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GUN LAWS  

Texas Gun Laws

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

STATE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION - Article 1, Section 23.

“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.”

Gun Laws Overview

RIFLES & SHOTGUNS HANDGUNS
Permit to Purchase No No
Registration of Firearms No No
Licensing of Owners No No
Permit to Carry No Yes

The list and map below are included as a tool to assist you in validating your information.  We have made every effort to report the information correctly, however reciprocity and recognition agreements are subject to frequent change.  The information is not intended as legal advice or a restatement of law and does not include:  restrictions that may be placed on non-resident permits, individuals under the age of 21, qualifying permit classes, and/or any other factor which may limit reciprocity and/or recognition.  For any particular situation, a licensed local attorney must be consulted for an accurate interpretation.  YOU MUST ABIDE WITH ALL LAWS: STATE, FEDERAL AND LOCAL.

Texas only honors licenses or permits of individuals who are 21 years of age or over.  

STATE STATUS
Castle Doctrine Enacted
No-Net Loss No Legislation
Right to Carry Confidentiality Provisions Enacted
Right to Carry in Restaurants Partial Ban
Right To Carry Laws Shall Issue
Right To Carry Reciprocity and Recognition Conditional Recognition
Right to Keep & Bear Arms State Constitutional Provisions With Provisions
Concealed Carry Reciprocity
Select Map
Click on a State to see the Gun Law Profile

 

Laws on Purchase, Possession and Carrying of Firearms

Antiques and Replicas

Antique or curio guns manufactured before 1899 and replicas thereof which do not use rim fire or center fire ammunition are not included in the definition of “firearm” as it is used in Texas Penal Code Title 10, Chapter 46, which governs weapons.

Carry

A person commits an offense of unlawfully carrying a weapon if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries a handgun on or about his or her person unless the person is on one's own premise or premises under the person's control or inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle that is owned by the person or under the person's control. 

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A person applying for a license to carry a handgun must apply by obtaining a request for application materials from a handgun dealer, the Department of Public Safety, or any other person approved by the department.  The Department of Public Safety shall review all applications materials and make a preliminary determination as to whether or not the individual is qualified to receive a handgun license. The Department will forward application materials to qualified applicants, or send written notification with the reasons that that the preliminary review indicates the individual is not qualified to receive a license.  On receipt of the application materials a criminal history record check is conducted by the Department of Public Safety.  The Department must issue or deny the license within 60 days of receipt of the completed application. The Department must be notified within 30 days of a name or address change.

A new license expires on the first birthday of the license holder occurring after the fourth anniversary of the date of issuance.  A renewed license expires on the license holder's birthday, five years after the date of expiration of the previous license.

It is unlawful for a handgun license holder to carry a handgun on the premises of: a government court; a business that derives 51 percent or more of its income from the sale of alcohol for on-premises consumption; a school; a hospital or nursing home; an amusement park; a place of religious worship with actual notice that carrying is prohibited; a polling place on the day of an election; a meeting of a governing body; a race track; a secured area of an airport; a correctional facility; a correctional facility or within 1000 feet of such, on the day of an execution; the property of another after receiving notice that concealed handguns are forbidden on that property.  It is unlawful to possess a firearm in a penal institution.

It is unlawful for a handgun license holder to carry a handgun while intoxicated.  It is unlawful for a handgun license holder to carry a handgun openly on the premises of an institution of higher education. 

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Machine Guns

It is unlawful to possess, manufacture, transport, repair or sell a machine gun, explosive weapon, short-barreled firearm, or silencer.  Federal registration of such an item under the National Firearms Act is a defense to this prohibition.

Miscellaneous

A violation of the state’s firearms laws that occurs within 300 feet of a school or on premises where a school function is taking place shall result in an increased punishment.

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It is unlawful to display a firearm in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm.

It is unlawful to discharge a firearm in a public place or on or across a public road.

It is unlawful to possess, manufacture, transport, repair or sell handgun ammunition that is designed primarily for the purpose of penetrating metal or body armor and to be used principally in pistols and revolvers.

A municipality may not adopt regulations relating to the transfer, private ownership, keeping, transportation, license or registration of firearms, ammunition, or firearms supplies.

It is unlawful to possess, manufacture, transport, repair or sell a zip gun (i.e. a device not originally a firearm that is adapted to expel a projectile using an explosion or burning substance.)

A person commits an offense if a child under 17 gains access to a readily dischargeable firearm and the person with criminal negligence failed to secure it or left it in a place to which the person knew or should have known the child would gain access.  It is an affirmative defense if the access was supervised by a person older than 18 and was for hunting, sporting, or other lawful purposes; consisted of lawful defense of people or property; was gained by entering property unlawfully; or occurred during a time when the actor was engaged in an agricultural enterprise.

A municipality, county or other subdivision of the state may not bring suit against a firearms or ammunition manufacturer, trade association, or seller for recovery of damages resulting from, or injunctive relief or abatement of a nuisance relating to, the lawful design, manufacture, marketing, or sale of firearms or ammunition to the public.

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Purchase

A Texas resident, if not otherwise precluded by law, may purchase rifles and shotguns, ammunition, reloading components, or firearms accessories in contiguous states.

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It is unlawful to sell, rent, loan or give a handgun to any person if it is known that the person intends to use it unlawfully.  It is unlawful to knowingly sell, rent, give or offer to sell, rent or give any firearm to a person under 18 years of age, without the written consent of his parent or guardian. It is unlawful to knowingly or recklessly sell any firearm or ammunition to any person who is intoxicated.

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Possession

No state license is required to possess a rifle, shotgun or handgun.  There are restrictions on possession by a person: convicted of a felony or a Class A misdemeanor involving the person’s family or household; or subject to certain orders issued under the Family Code or Code of Criminal Procedure.

Preemption

Tex. Local Gov't Code § 229.001 (2002)
A municipality may not adopt regulations relating to the transfer, private ownership, keeping, transportation, licensing, or registration of firearms, ammunition, or firearm supplies.

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Tex. Local Gov't Code §  229.001 

§  229.001.  Firearms; Explosives

(a) A municipality may not adopt regulations relating to the transfer, private ownership, keeping, transportation, licensing, or registration of firearms, ammunition, or firearm supplies.

  (b) Subsection (a) does not affect the authority a municipality has under another law to:

 (1) require residents or public employees to be armed for personal or national defense, law enforcement, or another lawful purpose;

 (2) regulate the discharge of firearms within the limits of the municipality;

  (3) regulate the use of property, the location of a business, or uses at a business under the municipality's fire code, zoning ordinance, or land-use regulations as long as the code, ordinance, or regulations are not used to circumvent the intent of Subsection (a) or Subdivision (5) of this subsection;

   (4) regulate the use of firearms in the case of an insurrection, riot, or natural disaster if the municipality finds the regulations necessary to protect public health and safety;

   (5) regulate the storage or transportation of explosives to protect public health and safety, except that 25 pounds or less of black powder for each private residence and 50 pounds or less of black powder for each retail dealer are not subject to regulation; or

   (6) regulate the carrying of a firearm by a person other than a person licensed to carry a concealed handgun under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, at a:

     (A) public park;

     (B) public meeting of a municipality, county, or other governmental body;

     (C) political rally, parade, or official political meeting; or

      (D) nonfirearms-related school, college, or professional athletic event.

   (c) The exception provided by Subsection (b)(6) does not apply if the firearm is in or is carried to or from an area designated for use in a lawful hunting, fishing, or other sporting event and the firearm is of the type commonly used in the activity. 

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.