On Jan, 1st, 2016, Texas will become the 45th state to allow some form of “OPEN CARRY” of handguns. This means that Texas is changing its gun license from a CONCEALED HANDGUN LICENSE (“CHL”); to a LICENSE TO CARRY (“LTC”).
Many “uninformed citizens” are going to be caught off-guard next week if and when they start seeing people openly wearing handguns in public! Police officials don’t really expect to start seeing guns everywhere, but on Jan. 1st, some citizens are going to strap on their gun and go to Walmart, just because they CAN! Let’s face it, here in Texas some people think wearing their handgun in public… is a fashion statement!
Whether you’ve had your “CHL” for years, or just a citizen wondering what all the “hype” is about; your may find something useful in the information that follows. I’m not an expert, and this is not legal information; it’s just the information as I understand it. If we disagree, or if something isn’t clear, we’ll contact the DPPD for clarification!
EXACTLY…. WHAT IS CHANGING?
– The name is changing from Concealed Handgun License or “CHL”; to License to Carry, or “LTC”.
– Beginning January 1st, citizens all across the State of Texas may begin seeing people prominently and lawfully wearing handguns… outside their clothing.
– All current “CHL” holders will be “grandfathered” into the new “LTC” program. If you already have a valid “CHL” there is absolutely nothing you need to do. The “CHL” you are holding will now be referred to as a “LTC” or License to Carry. – – Beginning Jan. 1st, Texas will no longer issue new (or renewal) “CHL’s”; but begin issuing the new “LTC”, or License to Carry.
– The biggest change is that “licensed” gun owners are no longer required to hide or “conceal” the weapon they are carrying, but now have the option to carry that weapon openly (outside their clothing) or continue to carry in a concealed manner. If they choose to “open carry”, the law states that their weapon MUST BE IN A HOLSTER…worn on the shoulder or belt.
WHAT IS NOT CHANGING?
– The basic “CHL or LTC” laws, rules and regulations are not changing. Citizens still need a license to carry a handgun (openly or concealed) in the State of Texas. Laws concerning license eligibility, who can legally carry and where it is legal to carry have not changed. REMEMBER: This new law ONLY applies to handguns and to valid handgun license holders.
– ATTENTION: ALL VALID TEXAS HANDGUN LICENSE HOLDERS: Everywhere you can legally concealed carry now, you will be able to open carry after Jan. 1, 2016.
*It is already legal to openly display long-guns, shotguns and rifles in public; as long as it is done in a non-threatening or alarming manner. No license or permit is required.
SOME BASIC FIREARM LAWS OF THE STATE OF TEXAS
In Texas, it is generally illegal to carry a handgun outside of a person’s own premises*, however, there are several places where a person may possess a handgun legally without a license. *Assuming the person is legally allowed to possess a weapon.
INSTANCES WHERE NO LICENSE IS REQUIRED:
– A person who is legally allowed to possess a weapon does not need a license to carry a handgun at their residence.
– A person who is legally allowed to possess a weapon does not need a license to carry a handgun in their vehicle or boat. *The handgun can be loaded or unloaded, but must be concealed at all times.
– If the person has a valid “LTC”, the person may “open carry” in the vehicle if the handgun is in a shoulder holster or holster attached to the belt.
– A person who is legally allowed to possess a weapon does not need a license to carry a handgun when engaging in lawful fishing, hunting, or other sporting activity on the immediate premises where the activity is conducted, or is en route between the premises and the persons’ residence or motor vehicle, if the firearm is a type commonly used in the activity.
*Remember: * A person who is legally allowed to possess a weapon does not need a license to carry long-guns, shotguns and rifles in public; as long as it is done in a non-threatening or alarming manner.
ABSOLUTELY NO GUNS ALLOWED….
Under Texas Law… every handgun license holder knows that there are universally designated places where handguns are never allowed.
License holders may never carry guns onto the premises of schools, school-related functions (i.e. football games), courtrooms, secure areas of airports, polling places, and post offices. It is also illegal to carry into any business that receives at least 51 percent of it’s revenue from alcohol sales; as designated by a proper “51% sign at each entrance.
In most cases, parking lots, sidewalks and driveways are not included in the definition of “premises.”
Here are some pictures of people you will likely see everyday in Texas, starting on January 1st: (Facebook)