Frequently Asked Questions about Open Carry of a Handgun in Texas

Open carry started January 1, 2016.

Can I lawfully open carry a firearm in Texas?

Yes, as of January 1, 2016, you can carry any handgun openly or concealed as long as you are licensed by Texas or a state with reciprocity. By law, the handgun must be carried in a "shoulder or belt holster." Long arms do not require a license.

What is Constitutional Carry?

Constitution Carry simply means that if you can LEGALLY posses a firearm, you should be able to legally carry that firearm without government permission. It does not mean that felons or violent criminals can carry firearms as defined by current law.

Can I open carry at my university or college?

No, while campus carry is legal as of August 1, 2016, it must remain concealed and you must have a handgun license. To get a license you must be at least 21 years of age. 

Can everyone open carry?

No, you must have a Texas License to Carry a Handgun (LTC) or a handgun license recognized by Texas, or qualify to carry under the Texas Constituional carry law.

I live out of state, can I open carry in Texas?

Yes. There are no residency restrictions to legal open carry as long as you possess a handgun license that is recognized in Texas or you qualify to carry under the Texas Constituional Carry law.

What do I need before I head out the door?

We strongly recommend you purchase Texas Law Shield Firearms Legal Defense Program here (prepaid legal services) if you are going to carry a firearm. It only costs about $13 per month for peace of mind.

Can I be arrested for open carry?

If you are carrying a handgun openly or concealed and an official asks you for identification, show the officer your state issued ID or drivers license and handgun license. This will limit your chances of being arrested.

Can I open carry in a vehicle?
Yes. You will need a license to carry a handgun and the handgun will need to be in a holster. If you do NOT have a license, you WILL need to keep your handgun concealed or be qualified to carry under the Texas Constituional Carry law.
Am I required to show ID if I'm stopped for open carrying?

Yes, if any official or law enforcement officer asks you for identification and you are carrying a handgun, you must show your license or ID and your handgun license.

Do local law enforcement officers know that open carry is legal?

Many do, but some don’t. Do not assume that someone who has been trained to enforce the law knows all of it. It is important to know and memorize the laws so that you can intelligently and articulately explain them to a law enforcement officer or curious individual.

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