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- Texas Carry Academy
Who can carry a gun under the new law?
The law applies only to those 21 or older with a clean criminal record.
Who is excluded from the new law?
A Texan currently disqualified from possessing a firearm will still be prohibited under the new law. Lawmakers also raised the penalties for illegal weapons carried by felons and those convicted of family violence offenses.
The bill allows for the expunction of criminal records for unlawful carrying of a handgun in a nonprohibited place before the Sept. 1 start date.
How can a lawful person carry the gun?
Under the new law, a person can carry a handgun either concealed or carried openly in a holster.
The measure repealed the requirement that the holster must be a "belt or shoulder" holster, expanding the law to include belly bands, waistband holsters, ankle holsters, pocket holsters, thigh holsters and more.
Where can you carry a handgun without a permit?
Texans can carry handguns openly or concealed in public, most state government buildings and businesses that do not prohibit them.
The state already does not require a license to openly carry a long gun, and the open carry of handguns with a permit has been legal since 2016.
The new law does not change where guns are banned in the state, including:
A polling place while voting is taking place.
A government meeting open to the public.
A courthouse, except when specifically authorized to do so.
A place where a high school, collegiate or professional sporting or an interscholastic event is being held.
A correctional facility.
An access-controlled airport terminal.
An amusement park.
Can private businesses ban guns?
Churches and private businesses can continue to prohibit guns with written or verbal notice. They also have the discretion to ban open carry but allow the concealed carry of handguns.
If a gun owner is warned that they may not carry a gun on the businesses' premises, they must immediately depart or face a more severe penalty.
A person who carries a gun into a prohibited location can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor or third-degree felony.
Can handgun owners still obtain a license to carry?
Yes, gun owners can still obtain a license to carry in Texas, but it's not required.
Under the current law, Texans must pass a safety course and background check to get a license to carry. The new permitless carry law will strip that requirement.
The bill also directs the Texas Department of Public Safety to create a free, online gun safety course, but training is no longer required to carry a handgun.
What does this mean for background checks?
The law does not change background check requirements while purchasing a gun.
Firearm purchases through licensed gun dealers still require a background check unless the buyer has a license to carry. Gun purchases through private sellers do not require a background check.
A background check currently is required to obtain a license to carry a handgun, meaning that after Sept. 1, a background check no longer will be required to obtain and carry a handgun.
Can a law enforcement officer detain someone for carrying a gun?
It's not clear if a law enforcement officer can stop someone solely for carrying a handgun.
The Texas Senate stripped a House amendment that would have banned peace officers from making a stop "solely because the person is carrying a partially or wholly visible handgun in a holster."
State. Rep. Matt Schaefer, a Tyler Republican and the bill's author, has said it will depend on how the courts interpret a portion of the bill that says an officer "acting in the lawful discharge of the officer's official duties may disarm a person at any time the officer reasonably believes it is necessary for the protection of the person, officer or another individual."
Is Texas the only state that allows unlicensed carry?
Texas will join at least 20 other states where handguns can be carried without a permit. However, if you want to carry your handgun in a license-only state, it's likely that you'll still need a Texas license.
Read the enrolled version of the bill here.