Texas OPEN CARRY IS NOW LEGAL as of JANUARY 1st 2016
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Can I lawfully open carry a firearm in Texas?
Yes, as of January 1, 2016, you can carry any handgun openly or concealed as long as you are licensed by Texas or a state with reciprocity. By law, the handgun must be carried in a "shoulder or belt holster." Long arms do not require a license.
Can I open carry at my university or college?
The new law changes the name of our Texas Concealed Handgun License to a Texas “License To Carry,” or LTC. The great news for current license holders is that there are no other changes to a license holder’s currently-held handgun license or their ability to carry a concealed handgun. There are no new requirements that a current license holder receive any additional training, obtain a new license, or carry a concealed handgun in a holster (though new applicants will be required to undergo training on the use of holsters as part of their initial license training).
Starting January, a license holder will be able to lawfully carry a visible handgun in a belt or shoulder holster anywhere the license holder can currently carry a concealed handgun, with one significant exception. Campuses of public or private institutions of higher learning (i.e. colleges, universities, and technical institutes) are “no open carry” zones. In a compromise made to ensure the passage of separate “campus carry” legislation, the Texas Legislature has decided that a license holder can only carry concealed handguns while on college or university sidewalks, walkways, streets, parking lots, parking garages, and buildings (as of August 1, 2016 for colleges, universities, and technical institutes, or August 1, 2017 for public junior colleges).
The unlicensed open carry of a handgun in places other than one’s premises, vehicle/watercraft, or premises under one’s control will continue to be considered “unlawful carrying of a weapon,” a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a $4,000 fine and/or up to a year in county jail.1
I live out of state and have a license to carry, can I open carry in Texas?
Yes. There are no residencies restrictions to legal open carry as long as you possess a handgun license. You MUST adhere to the rules and laws of the state you are visiting
I already have a CHL. Will I need to get another license to open carry?
No. Your concealed handgun license will "qualify" you to openly carry a handgun. The CHL will become just a handgun license referred to as an LTC.
Is there additional training for open carry. Do I need to retake the class?
No, the new training will be added to the LTC classes as mandated by the law for those required to take the class. No additional training required for current CHL holders.
Am I required to use a "retention holster”
No. While we HIGHLY recommend a retention holster to better ensure that your firearm remains secure while carried openly or concealed, there is no requirement to have any specific holster, However NEW applicants must go through the new covered training of holsters,
Can Peace Officers require you to present CHL and ID for open carry?
YES. As might be imagined, the open carry bill did not get through the Texas Legislature without some controversy. An amendment to restrict a police officer’s ability to stop and verify that a person who is carrying a handgun is licensed to do so (or falls under some other exception) was initially put into the bill to prevent possible police abuses of open carriers (Dutton Amendment), but was later removed by the Legislature’s conference committee to ensure that the bill would pass. This means that a police officer who sees a person in a public place with a handgun may detain them to determine if they are exempted from the general prohibition against carrying a handgun without a license. If a person is stopped by a police officer, and the officer asks to see ID, the LTC holder is obliged to show the officer both their ID and LTC. Once the person is verified to be in possession of a valid LTC, the police encounter should end.
Sec. 411.205. REQUIREMENT TO DISPLAY LICENSE.
If a license holder is carrying a handgun on or about the license holder's person when a magistrate or a peace officer demands that the license holder display identification, the license holder shall display both the license holder's driver's license or identification certificate issued by the department and the license holder's handgun license.
(CLASS C Misdemeanor) *************** SEE PAGE TAB - HARRIS COUNTY DA ******
Sec. 411.206. SEIZURE OF HANDGUN AND LICENSE. (a) If a peace officer arrests and takes into custody a license holder who is carrying a handgun under the authority of this subchapter,the officer shall seize the license holder's handgun and license as evidence.
(b) The provisions of Article 18.19, Code of Criminal Procedure, relating to the disposition of weapons seized in connection with criminal offenses, apply to a handgun seized under this subsection.
(c) Any judgment of conviction entered by any court for an offense under Section 46.035, Penal Code, must contain the handgun license number of the convicted license holder. A certified copy of the judgment is conclusive and sufficient evidence to justify revocation of a license under Section 411.186(a)(4).
