. The course to teach handgun proficiency must contain training sessions divided into two parts. One part of the course must be classroom instruction and the
other part must be range instruction and an actual demonstration by the applicant of the applicant's ability to safely and proficiently use the applicable category of handgun. An applicant must be able to
demonstrate, at a minimum, the degree of proficiency that is required to effectively operate a handgun of .32 caliber or above. The department shall distribute the standards, course requirements, and examinations on request to any qualified handgun instructor.
B. Only a qualified handgun instructor may administer a handgun proficiency course. The handgun proficiency course must include at least 10 hours and not more than 15 hours of instruction on:
1. The laws that relate to weapons and to the use of deadly force;
2. Handgun use, proficiency, and safety;
3. Nonviolent dispute resolution; and
4. Proper storage practices for handguns with an emphasis on storage practices that eliminate the possibility of accidental injury to a child.
C. The department by rule shall develop a continuing education course in handgun proficiency for a license holder who wishes to renew a license. Only a qualified handgun instructor may administer the continuing education course. The course must include:
1. at least four hours of instruction on one or more of the subjects
listed in Subsection (b)
2. Other information the director determines is appropriate.
D. Only a qualified handgun instructor may administer the proficiency examination to obtain or to renew a license. The proficiency examination must include:
1. a written section on the subjects listed in Subsection (b); and
2. A physical demonstration of proficiency in the use of one or more handguns of specific categories and in handgun safety procedures.
E. Only a qualified handgun instructor may administer the proficiency examination to modify a license. The proficiency examination must include a physical demonstration of the proficiency in the use of one or more handguns of specific categories and in handgun safety procedures.
F. The department shall develop and distribute directions and materials for course instruction, test administration, and recordkeeping. All test results shall be sent to the department, and the department shall maintain a record of the results.
G. A person who wishes to obtain or renew a license to carry a concealed handgun must apply in person to a qualified handgun instructor to take the appropriate course in handgun proficiency and demonstrate handgun proficiency as required by the department.
H. A license holder who wishes to modify a license to allow the license holder to carry a handgun of a different category than the license indicates must apply in person to a qualified handgun instructor to
demonstrate the required knowledge and proficiency in that category.
I. A certified firearms instructor of the department may monitor any class or training presented by a qualified handgun instructor. A qualified handgun instructor shall cooperate with the department in the
department's efforts to monitor the presentation of training by the qualified handgun instructor. A qualified handgun instructor shall make available for inspection to the department any and all records maintained by a qualified handgun instructor under this subchapter. The qualified handgun instructor shall keep a record of all information required by department rule.
J. The department may offer online, or allow a qualified handgun instructor to offer online, the continuing education instruction course and written section of the proficiency examination required to renew a license.
K. A qualified handgun instructor may submit to the department a written recommendation for disapproval of the application for a license, renewal, or modification of a license, accompanied by an affidavit stating personal knowledge or naming persons with personal knowledge of facts that lead the instructor to believe that an applicant does not possess the required handgun proficiency. The department may use a written recommendation submitted under this subsection as the basis for denial
of a license only if the department determines that the recommendation is made in good faith and is supported by a preponderance of the evidence.
The department shall make a determination under this subsection not later than the 45th day after the date the department receives the written recommendation. The 60-day period in which the department must take action under Section 411.177(b) is extended one d ay for each day a determination is pending under this subsection.
GC §411.1881. EXEMPTION FROM INSTRUCTION FOR CERTAIN PERSONS.
A. Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, a person may not be required to complete the range instruction portion of a handgun proficiency course to obtain or renew a concealed handgun license issued under this subchapter if the person:
1. is currently serving in or is honorably discharged from the army, navy, air force, coast guard, or marine corps of the United States or an auxiliary service or reserve unit of one of those
branches of the armed forces or the state military forces, as defined by Section 431.001
2. Has, within the five years preceding the date of the person's application for an original or renewed license, as applicable, completed a course of training in handgun proficiency or familiarization as part of
the person's service with the armed forces or state military forces.
