Permitless Carry Summary

Jun 15 2021

By Cassie Shockey

Permitless Carry is coming to Texas. Do you know who can carry under permitless carry, how handguns have to be carried, what locations are prohibited for Permitless Carry, or why an LTC might still be a good idea?

Don’t get caught carrying illegally. Read this article to learn the basics of permitless carry.

What is “Permitless Carry”?

Effective September 1, 2021, Texans who meet specific requirements are no longer required to have an LTC to conceal or open carry a handgun. To carry a firearm on or about your person, You must carry it either concealed (not wholly or partially visible) or open in a holster. When open carrying, the firearm MUST remain in the holster unless being used legally.

To carry without a license, you must

  1. Be 21 or older
  2. Must not be prohibited from possessing a firearm in a public place under Texas Law
    1. Not a felon
    2. Not convicted of assault family violence
    3. Not under specific protective orders
  3. Within the past five years, must not have been convicted of
    1. Assault causing bodily harm
    2. Deadly conduct
    3. Making terroristic threats
    4. Disorderly conduct - Discharging a firearm
    5. Disorderly Conduct - Displaying a firearm
  4. Must not be prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammo under federal law
    1. Not a felon
    2. Nt a fugitive from justice
    3. Not an addict - a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance.
    4. Not considered mentally defective - been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution.
    5. Illegal alien or non-exempt nonimmigrant alien.
    6. Not dishonorably discharged from the armed forces.
    7. Not renounced citizenship
    8. Not under specific protective orders
    9. Not a domestic abuser


Where is permitless carry prohibited?

The premises of:

  1. A school or educational institution. (highschool/college)
    1. School or educational institution transportation.
    2. Grounds where a school-sponsored activity is taking place. (sporting events)
  2. Polling place, including early voting.
  3. Courts and offices used by the court.
  4. Racetrack where pari-mutuel wagering takes place: horse or dog racing.
  5. *The secured area of airports (inside the metal detectors)
  6. Within 1000 feet of an execution site on the day a sentence is to be imposed.
  7. Bars (51% locations).
  8. Professional sporting events.
  9. Correctional facilities.
  10. Civil commitment facilities.
  11. Hospitals or nursing homes.
  12. Mental hospitals.
  13. Amusement parks.
  14. Room or rooms of an open meeting of a governmental entity.

These locations now have the option of providing notice that carry is prohibited on the premises under Texas Penal Code 46.03. Under this section of the penal code, even accidentally carrying onto the premises. Regardless of a posted sign or not, firearms are prohibited at these locations.

*License holders have a defense to prosecution when accidentally taking a firearm through airport security.


Texas Penal Code 30.05

Texas Penal code 30.05 now allows property owners to prohibit non-license holders from carrying on the premises. The sign must:

  1. Include language identical to or substantially similar to the following “pursuant to section 30.05, penal code (criminal trespass), a person may not enter this property with a firearm.”
  2. Include the above language in both Spanish and English
  3. Appear in contrasting colors with block letters at least one inch in height
  4. Be displayed in a conspicuous manner

These signs are effective against Permitless Carry and don’t impact license holders. 30.06 & 30.07 notice still applies to license holders.

Permitless Carry in Texas goes into effect on September 1st, 2021.


Why a license is still beneficial.

There are several reasons to get a Texas LTC.

  1. Reciprocity with other states. The following states require an LTC to carry: Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
  2. School Zones - carrying in a school zone without an LTC is against federal law.
  3. More straightforward firearm purchases - License holders are not required to wait for a NICS background check when purchasing from a dealer.
  4. School district employees - Texas law protects school district employees with an LTC who keep firearms or ammo in their locked vehicle on school property.
  5. Issues at airports - A license holder who accidentally leaves a firearm in a carry-on bag should avoid arrest for doing so, provided they depart immediately when notified they are in possession of a handgun. A non-license holder in the same situation could find themselves charged with a felony.
  6. Campus carry - Concealed carry on college/university campus is only allowed for license holders.

Sign up for an LTC class now to learn more about Texas weapon laws, Use of Force laws, and other information vital to firearm owners. https://shootsmart.com/texas-license-to-carry-classes.

Article written in cooperation with Texas Law Shield.

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