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Don’t Get Stuck With a Weapons Charge: What You Need to Know About Open Carry Texas

By February 9, 2016December 9th, 2020Weapons Charges

On January 1, 2016, Texans were granted the right to openly carry handguns. Although the law has been criticized and enamored by many, there are some specific factors that you need to consider. In some cases, you may be ineligible for participation in open carry and could be charged with illegal possession of a firearm should you openly carry a gun. In addition, some media outlets have spread poor quality information about the law. Fortunately, most of the information can be broken down into what type of application and information is required, what requirements are in place, and special considerations for open carry.

The LTC License

Before the open carry law went into effect, Texans had the right to carry a concealed handgun with a concealed handgun license (CHL), asserts the Texas Department of Public Safety. However, the type of license changed. Instead of a CHL, those who want to carry openly must obtain a license to carry (LTC). This is basically the same type of license. For those who already had a CHL, the right to open carry is grandfathered in until the license expires.

Application Requirements of the LTC

Applicants for an LTC must be at least 21-years-old unless on active military duty. Additionally, applicants must meet the standard, federal requirements for purchasing a handgun. For example, those with a felony conviction are ineligible for the LTC.

All applicants must take an approved classroom training course of at least six hours, pass a written exam, and pass a “shooting” examination.

Applicants must submit to a federal background check through the use of electronic fingerprinting. Negative marks on the federal background check may result in ineligibility for a LTC. Additionally, certain events result in ineligibility as well, which are as follows:

  • Receiving a DWI results in ineligibility for a time period of five years.
  • Being delinquent on child support obligations.
  • Committing perjury (lying or not disclosing accurate information) on the application.

Special Considerations For Open Carry Texas

All persons with a LTC are required to carry the LTC on their person when openly carrying. A law enforcement official may request the document to be presented at any time, for any reason. Also, the law requires all openly carried handguns to be placed in a belt or holster to meet legal requirements.

Carrying a concealed handgun is still permissible with a LTC as long as the handgun is placed in a belt or holster. However, some places may have specific restrictions for openly carrying a handgun.

For example, handguns may not be permitted on college campuses, on the grounds of businesses that sale alcoholic beverages, at a correctional facility, at any governmental meetings, at polling places, at school, in airports, and many other places. Businesses are required to post explicit signage that prohibits open carry on the premises as well.

Although many of the requirements and special considerations of openly carrying a handgun in Texas seem standard, it’s important to remember that violations can and probably will result in a weapon’s charge. Above all else, remember that the right to bear arms does not automatically grant open carry on private businesses, and it is up to the business to allow or deny that action. By understanding how openly carrying a handgun is Texas is regulated, you can help to avoid incurring a costly weapons charge. To learn more about weapons charges in Texas, contact the Hampton Criminal Defense Attorneys, PLLC online or by phone at 817-435-2909 today.

Jeff Hampton

After getting his Juris Doctor from the University of Houston Law Center, Jeff Hampton began practicing criminal law in Texas in 2005. Before becoming a felony crimes lawyer, he worked as a prosecutor for the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office – experience he uses to anticipate and cast doubt on the arguments that will be used against his clients. Over the course of his career, he has helped countless Texans protect their rights and get the best possible outcome in their criminal cases. He has been named one of the 3 Best DUI Lawyers in Fort Worth, recognized by Expertise, National Trial Lawyers, Avvo, and others, and he is Lead Counsel rated.