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Texas Gun Laws- Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What does the “right to bear arms” imply?

A.

The right to bear arms, as established by the Second Amendment, formally reads as - 

A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”


There have been many debates on the meaning of this amendment and it has been interpreted in several ways in Supreme Court rulings. While some believe that the phrase "the right of the people to keep and bear arms" creates a constitutional right for the US citizens, others opine that "a well-regulated Militia" intends to restrict Congress from legislating away a state's right to self-defense. You may read more about it here

Q. What are Texas gun laws?

A.

Texas has several laws that govern the use of firearms and are listed in the Texas Penal Code. Chapter 9, Subchapters C & D refer to the  "stand your ground" and "castle doctrine" laws and throw light on the use of deadly force for self-defense, defense of others, and defense of property. 

Sections 30.06 - 30.07 discuss trespassing with an openly carried or concealed firearm by those who have been notified that firearms are prohibited on the property. The requirement of signage for Texas Gun Laws to restrict firearms on a property is also covered in the statutes.

Section 42.01, or "Disorderly Conduct," describes the criminal offense of discharging or displaying a firearm in certain situations.

Chapter 46 defines firearms and other types of weapons anddescribes the criminal offenses related to carrying, buying, and selling firearms. 

You may refer to this resource to find information about carrying and using handguns.

Q. Can an action be taken against a person who violates a gun-free policy?

A.

Person violating a property’s gun policy may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the situation. Non-LTC holders may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony for carrying a handgun by businesses that hold a liquor/beer permit but are not 51% establishments. 


51% businesses like bars can cause both LTC and non-LTC holders to be charged with a serious felony for carrying a firearm into the establishment. Places with 30.06 and 30.07 signs can invite a Class A or a Class C Misdemeanor for LTC holders depending on their location. For instance, there are stricter penalties for violation in places such as amusement parks, hospitals, etc. compared to other places.

Q. Which types of firearms can be legally purchased in the state?

A.

Texas allows the purchase and possession of most types of weapons. However, rifles with a barrel length of less than 16”, shotguns with a barrel length of less than 18”, machine guns, and silencers are generally prohibited. The legal age to purchase a rifle stands at 18 years of age and 21 years of age for a rifle. These must be purchased from a licensed dealer. 

Q. Can anyone purchase a firearm in Texas?

A.

No, certain groups of people are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms. These include felons and perpetrators of domestic violence. Before selling a firearm, the requirement of background checks is also relatively lenient in Texas, where private sales and selling to concealed handgun license holders do not require dealers to conduct a background check.

Q. Can employers prohibit employees from carrying a gun to the workplace?

A.

Employers can prohibit employees from carrying guns to the workplace as long as they provide reasonable notice about the prohibition. This notice can be provided orally or in writing as part of the employee handbook and clearly posted state-compliant gun signs. It is recommended to use both oral and written communication to secure better compliance.

Q. Have there been any recent changes to Texas gun laws?

A.

Yes, there have been changes to the gun laws in Texas, and many of these ease the restrictions on carrying guns in public. As per these changes, landlords cannot prevent tenants or their guests from carrying a firearm, licensed gun owners can carry handguns in places of worship, and there’s no longer a cap on how many school marshals can carry guns in public schools.

Additionally, gun owners are allowed to carry concealed firearms without a license for up to 48 hours when leaving an area in the event of a mandatory evacuation order.

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