“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.”


Texas is a shall-issue state. There is no permit, background check or registration required when buying from a private individual. Open carry is only legal with a License to Carry (LTC). The minimum age is 21 years old or 18 years old for active-duty military. Concealed carry is legal for residents with a LTC. Texas honors permits from states that meet specific criteria. Texas is a Castle Doctrine and “stand your ground” state. There is no duty to retreat.

Reciprocal Carry

By statute, Texas will recognize another state’s license to carry if that state recognizes Texas’ license:

“The governor shall negotiate an agreement with any other state that provides for the issuance of a license to carry a concealed handgun under which a license issued by the other state is recognized in this state or shall issue a proclamation that a license issued by the other state is recognized in this state if the AG of the State of Texas determines that a background check of each applicant for a license issued by that state is initiated by state or local authorities or an agent of the state or local authorities before the license is issued.”

Since there is no national carry license, as with the other states, some states are reciprocal with Texas and some are not. Anyone contemplating reciprocal carry should check with the official list maintained by the Texas AG at the point in time the reciprocal carry is to occur.

Duty To Notify Police Officer

If a license holder is carrying a handgun on or about the license holder’s person when a LEO demands that the license holder display identification, the license holder must display both their license to carry and driver’s license.

Carrying Firearms In Vehicles

Texas permits anyone who is legally allowed to possess firearms to carry them in vehicles without a permit. People without permits must keep handguns concealed and out of sight when in vehicle.

NFA Items

Texas permits ownership of all NFA items, provided they are legally obtained pursuant to federal law. It is legal to use suppressors for hunting.

Self-Defense Laws

Texas has both Castle Doctrine and SYG laws. There is no duty to retreat from any place You have a legal right to be. You may use force, including deadly force, in defense of yourself or others if You reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death, SBI, the commission of a forcible felony, or to stop the unlawful & forcible entry into a dwelling, place of business, or occupied motor vehicle.

Carry In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

Only if you possess a valid concealed handgun license/permit and the establishment derives less than 51% of its income from the sale of alcohol for onsite consumption. If there is a “No Gun Sign,” You are prohibited from carrying into the establishment. You are prohibited from carrying while You consume alcohol or are under the influence of alcohol.

Do “No Gun Signs” Have The Force Of Law?

If a property or establishment has a “No Guns” sign or the person in lawful possession communicates to You that guns are not allowed, You are prohibited from carrying on the property or into the establishment. Failure to obey such signs or verbal warnings constitutes trespass.

Open Carry

Open carry is legal in Texas, but You must have a license to carry issued by Texas or a permit/license that Texas honors. If open carrying, the firearm must either be in a shoulder holster or a belt holster. LEOs have the authority to ask if You have a permit/license to carry when open carrying. If asked, You must display Your license/permit.

Open carry is not allowed on the campuses of any four-year public college/university/Jr. or community colleges. Beginning August 1, 2017 public four-year universities and public two-year colleges must allow concealed carry in campus buildings. Universities are allowed to designate certain sensitive areas as “gun free zones.”

DISCLAIMER: The Gun Laws by State Guide (GLBSG) was created to provide its readers with a general educational resource tool to explore the pertinent gun laws in Your jurisdiction.

However, the GLBSG was not researched and/or written by attorneys as a specific legal guide to rely upon. Instead, it is a starting point for your own research. In addition, all laws are always subject to reasonable, but different, legal interpretation as to meaning and application.

As such, the GLBSG is not intended to supplant, nor limit, Your need for independent verification of any and all material contained herein and consultation with competent counsel of choice regarding any specific issues.

This type of specific legal analysis is necessarily beyond the general educational objective of the GLBSG and for which a bar-admitted attorney in the particular state(s) is needed and required. The content of this GLBSG is a general restatement of the law.

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