Texas LTC going away September 1?
Aug 25 2021
Over the past month, countless family, friends, and customers have asked some variation of the same question. “Why are you still offering LTC classes if it’s going away on September 1st?” My answer is always the same because the LTC program is not going away; constitutional carry is not replacing anyone’s ability to get a license. They generally follow up with, “Well, why would I want to get a license if I can carry without one?” I could write a thesis paper on why an LTC is still beneficial, but I won’t put anyone through that. When asked this question, I generally give three main reasons to consider getting an LTC.
- LTC holders get more rights. There are several instances where an LTC holder will be able to carry into a place prohibited to a non-license holder. And in many cases, a license holder is extended more grace if they accidentally carry into an off-limits place. Non-license holders are not afforded the same grace and can face stiffer penalties for doing so.
- Reciprocity: Texas LTC Out-of-State Recognition Of primary importance to many people is carrying a handgun for self-defense while traveling to other states. Most states will honor a Texas LTC, and several states have permitless carry. However, suppose you want to lawfully carry your handgun in the following states. In that case, you will be required to have an LTC: 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.
- Federal Gun-Free School Zones Generally, the Federal Gun-Free School Zone Act prohibits carrying a firearm within 1000 feet of a public, parochial, or private elementary, middle, or high school. However, there are several exceptions to this law. Primarily, this rule does not criminalize the carrying of a firearm by a person who holds a handgun permit or license from the state where the school is located. This means a person who carries a handgun in their vehicle while picking up or dropping off their child without a Texas LTC violates federal law, whereas a Texas LTC holder does not.
Bonus - School District Employees Who Have an LTC Are Protected If you are an employee of a school district and have been issued a Texas LTC, Texas law protects your right to keep a firearm and ammunition concealed in your locked motor vehicle while it is parked in a school parking lot. In fact, Texas law prevents the school district from imposing any duties, restrictions, or reporting requirements on where or how your firearms and ammunition are stored. However, these protections are not given to employees who do not possess a valid handgun license.
Aside from the above reasons, it’s essential to know the law if you plan on carrying a firearm. Especially laws concerning off-limits places and use of force in Texas. Remember, you can and most likely will be arrested for “accidentally” carrying into a prohibited location. Ignorance of the law is not a legal excuse. Even if you don’t intend on getting an LTC, we still recommend taking the class to learn these vital topics and more.
By Cassie Shockey, Customer Programs Manager & LTC Instructor
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