Carrying a firearm in public is legal in Texas, with some restrictions. However, in the wake of recent events, particularly the violence that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, concerns have arisen about allowing people to carry guns at or near public demonstrations. The firearms education pros from Online LTC, a premier provider of LTC and CHL online classes, explain the current Texas laws that govern carrying guns at public demonstrations as well as changes that have been proposed.
Currently, in Texas, people can legally carry guns in public. Long guns, such as shotguns and rifles, can be openly carried without a license, but a person can only legally carry a handgun in public (meaning not on his or property, including vehicles he or she owns) if he or she has a license. There are no exceptions to these rules for certain types of gatherings, including protests and public demonstrations. However, Texas law prohibits carrying firearms in specific locations accessible to the public. For example, it’s illegal to carry guns at polling places, schools, and courthouses.
Texas Senate Bill 311
Texas Senator Sarah Eckhardt has proposed Senate Bill 311, which would make it illegal for a person to display a firearm within 500 feet of a public demonstration, defined by the bill as a place where one or more people are “demonstrating, picketing, speechmaking, marching, holding a vigil, or engaging in any other similar conduct that involves the communication or expression of views or grievances and that has the effect, intent, or propensity to attract a crowd or onlookers.” The measure adds to existing law, which already makes it illegal to use profane language, offensive gestures, or chemical or noxious odors or to make threats or unreasonable noise, fight, discharge a firearm, or expose genitals in a public place.
SB 311 makes allowances for Texas armed forces, law enforcement, and security officers who possess personal protection authorizations. If the bill is passed and signed into law, it will take effect on September 1st, 2021.
If you’re carrying a firearm in Texas, it’s essential to make sure you learn how to do it safely and follow all the applicable laws. Online Texas LTC is committed to providing the best firearms training available. Whether you want to take a Texas LTC class online to get your carry permit or you simply want to learn how to shoot and handle a gun safely, Online Texas LTC has exactly what you need. Give us a call today at 512-675-2124.