B. The director by rule shall adopt a procedure by which a license holder who is exempt under Subsection (a) from the range instruction portion of the handgun proficiency requirement may submit a form demonstrating the license holder's qualification for an exemption under that subsection. The form must provide sufficient information to allow the department to verify whether the license holder qualifies for the exemption.
PC §46.03. PLACES WEAPONS PROHIBITED.
A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possesses or
goes with a firearm, illegal knife, club, or prohibited weapon listed in Section 46.05(a):
(1) on the physical premises of a school or educational institution, any grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by a school or educational institution is being conducted, or a passenger transportation vehicle of a school or educational institution, whether the school or educational institution is public or private, unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the institution
(2) on the premises of a polling place on the day of an election or while early voting is in progress
(3) on the premises of any government court or offices utilized by the court, unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the court;
(4) on the premises of a racetrack
(5) in or into a secured area of an airport.
(6) within 1,000 feet of premises the location of which is designated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as a place of execution under Article 43.19, Code of Criminal Procedure, on a day
that a sentence of death is set to be imposed on the designated premises and the person received notice that:
(A) going within 1,000 feet of the premises with a weapon listed
under this subsection was prohibited
(B) possessing a weapon listed under this subsection within1,000 feet of the premises was prohibited
GC §411.173. NONRESIDENT LICENSE.
A. The department by rule shall establish a procedure for a person who meets the eligibility requirements of this subchapter other than the residency requirement established by Section 411.172(a) (1) to obtain a license under this subchapter if the person is a legal resident of another state or if the person relocates to this state with the intent to establish residency in this state. The procedure must include payment of a fee in an amount sufficient to recover the average cost to the department of obtaining a criminal history record check and investigation on a nonresident applicant. A license issued in accordance with the procedure established under this subsection:
1. Remains in effect until the license expires under Section 411.183;
2. May be renewed under Section 411.185.
(A-1) *[repealed by Act effective September 1, 2005, 79th Leg., R.S., H.B. 225, §4.]
B. The governor shall negotiate an agreement with any other state that provides for the issuance of a license to carry a concealed handgun under which a license issued by the other state is recognized in this state or shall issue a proclamation that a license issued by the other state is recognized in this state if the attorney general of the State of Texas determines that a background check of each applicant for a license issued by that state is initiated by state or local authorities or an agent of the state or local authorities before the license is issued. For purposes of this subsection, “background check” means a search of the National Crime Information Center database and the Interstate Identification Index maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
C. The attorney general of the State of Texas shall annually:
(1) submit a report to the governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker of the house of representatives listing the states the attorney general has determined qualify for recognition under Subsection (b); and
(2) Review the statutes of states that the attorney general has determined do not qualify for recognition under Subsection (b) to determine the changes to their statutes that are necessary to qualify for recognition under that subsection.
D. The attorney general of the State of Texas shall submit the report required by Subsection (c)(1) not later than January 1 of each calendar year.
State Reciprocity and recognitions:
You may view the Texas reciprocity map issued by the Texas Department of Safety at txdps.state.tx.us/reciprocity.
A Texas Resident CHL is honored in all states listed below:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
A Texas Non-Resident CHL is honored in all states listed below:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Texas honors Resident Concealed Carry Permits from all states listed below: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Texas honors Resident and Non-Resident Concealed Carry Permits from all states listed below: Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington
A person who can legally possess a firearm may possess or carry a handgun in a motor vehicle (including a recreational vehicle with living quarters) and watercraft that is owned by or under the lawful control of the person. However, the firearm must be concealed, the person may not be engaged in criminal activity, and also may not be a member of “Criminal Street Gang.” The person may also carry the firearm to and from his vehicle without a license. See (Texas Penal Code 46.02 (a). Long guns (shotgun/rifle) can be transported in plain view.