If you’re accustomed to legally openly carrying your gun in Texas in public, you may routinely do so even when you’re at home. This means there’s a chance you could answer the door with your gun on your person. This is one example of why you may open your door with a gun that’s clearly visible. As for whether or not it’s legal to do this, it depends on the circumstances involved. Here’s what you need to know, brought to you by the firearms education professionals from Online Texas LTC, the experts who provide the highest-quality Texas LTC online course.
When the Gun Is Safely Carried, You Should Be Fine
Open carry has been legal in Texas since 2016. A license to carry (LTC) is needed to do this in public. However, Texas law does allow unlicensed individuals to carry handguns on private property, which includes a residential home or apartment. In fact, an update to Texas gun laws that went into effect in late 2019 prohibits landlords from preventing renters from keeping legal guns in their units. As long as you’re responsibly and safely carrying your gun, you should be able to legally answer the door with it in plain view.
When Protecting Yourself or Your Family, It’s Usually a “Yes”
Texas has what’s termed a “castle law” or doctrine. Therefore, if you answer the door and you’re immediately put in a situation where you’ll need to defend yourself or your family, it would likely be legal to display your gun at the threatening individual. The specific circumstances involved and the actions you take afterward will also be considered to determine if there are legal issues that may apply.
It’s Less Clear in Some Situations
There are some instances when displaying a gun while answering the door could present some legal problems for you in Texas or any state. For instance, if you recklessly brandish a gun and answer your door, you may be on shaky ground legally. This may also be the case if you’re purposely trying to intimidate someone who’s knocking on your door when he or she poses no immediate threat to you.
It’s Usually Legal if There’s an Unexpected Stranger at the Door
If you’re being responsible with how you carry your gun, you should be able to answer your door for an unexpected stranger with your gun in plain view. This is referred to as “home carry,” and it’s generally considered legal in states like Texas that permit carrying a firearm in public and private. A situation of this nature may involve you answering your door when someone you don’t know is knocking and you aren’t sure about his or her intentions.
Use Common Sense When Answering Your Door with a Gun
As with any situation involving gun ownership and display, it’s important to use common sense with home carry and display. When it comes to answering the door, this means:
• Using technology to avoid answering the door for strangers whenever possible
• Responsibly carrying your gun when you answer the door while having it on your person
• Not being reckless with the display of your gun when answering your door
It’s essential for gun owners to be thoroughly familiar with basic gun safety practices and the laws that govern the use of firearms in their jurisdictions. If you have questions about firearms safety or the local laws about gun use in your area, reach out to knowledgeable professionals for guidance. When they need information on firearms safety, training, or LTC 101 online classes, gun owners trust the expertise of the pros from Online Texas LTC. If you have questions about any aspect of gun ownership in Texas, give us a call today at 512-675-2124.