What Should I Know about Texas Open Carry Laws?

As of January 1st, 2016, Texas law—through the License to Carry a Handgun (LTC) legislation—permits specific individuals to open carry handguns. Still, each individual must adhere to strict guidelines for everyone’s safety. Here’s a summary of the requirements, provided by the firearms experts from Online Texas LTC, your top choice for Texas concealed carry online classes.

Training Requirements

Anyone with a license to carry a handgun in Texas must attend, complete, and pass training that entails classroom sessions (4 to 6 hours), a written examination, and a practical test on proficiency. The trainer must be certified by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).

Typical topics in the classroom sessions include:

• An overview of the legislation on weapons and the use of deadly force
• Use and handling of a handgun
• Peaceful dispute resolution
• Safe storage practices for handguns

Carrying Requirements

A person certified under the LTC law can carry a handgun in plain view as long as it stays intact via a holster at the waist or shoulder. A correctly holstered gun:

• Stays intact when the individual carrying it is walking or doing an activity
• Is almost impossible to remove by someone else other than the individual carrying it
• Is within reach of the person carrying it

Whereas Texas Penal Code Chapter 46 has no restrictions on the types of restraining devices used as holsters, the individual using a holster to carry the handgun should be familiar with its features. Further, the individual should know how to operate the holster safely.

Prohibitions Relating to Open Carry

The state of Texas’s gun laws prohibit:
Open carry of handguns in schools – Here, schools are classified as gun-free zones. In such zones, a teacher, student, staff member, or any other person cannot come into a school with a gun even when the individual has an LTC license.

Open carry of handguns in colleges – Unlike in schools, individuals may carry handguns but must conceal their handguns when they enter college facilities.

Open carry of handguns by specific persons – The following persons are prohibited from carrying firearms, whether concealed or in plain sight: 

• A felon
• A person addicted to drugs or alcohol
• An individual convicted of a misdemeanor of domestic violence
• Anyone held in a mental institution involuntarily
• Any former member of the U.S. Armed Forces who received a dishonorable discharge 

Public Awareness

The general public has the right to alert law enforcement about an individual openly carrying a handgun who:

• Has no holster for the handgun
• Is acting in a suspicious or reckless way
• Enters a premise where weapons or open carry of handguns is prohibited
• Presents a threat or danger to the public at large

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 concealed carry 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.