FAQ on concealed and open carry
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS: CONCEAL & OPEN CARRY
1. Is open carry permitted by a license holder?
Yes. Section 46.02 states that it is unlawful for a person to carry a handgun. Section 46.15(b)(6) creates the exception provided the person has a license to carry a handgun, and it is either concealed or in a *shoulder or *belt holster. (*Effective Jan. 1, 2016).
Note: The language in 46.15(b)(6) states the person “is carrying a license”.
2. May an officer stop a person who is carrying a handgun in plain view in a shoulder or belt holster, and request that the person present his or her license (provided no other criminal violation has been observed)?
Yes. Constitutional carry did not pass in Texas. The statute language remains the same – the person carrying a handgun concealed or open carry is required to carry his or her license. It is the license holder’s responsibility to prove he or she is not in violation of 46.02 by presenting their license to a peace officer.
3. If a person refuses to display his or her license upon demand by a peace officer, can he or she be detained or arrested? Would this be a valid arrest?
Yes. The Texas Government Code requires an officer to file an affidavit with DPS over the violation of the license holder for failure to display the license.
4. May a license holder go on the premise of an institution of higher education (College) with a concealed handgun?
Yes beginning August 1, 2016, but it must be concealed. Open Carry in shoulder or belt holster is not permitted. Premise includes the grounds and buildings of the college. Effective August 1, 2017 conceal carry will be permitted on the grounds and buildings of a junior college. (Institution of higher education may adopt rules regarding storage in dorms and other residential facilities. Generally, the rules may not prohibit conceal carry.)
Effective January 1, 2016 open or conceal carry will be permitted by a person, including a student, provided they are a license holder and the firearm or ammunition is being stored or transported in a privately owned or leased motor vehicle and they are on a street or driveway located on the campus of the institution; or in a parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area located on the campus.
*The law for schools and other education institutions will remain the same:
License holder is not permitted to carry on the physical premises of a school or educational institution, (other than an institution of higher education effective August 1, 2016) any grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by a school or educational institution is being conducted, or a passenger transportation vehicle of a school or educational institution, whether the school or educational institution is public or private, unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the institution.
“Premises” means a building or a portion of a building. The term does not include any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area.
5. Can the operator of a motor vehicle carry a handgun in plain view in the motor vehicle?
Yes, provided they are a license holder and the handgun is in a shoulder or belt holster. If the operator is not a license holder, the law remains the same and the handgun may not be carried in plain view (includes watercraft vehicle). (*Reference Section 46.02(a-1) Penal Code).
6. Is open carry allowed on public transportation? (Example: DART)
7. Is open carry allowed in governmental buildings in areas to which the public has access? (Examples: City Hall while a person is paying their water bill; the lobby of the police department)
8. Is open or conceal carry permitted at a meeting of the governmental body?
Yes – (unless the entity provides notice that open or concealed carry is prohibited either by a sign, or verbal notice). A license holder commits an offense if the license holder open carries or conceal carries a handgun, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed or carried in a shoulder or belt holster in the room or rooms where a meeting of a governmental entity is held and if the meeting is an open meeting subject to Chapter 551, Government Code, (A posted meeting and subject to the open meetings act) and the entity provided notice as required by that chapter.
Meetings subject to the Open Meetings Act include City Council and all City Board and Commission Meetings.
9. Is open or conceal carry allowed at the municipal court?
No – 30.06 and 30.07 signage is not required.
10. May a private business owner prohibit conceal and/or open carry on the premise of their business?
Yes, through posting a sign pursuant to 30.06 and/ or 30.07. The sign must be displayed in a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public at each entrance to the property. Sign requirements are specific. A private business owner may also provide notice on a card or other document that contains the same 30.06 and/or 30.07 language.
11. What are the sign and or written notice requirements?
To prohibit those licensed from conceal carry, the sign and written notice effective January 1, 2016, are as follows:
PURSUANT TO SECTION 30.06 PENAL CODE (TRESPASS BY HOLDER WITH A CONCEALED HANDGUN), A PERSON LICENSED UNDER SUBCHAPTER H, CHAPTER 411, GOVERNMENT CODE (HANDGUN LICENSING LAW), MAY NOT ENTER THIS PROPERTY WITH A CONCEALED HANDGUN.
DE ACUERDO CON LA SECCIÓN 30.06 DEL CÓDIGO PENAL (DEL ALLANAMIENTO POR PORTADOR DE LICENCIA CON UN ARMA DE FUEGO OCULTA), UNA PERSONA CON LICENCIA BAJO EL SUBCAPÍTULO H, CAPÍTULO 411, CÓDIGO DE GOBIERNO (LEY DE ARMAS OCULTAS), NO PUEDE ENTRAR A ESTA PROPIEDAD CON UN ARMA OCULTA.
To prohibit those licensed from open-carrying, the sign and written notice effective January 1, 2016 is as follows:
PURSUANT TO SECTION 30.07 PENAL CODE (TRESPASS BY HOLDER WITH AN OPENLY CARRIED HANDGUN), A PERSON LICENSED UNDER SUBCHAPTER H, CHAPTER 411, GOVERNMENT CODE (HANDGUN LICENSING LAW), MAY NOT ENTER THIS PROPERTY WITH A HANDGUN THAT IS CARRIED OPENLY.
DE ACUERDO CON LA SECCIÓN 30.07 DEL CÓDIGO PENAL (DEL ALLANAMIENTO POR PORTADOR DE LICENCIA CON UN ARMA DE FUEGO OCULTA), UNA PERSONA CON LICENCIA BAJO EL SUBCAPÍTULO H, CAPÍTULO 411, CÓDIGO DE GOBIERNO (LEY DE ARMAS OCULTAS), NO PUEDE ENTRAR A ESTA PROPIEDAD CON UN ARMA DE FUEGO CLARAMENTE PORTADA.
12. May a business owner provide notice verbally?
Yes. Notice can also be provided verbally by a person with apparent authority to act on behalf of the business owner or notice can be provided by written communication through a document or card that contains the language above.