If you’re used to carrying your gun around in day-to-day life, it’s easy to forget about it when you stop by the store to grab some groceries. However, some grocery stores prefer that their customers don’t carry guns on their premises. Understanding what the law has to say about carrying guns in grocery stores will help you make smart decisions. The firearms education pros from Online Texas LTC, a premier provider of Texas online CHL classes, explain.
Carrying in a Grocery Store Will Depend on the Store’s Policy
Overall, there’s no law barring you from carrying your gun into a grocery store. As long as you can legally own a gun, you’re allowed to take the holstered handgun into the store with you. However, stores have the right to make their own rules. Stores are allowed to deny service or entry to customers who break their rules on guns. Some grocery stores may choose to ban all guns. Others, such as H-E-B stores, might have policies that say concealed carry is fine but open carry isn’t.
You Cannot Carry Your Gun in Bars
There’s one small exception to the idea of guns generally being allowed in grocery stores. In some areas, you might come across stores that are both bars for purchasing alcohol and spots for buying local produce and other groceries. If the business gets 51 percent or more of its income from selling alcohol for on-site consumption, you cannot carry a gun in that location. Therefore, if you’re going into a brewery to pick up some of their homemade jam, you’ll need to leave your gun in your vehicle.
Stores Have to Provide Appropriate Notice if They Ban Guns
The default assumption is that a gun is allowed when you’re traveling around in public. If a store wants customers to not bring guns in, they have to let you know it’s a problem. A grocery store can provide notice of a gun ban in multiple ways. They can post a sign by the entrance that clearly states guns aren’t allowed, and they can also notify you by having an employee talk to you about the gun ban or providing written notice of their gun ban. For license to carry holders, the signs posted must be either 30.06 for concealed carry or 30.07 for open carry. If carrying under permitless carry, also referred to as constitutional carry, any “no gun” sign would be a legal sign prohibiting guns in the location.
Carrying a Gun in a Store that Bans Them Is a Crime
Carrying a handgun past a legal “no gun” sign is a misdemeanor in Texas. If that location is a prohibited location under Texas law, it could become a felony. However, there are also protections for people who carry under a license to carry instead of permitless carry. If no sign is posted and the store provides you with a verbal or written warning, as long as you leave, you won’t face any charges (as long as it’s not a prohibited location). If you stay on the property after receiving notice through any form, it now also becomes a form of trespassing. You can be arrested and jailed. If you’re convicted of charges, you might face prison time or fines. Trespassing is usually a misdemeanor, but in some cases, it may be a felony that prohibits you from owning guns.
No matter where you’re choosing to carry a firearm, it’s essential to make sure you learn how to do it safely and follow the laws in your jurisdiction. Online Texas LTC is committed to providing the best firearms training possible. Whether you want to take a Texas license to carry online course or you simply want to learn how to shoot and handle a gun safely, Online Texas LTC has what you need. Give us a call today at 512-675-2124.