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Texas Gun Rights

An Overview of Firearms Laws in the Lone Star State

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Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms?

Yes. 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.

Concealed Carry

Texas is a shall-issue state, meaning authorities are required by law to issue carry permits to all qualified applicants. Qualified applicants must be at least 21 years of age, or an active member of the U.S. military. Applicants must successfully complete state-certified handgun training before becoming eligible for a carry permit.

Persons who are denied carry permits in Texas include anyone with a criminal record, anyone who is of “unsound mind” or “chemically dependent,” anyone who is delinquent in paying child support, fines or other payments, and anyone who is the subject of an order of protection.

Application for carry permits in Texas is made through the state Department of Safety. The cost is $140, except for senior citizens, who can receive a carry permit for a cost of $70. Active or retired law enforcement officers can receive a carry permit for $25.

Texas’ carry permits are honored by the following states: 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 and Wyoming.

Texas honors carry permits from the states of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.

Castle Doctrine

Texas has a self-defense law based on the castle doctrine. The law has a “stand your ground” clause, meaning the person using physical or deadly force against an attacker does not have a duty to retreat. Deadly force is permissible under the law when a person is attempting to defend himself from deadly force of an attacker in his home, vehicle or place of employment, or against attackers who are committing crimes of kidnapping, murder, sexual assault or robbery.

The law provides civil immunity to persons who use authorized deadly force against attackers.

Pro-Gun Provisions

Texas has a state firearms preemption law that prevents cities or counties from enacting gun laws that are more restrictive than state law. The state also has a range protection law that extends protection to gun firing ranges.

Open carry is not permissible in Texas.

Restrictions

  • Gun bans: None.
  • Waiting period for gun purchases: None.
  • Licenses or permits required to purchase guns: None.
  • Registration of guns required? No.

Following is a list of places in Texas where gun possession is off limits, with or without a permit to carry:

  • Schools
  • Courtrooms
  • Election polling places
  • Racetracks
  • Airports
  • Sporting events
  • Establishments where the primary business is the sale of alcohol for on-premises consumption.
  • Any establishment posting signs barring guns.

 

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