Can I Be Stopped by Police for Open Carrying?

Texas is now a constitutional carry state, which gives legal handgun owners the ability to open carry without licenses. Generally, if you’re legally open carrying and not doing anything out of the ordinary, you’re not likely to draw any attention from law enforcement officials. However, there may still be instances when the police can stop you if you’re carrying openly. The firearms experts from Online Texas LTC, your top choice for Texas concealed carry online classes, explore this topic below.

Carrying Around an Unholstered Handgun

Police typically have a legal right to stop you in an open carry state like Texas if you’re carrying your handgun around without a holster. According to the Texas State Law Library, a gun that’s carried openly must be in a holster. Therefore, if a law enforcement officer sees an unholstered handgun sticking out of your backpack or back pocket, the officer has the right to stop you.

Open Carrying where It Isn’t Allowed

You may also be stopped by police if you’re open carrying in a place where open carry isn’t permitted. In Texas, this list includes:

  • Property belonging to institutions of higher education, including adjacent sidewalks and parking lots
  • Federal buildings
  • Courthouses
  • Locations with 30.07 signs posted
  • Any of the other Texas-prohibited locations for carrying firearms

Engaging in Questionable Activities

Additionally, police may have a valid reason to stop, question, or detain you if you’re engaging in questionable activities. Even if your handgun is in a holster as you’re open carrying, police typically have reason to stop you if the following circumstances apply:

  • You’re visibly intoxicated
  • You’re in a physical altercation with another person
  • You’re threatening an unarmed individual with your handgun
  • You’re in your vehicle and driving erratically with your handgun in your car or on your person in a holster
  • Any other reason where the officer can articulate reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed or is about to be committed

Carrying on Private Property where Open Carry Isn’t Permitted

Open carry is permitted in most public areas in Texas, except for what was mentioned above. However, private property owners have the right to prohibit open carry on their privately owned property, as may be the case with a private beach owned and operated by a hotel or resort. If there are visible signs on the property saying open carry isn’t permitted, police could stop you if they see you carrying openly on private property with such signage.

One way to brush up on handgun laws along with general usage and safety tips is to take a license to carry class. While an LTC is no longer required in Texas, these classes are a simple and effective way to gain essential knowledge and boost your confidence as a legal gun owner. Having an LTC also allows you to carry in more locations with fewer restrictions and added legal protections.

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 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.

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