Texas Gun Laws

texas gun laws

Article 1, Section 23 of the State Constitution of Texas serves as the basis of Texas Gun Laws. It reads, “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.”

In general, Texas Gun Laws do not require permit to purchase, registration of guns and licensing of firearm owners. However, like most states, it requires a permit to carry from a person possessing a handgun outside his residence, place of business or real property.

Validity of Permits Issued Under Texas Gun Laws in Other Jurisdictions

The following states recognize permits issued under Texas Gun Laws:

  1. Alabama
  2. Alaska
  3. Arizona
  4. Arkansas
  5. Colorado
  6. Delaware
  7. Florida
  8. Georgia
  9. Idaho
  10. Indiana
  11. Iowa
  12. Kansas
  13. Kentucky
  14. Louisiana
  15. Michigan
  16. Minnesota
  17. Mississippi
  18. Missouri
  19. Montana
  20. Nebraska
  21. New Mexico
  22. North Carolina
  23. North Dakota
  24. Oklahoma
  25. Pennsylvania
  26. South Carolina
  27. South Dakota
  28. Tennessee
  29. Utah
  30. Vermont
  31. Virginia
  32. West Virginia
  33. Wisconsin
  34. Wyoming

On the other hand, permits issued from these states are honored by Texas Gun Laws:

  1. Alabama
  2. Alaska
  3. Arizona
  4. Arkansas
  5. California
  6. Colorado
  7. Connecticut
  8. Delaware
  9. Florida
  10. Georgia
  11. Hawaii
  12. Idaho
  13. Indiana
  14. Iowa
  15. Kansas
  16. Kentucky
  17. Louisiana
  18. Maryland
  19. Massachusetts
  20. Michigan
  21. Mississippi
  22. Missouri
  23. Montana
  24. Nebraska
  25. Nevada
  26. New Jersey
  27. New Mexico
  28. New York
  29. North Carolina
  30. North Dakota
  31. Oklahoma
  32. Pennsylvania
  33. Rhode Island
  34. South Carolina
  35. South Dakota
  36. Tennessee
  37. Utah
  38. Virginia
  39. Washington
  40. West Virginia
  41. Wyoming

Key Provisions of Texas Gun Laws

In addition to the general rules discussed in the beginning of this article, here is a quick discussion of the main rules and restrictions provided by Texas Gun Laws:

1. Purchasing long arms, ammunition, and components from states contiguous to Texas is allowed as long as there are no legal impediments present.

2. A person below 18 years old is not allowed to purchase or possess a firearm. However, if the possession came with a written consent from his parent or legal guardian, he is allowed to do so.

3. An individual under the influence of an intoxicating substance is prohibited from possessing or buying a firearm or ammunition.

4. A person is disqualified from securing a handgun permit or license to carry if he has the following in his record:

  • Felony conviction
  • Conviction in certain misdemeanors involving violence or unlawful possession of a gun
  • Membership in a street gang or organization that engages in illegal activities
  • Addiction to controlled or illegal substances
  • History of mental illness
  • Has delinquency in child support or in paying taxes

5. The possession of firearm in schools, government courts, meeting involving government officials, business establishments that derives 51% of their income from the sale of alcohol, professional sporting events, hospitals, amusement parks, churches, polling stations during elections, airports, correctional facilities and private properties where the possession of guns are prohibited is not allowed. Having a license to carry is not an exemption to this rule. However, law enforcement officials and other person authorized by law to carry firearms in public during their line of duty are exemptions to this prohibition.

6. Possessing, manufacturing, transporting, repairing or selling a machine gun, explosive weapon, silencer, armor-piercing round or short-barreled shotgun is unlawful. However, if the possession, manufacture, trade, transport, repair or modification of any of these complies with the requirements of the National Firearms Act, then it could serve as a valid defense.

7. The possession or display of a firearm in an offensive manner or in a manner that could cause alarm if prohibited.

8. Discharging a firearm in public or across a public road is illegal.

9. Storing a firearm that can be discharged in a place where a person below 17 years old has an easy access constitutes criminal negligence. A person below 17 years old is only allowed to possess a firearm when supervised by a person of at least 18 years of age for the purpose of lawful hunting, sporting and other activities not considered as unlawful.

Handgun Permit to Carry Requirements

Anyone who wishes to apply for a permit or license to carry a concealed handgun must fulfill the following conditions:

1. He must be at least 21 years old.

2. He must be able to provide proof of his residency in the State of Texas.

3. He must possess a handgun proficiency certificate issued by a qualified handgun safety course instructor or pass the handgun safety course required by the State.

4. He must have an affidavit that he has an understanding of the things prescribed and prohibited Texas Gun Laws.

5. The applicant must be able to fill up the form provided by the Department of Public Safety, submit all the supporting documents needed and pay the necessary fees.

6. He should pass the background check and he should not have any of the disqualifying factors related to the possession or ownership of a firearm or a handgun (refer to item number 4 of the preceding section).

Preemption

Texas Gun Laws reserve the power to regulate firearms, ammunition and its components to the State Legislature.