Texas Laws Governing Carrying Guns in Parks

Texans who own firearms often prefer to take their guns with them when they leave the house. This is certainly an achievable goal thanks to the state’s firearms-friendly laws. However, there are some places where you may not be able to carry your firearm, either openly or concealed. In the Lone Star State, this applies to some parks, including local, state, and federal parks. Below, the firearms education pros from Online LTC, the experts to turn to if you want to take a high-quality license to carry Texas class, go over what applies in Texas when it comes to parks and firearms.

The Answer Is Generally “Yes”

In both state and local parks in Texas, you can usually bring your gun with you. However, you’ll need to be at least 21 years of age, according to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. This also applies to local parks that aren’t managed by the state.

Privately Owned & Managed Parks May Be an Exception

Be aware there may be unique circumstances or rules that apply in privately owned or managed parks. It’s also possible some privately operated parks may entirely prohibit firearms. Others may specifically restrict handguns, although this isn’t common. At the very least, privately owned parks may prohibit open carry. It’s important to note privately managed and owned properties are allowed to determine their own rules about such things, according to the Texas State Law Library.

Federally Leased Parks Are an Exception

According to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, handguns aren’t allowed in Texas parks leased directly from the federal government, but there’s a twist to mention here. There’s actually an exception to this exception. If there’s written authorization from the federal facility that’s leasing the park to the state, handguns may be allowed. Because of the potential for confusion here, you should check to see what applies before you go to a federally leased park in Texas with your firearm.

Check Park Rules & Regulations

It’s generally best to err on the side of caution and check what applies in any park where you’ll be bringing your handgun with you. Even if firearms are permitted, you’ll need to make sure your gun is in a properly secured holster. This applies to any other location in Texas as well, even with the state having a constitutional carry approach to handguns.

Be Responsible with Your Handgun

Because parks are generally considered family-friendly, it’s best to be careful with the areas where you carry your handgun. For instance, you wouldn’t want your handgun falling out of an unsecured holster while playing at the park. Your gun should be secured enough to withstand any activity you partake in 

Since state parks often have more land available for use, the good news is you’ll have more freedom with where you carry your handgun. This may also apply to other firearms as well, including long guns. 

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 an LTC class 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 512-675-2206.