On June 16th, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed the Firearm Carry Act of 2021 into law. The time leading up to this important decision was filled with controversy that led to a great deal of confusion about what this new law will mean for Texas residents and visitors. In the past, a Texan had to go through a rigorous set of steps to obtain a license and demonstrate competency with a handgun. Now, anyone who fits the new requirements can obtain a handgun and carry it as long as he or she follows the new guidelines. Learning more about the details included in the new law helps you stay current on the proper way to handle your firearm.
It Hasn’t Happened Yet
The new law has been signed, but that doesn’t mean it applies yet. The constitutional carry law goes into effect on September 1st, 2021. This means you’ll still need to follow the current law if you intend to carry a firearm either openly or concealed, so if you’re considering taking an online LTC class, it’s still a good idea to do so, not only because it will enable you to get your license to carry but, even more importantly, experienced firearms instructors will teach you the essentials of how to handle, store, and shoot your gun safely.
Constitutional Carry Rights Don’t Apply to Everyone
One of the ways the law is similar to current regulations is that it continues to uphold the restrictions that apply to anyone who is currently prohibited from carrying a handgun in public by state or federal laws. People who are under the age of 21 cannot take advantage of the new law. The same rule applies for people who have been convicted of felonies or specific assault offenses. Those who are considered to be mentally incompetent may also be restricted from carrying a handgun under the new permit-less carry laws
You Still Can’t Carry a Firearm in Many Places
The law may give people a greater sense of freedom, but it doesn’t extend to all public places. Just like the license to carry restrictions, constitutional carry prohibits bringing firearms into certain public locations, such as schools, airports, bars, government buildings, hospitals, and amusement parks. You’ll want to make sure you know the rules for any place you visit before you put your handgun in its holster. The penalties for carrying at these locations are severe. However, with a license to carry, there’s more freedom with where to carry and the penalties may be lighter depending on the location.
Business Owners & Employers Can Set Their Own Restrictions
Currently, employers have the right to restrict employees from carrying firearms on their property, and they can continue to do so. The same also applies to any business owner who provides oral or written notice that firearms aren’t allowed. Keep in mind there are rules outlining how this notice must be provided. Typically, you can look for signs warning you to avoid bringing firearms onto the property, but it’s best to check with the business owner or manager if you’re ever in doubt. Any sign that references “no guns” is considered legal notice that carrying a gun under constitutional carry isn’t allowed. However, these signs don’t apply to LTC holders, who must be given notice orally or with the very specific 30.06 or 30.07 signs.
Proper Training Is Still Essential
Many people rejoiced at the prospect of being able to carry a firearm without going through a series of steps to get licensed. However, the need for training still exists. While you might not be required to spend hours in a Texas concealed carry online class and pass a test, it’s always best to make sure you know how to handle your handgun. Firearm safety courses also help you to stay on top of the latest laws and regulations so you’re always in compliance.
If you’re not sure about the applicable gun laws in your jurisdiction, don’t hesitate to call on the firearms education pros at Online Texas LTC. We offer the highest-quality Texas weapons training online, and we can answer all your questions about carrying your gun legally in Texas. If you’re looking for premier firearms safety classes, call us today at 512-675-2124.