Do I give up my right to open carry if I get a concealed handgun permit?
No. One you have completed the CHL (LTC- License To Carry) you can carry either way.
Can I open carry on private property?
Yes. As the owner or a representative of the property and does not have to be concealed NOR are you required to have a license to carry as long as you are not hired for security purposes.
Can I open carry in a vehicle?
THE WEAPON MUST BE IN A HOLSTER (BELT OR SHOULDER) ON YOUR BODY even in your vehicle if you chose to open carry.
*** FURTHER You MAY carry a loaded firearm in your vehicle CONCEALED without a license to carry.
Do businesses have the right to refuse entry?
YES. Businesses can refuse entry with concealed carry and Open carry. The 30.06 for concealed carry must be present and in clear view upon entry and IF the business DOES not want open carry, The 30.07 sign must be placed in the same manner. A BUSINESS CAN REFUSE OPEN CARRY WHILE ALLOWING CONCEALED CARRY.
Yes, provided the property does not display a 30.07 sign. The 30.07 sign will ban open carry, while the 30.06 sign will still apply to ban concealed carry. A business wanting to completely ban firearms is required to post both.
** However, On January 1st 2016, If you do carry a weapon onto property displaying either sign, A representative of the business must advise you verbally to exit and secure the weapon. This becomes a CLASS C misdemeanor BUT if you refuse to leave you will be charged with a class A misdemeanor of Criminal Trespass by a licensed holder and will have your CHL/LTC revoked.
if the owner requests removal of the weapon or asks you to leave the property, please respect his or her wishes and your credibility as a good citizen. I great deal of your time and money was spent getting this license to carry... Do not lose it due to poor choices.
The New “30.07” sign
In anticipation of the potential for alarm that openly-carried handguns might cause, the Texas Legislature also enacted a new law that acts as an open-carry duplicate to Texas Penal Code 30.06 (criminal trespass by a license holder carrying a concealed handgun). The new Texas Penal Code Sec. 30.07 allows private property owners to restrict the open carry of handguns by license holders on their property by posting a new “30.07” sign or giving written or verbal “30.07” trespassing notice. If a property owner wishes to prevent license holders from carrying either concealed or open handguns on their property, they must post both a “30.06” sign and a “30.07” sign.
An unexpected benefit of the debate over the “open carry” bill is that it resulted in lowering the potential penalty for anyone accused of violating a “30.06” sign from a Class A misdemeanor (punishable by up to a year in county jail and/or a $4,000 fine) to a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by a maximum fine of $200 only. This is the penalty for the new 30.07 law as well. This means that even if a license holder is convicted of trespassing in violation of a property owner’s “30.06” or “30.07” sign. However,if a license holder is given a personal, verbal “30.06” or “30.07” warning such as “we don’t allow guns in here” or “you are not allowed to open carry in here,” and the license holder refuses to leave or conceal their handgun, the potential penalty remains a Class A misdemeanor.
Senate Bill 273 Effective September 1, 2015
Relating to certain offenses relating to carrying concealed handguns on property owned or leased by a governmental entity; providing a civil penalty.
Prohibits a state agency or political subdivision from posting signs stating where CHL holders are prohibited from carrying a concealed handgun on the premises, unless specifically prohibited by Texas Penal Code 46.03 and 46.035.
Provides a civil penalty to a state agency or political subdivision if falsely notifying a CHL holder that entering or remaining on certain governmental premises, leased or owned, is illegal.
Limits the scope of the governmental meeting prohibition by restricting it to the specific room or rooms in which the meeting is being held, and to public meetings for which notice is required under the Open Meetings Act.
This means that if a building is USED for commercial AND Government services, PROHIBITING the carrying of handguns is UNLAWFUL unless all business in the building agree to post the 30.06 and 30.07 signs.
EXAMPLE…. County building which has a tax office, court….. AND has a coffee shop, gift store or any other private business cannot prohibit the carrying of a weapon simply because it is a “Government building” you still CANNOT carry into those offices, however you CAN in fact carry into the building.
The building owner, County or municipal owners can receive a civil penalty for just posting the signage.