Texas is an open carry state, but when carrying in public, you may prefer or need to carry your gun so it’s property concealed. As for what “concealed” means, it includes holstered or unholstered guns that aren’t plainly visible. The short answer is yes, a holstered gun is considered “concealed” as long as it is, in fact, concealed. However, the gun safety experts from Online Texas LTC, your premier choice when you want to take a Texas LTC online course, explain some related details you’ll want to keep in mind with holsters and concealed carry.
“Concealed” Simply Means “Not Visible”
The standard definition of what’s considered a “concealed” gun simply means it cannot be seen as you carry it. The broad definition of concealed is “not in plain view” or “not discernible by ordinary observation.” For safety reasons, most people carry a concealed handgun in a holster that securely holds the gun. Many holsters are designed to be worn in a way that’s discreet if you wear the right type of clothing.
“Printing” Isn’t Technically Prohibited
Some statutes imply a handgun must be completely unnoticeable through any clothing you’re wearing while carrying. However, what’s referred to as “printing” isn’t technically prohibited anywhere in Texas. Still, for practical purposes, it’s a good idea to make sure your handgun isn’t visible through clothing if you don’t want it to be obvious you’re carrying.
Openly Carried Handguns Must Be Holstered
According to the Texas State Law Library, the only holsters permitted in Texas for openly carrying a handgun used to be shoulder and belt holsters. However, this changed in 2021 with HB 1927. It’s a law that states anyone in Texas 21 years of age or older who is legally able to possess a firearm and meets the additional eligibility requirements may carry a handgun without a license. With the passage of this law, there are no specific requirements with regard to holsters.
Section 46.02 of the Texas Penal Code does require handguns carried in the state to be in holsters for open carry. However, there’s no definition provided for what’s considered a holster or what type of holsters are permitted. Therefore, the only requirement if you’re open carrying a handgun in Texas is to have it in a holster.
Pick a Holster Appropriate for Your Preferences
If you conceal carry, it’s still highly recommended for safety reasons to carry in a holster. Choose a holster that allows for optimal discretion. You may also prefer to keep your handgun concealed to avoid alarming others around you or keep others from knowing you’re actually carrying. When this is the case, choose a holster that allows you to comfortably and conveniently carry and conceal your handgun. According to Gun Digest, the best holsters for concealed carry are ones that allow for:
• A proper fit for your gun and body
• A secure fit for your handgun
• Proper concealment in the location where the holster is worn
• Full coverage of the trigger to prevent negligent discharge
You also want a holster that allows you to keep your handgun concealed even when sitting or making various movements. Part of this process involves wearing clothing that properly covers and conceals the holster and the gun.
No matter what type of gun you own, safety should be your top priority, and a holster can help you keep your weapon safe. If you’d like to learn more about gun safety, taking a Texas CHL class, or any other aspect of firearm ownership, reach out to the experts at Online Texas LTC today at 512-675-2124.