Do I give up my right to conceal carry if I get a License to Carry?
No. This is incorrect information that has spread around, and has even been mistakenly taught by some instructors. There is no basis for this in law. Carrying a concealed handgun does not negate your right to openly carry a concealed handgun and vice versa. Additionally, it is still legal to openly carry a long arm without a license.
Can I open carry in a vehicle?
Yes. You no longer have to conceal your holstered firearm while in your vehicle provided you have a license. If you do NOT have a license, you WILL need to keep your handgun concealed. Keep in the mind that the handgun must be "on or about" your person. This generally means that you must be able to access the firearm without "materially having to change position" to retrieve it. In layman's terms, "within arm's reach." It still must be in a holster.
Can I be arrested for open carry?
You can be arrested for any reason or no reason in Texas. Unfortunately, there are some Texas law enforcement that believe in "you can beat the rap, but you won't beat the ride" justice. Open carry is not a basis for a non-consensual stop in Texas and cops that violate your rights can be held civilly liable.
What do I need before I head out the door?
We strongly recommend you purchase "gun insurance" (prepaid legal services) before you begin your OC journey. It only costs about $13 per month for peace of mind and protects you in the unfortunate event you need to use your weapon in self defense. Self Defense Fund (referral code "opencarry") and Firearms Legal Protection are sponsors of our efforts and we highly recommend them. We also recommend that you make sure you have a camera or a camera phone that can record video of any encounters with law enforcement, regardless of the type of encounter. Though negative encounters are becoming less common, this is for YOUR legal protection in court should you be unlawfully arrested or harassed.
Now that licensed open carry is legal in Texas, is there a need for Open Carry Texas?
Open Carry Texas is not a one-issue gun rights organization. As long as our rights are being infringed upon and groups exist to try and take them away, we are not going anywhere. Additionally, our ultimate goal is Constitutional Carry. We also want to greatly reduce the cost of the CHL, fix some of the minor, nonviolent offenses that cause you to lose or be ineligible to obtain a CHL, and continue to fight for greater preemption and protections of gun owners.
What is Constitutional Carry?
Constitution Carry simply means that if you can LEGALLY posses a firearm, you should be able to legally carry that firearm without government permission. It does not mean that felons or violent criminals can carry firearms as defined by current law.
Is a holster that hangs from the belt that also attaches to the leg legal?
Yes, provided it is attached to the belt, it meets the law requiring a "belt" holster.
Can I open carry on private property?
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 concealed carry. A business wanting to completely ban firearms is required to post both. However, if the owner requests removal of the weapon or asks you to leave the property, please respect his or her wishes. Failure to do so could result in the charge of Criminal Trespass and unlawful carry. Open Carry Texas respects private property rights and abides by business preferences by choosing to spend our money at gun friendly establishments. You can purchase "No guns=No money" cards in our store to hand to these anti-gun businesses to make them aware of lost revenue.
Do local law enforcement officers know that open carry is legal?
Many do, but some don’t. Do not assume that someone who has been trained to enforce the law knows all of it. It is important to know and memorize the laws so that you can intelligently and articulately explain them to a law enforcement officer or curious individual.
Am I required to show ID if I'm stopped for open carrying?
There is a lot of debate about this both in legal and constitutional circles. We don't believe so, based on the legislature's own words in passing the open carry law. It was included in the legislative intent which anyone can read for themselves HERE and HERE in their own words, that law enforcement cannot stop and demand an ID based solely on open carry. They can request it, but according to the legislature, they cannot demand it without PC or RS. You are not required to show an ID or a license to law enforcement unless you are suspected of committing a crime or volunteer to do so. Penal Code 38.02 makes this clear. It is important to ask the officer if you are suspected of committing a crime. He must have articulable circumstances that a crime was, is, or is about to be committed. Open carry is not solely a basis for demanding ID. If the people that MADE and PASSED the law say so, who is anyone else to say differently? Now, that said, it doesn't mean that there aren't power hungry bullies with badges that won't throw you in jail for daring to question their supposed authority. This is an area where individuals will have to determine for themselves if they want to stand up for their rights or do the easy thing and just ID.
Can my employer ban me from having a gun in my car at work?
No. According to Texas Labor Code section 52.061, an employer may not prohibit an employee who lawfully possesses a firearm or ammunition from transporting or storing a firearm or ammunition the employee is authorized by law to possess in a locked, privately owned motor vehicle in a parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area the employer provides for employees.
If I own or work at a 51% establishment, can I open or concealed carry?
Yes. According to Texas Penal Code 46.15(b)(7), the provisions of 46.02 and 46.03 do not apply to a person "holds an alcoholic beverage permit or license or is an employee of a holder of an alcoholic beverage permit or license if the person is supervising the operation of the permitted or licensed premises."
"A woman who demands further gun control legislation is like a chicken who roots for Colonel Sanders."
- Larry Elder
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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?
No, while campus carry is legal as of August 1, 2016, it must remain concealed and you must have a handgun license. To get a license you must be at least 21 years of age.
Can everyone open carry?
No, a person convicted of certain crimes cannot carry a firearm, and minors under 18 years old cannot openly carry without a parent present. Generally if you can lawfully possess a firearm, you can open carry with a license. Federal laws must also be considered when discussing the legality of firearm ownership.
I live out of state, can I open carry in Texas?
Yes. There are no residency restrictions to legal open carry as long as you possess a handgun license with Texas reciprocity.
Can my openly carried firearm be loaded?
Yes. The law makes no distinction between a loaded and an unloaded firearm. For safety purposes, we recommend every firearm be treated as if it were loaded.
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.
I heard there is additional training for open carry. Do I need to retake the class?
No, the new training will be added to the CHL 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 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 type of holster.
What kind of holster am I required to use and how can I carry it?
The law says clearly that openly carried handguns must be carried "in a shoulder or belt holster" that is "on or about the person." The law does not define what a "shoulder or belt holster" is, so this is largely left up for interpretation. To ensure you don't violate the law, use either a holster specifically designed to be worn around or hung from the shoulder or one that is attached the belt in some way.
Can I open carry using an inside the waistband (IWB) holster?
Yes, provided it is attached to the belt, it meets the law requiring a "belt" holster. You cannot open carry in your pocket, appendix or the small of your back without a holster.
Does my handgun have to be on me if it is visible in a vehicle?
No. The law states that a handgun that is in plain sight must be in a "belt or shoulder holster" that is "on or about the person." We can look at other cases in which "about the person" has already been defined by SCOTUS. In Ensor v. State, 403 So.2d 349 (Fla.1981), the court found that “on or about the person” means "physically on the person or readily accessible to him. This generally includes the interior of an automobile and the vehicle's glove compartment, whether or not locked." In the 1985 Christian v. State case before the Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas, the court defined “on or about the person” to mean "physically on the person or readily accessible to him. This generally includes the interior of an automobile and the vehicle's glove compartment, whether or not locked." Finally, in Harkness v. State, the Court of Appeals of Texas more clearly defined " on or about the person" to mean "within such distance...that he could get his hands on it without materially changing his position." So, as long as the handgun is in a belt or shoulder holster and is readily accessible without materially changing position, yes, you can have your gun next to you in a vehicle openly.
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Open Carry Texas (OCT) is a non-profit, 501(c)4 organization dedicated to the safe and legal carry of firearms openly in the state of Texas in accordance with the United States and Texas constitutions and other applicable laws. Donations are not tax deductible.