Gun Control Laws in Texas

Texas has the most permissive gun control laws in the US. Certain gun types are still illegal such as explosive and automatic weapons, but when purchasing legal firearms there is no “cooling off “period. This means that you can buy a gun off the shelf and take it home with you. You do need a Concealed Handgun License (CHL) to carry a handgun outside your private property, but not a license to possess. There is even a movement to allow open carry of guns (Open Carry Texas) in public places which has recently stirred some fierce debating between gun control and right to bear arms advocates.

However, there are still restrictions in place dictating when and where guns may be carried legally which are not preempted by the possession of a CHL or by obtaining the permission of the property owner to carry a weapon. As discussed on the website of Ian Inglis Attorney at Law, failing to follow regulations embodied in the Texas Penal Code (§46.03 and §46.035) constitutes an unlawful weapons violation. Carrying a firearm is prohibited if the licensee is:

  • Intoxicated
  • At any event in any educational institution except in sporting events requiring the use of a handgun
  • At any racetrack
  • Inside any building or passenger vehicle owned by a public or private educational institution
  • In any establishment which derives 51% or more of its income from serving alcoholic beverages if a ban on firearms is posted conspicuously on the premises
  • In any secured area in any airport unless the firearm is legal, properly packaged, and subsequently checked in as baggage subject to regulations imposed by the airline and Transportation Security Administration
  • Within 1,000 feet of a correctional facility where an execution is scheduled for that time provided notice of the event is posted in a conspicuous manner
  • In any court or court-related office unless exempted by written regulations or authorization of the court
  • In any designated polling place on the day of an election

Firearms are also prohibited from the following areas provided oral or written notice is given in accordance with Texas Penal Code §30.06:

  • Amusement parks
  • Places of religious worship
  • Hospitals or nursing homes
  • Any meeting of any governmental body

If you have been charged with an unlawful weapons violation, you could be facing significant consequences. Contact a gun crime lawyer in the area to protect your rights and mount your defense.

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