Texas residents now have a right to carry handguns in public — no license, permit, or test required. What else should you know?
Guns can be harmful, which is why allowing their use has been a controversial issue for decades. However, many Texans are strong advocates of the Second Amendment. They believe they should be able to carry a gun in public.
So do lawmakers. On June 17, 2021, Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law a bill HB 1927 that took effect on September 1, 2021, allowing Texas citizens over the age of 21 to carry handguns in public. There are no hoops to jump through. The gun owner does not need a license or permit. Not even a test is required.
However, there are some restrictions, so if you are interested in carrying a handgun in public, you need to know if any of them apply to you. Otherwise, you could still be charged with a weapons offense. And given that most weapons offenses are felonies that will follow you for the rest of your life, that is not something you want on your criminal record.
Even though the permitless carry bill allows you to carry a gun, it is recommended that Texas residents still get a license to carry. This allows you to carry a handgun at an airport, at certain businesses, at government meetings, on university campuses, and at amusement parks, nursing homes, and hospitals. In addition, if you do not have a license, you are prohibited from carrying a handgun while intoxicated.
Restrictions to HB 1927
Here are some details you should know about this permitless carry law:
- Only qualified Texas residents and nonresidents are eligible
- The handgun must be in a holster.
- The gun can be carried openly or concealed.
- The law does not allow you to possess or carry handguns if you are prohibited from possessing guns under state or federal law.
You cannot carry a handgun under the new law if you have been convicted of one of these misdemeanor offenses in the last five years:
- Assault causing bodily injury
- Deadly conduct
- Terroristic threats
- Disorderly conduct by displaying or discharging a firearm
It is up to you to know the laws of where you can and cannot carry a firearm. For example, you cannot carry your handgun to places where license holders cannot carry it. There are no requirements to post a warning sign.
Also, keep in mind that federal law generally prohibits possession of firearms within 1,000 feet of school property. The only exception is for those who are licensed to do so by the state, but this does not apply to those who are simply complying with HB 1927 and other state laws.
Contact Our Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Today
While you do not need a permit to carry a handgun in Texas, you do need to be aware of the other laws involved. Otherwise, you could be accused of unlawful carry of a weapon and other weapons offenses.
Make sure you understand the laws that apply. The Austin criminal defense lawyers at Granger and Mueller PC can help. To schedule a consultation with our office, call (512) 474-9999 or fill out the online form.