ATTENTION GUN OWNERS & FUTURE GUN OWNERS: GET CONCEALED CARRY CERTIFIED BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE

Texas Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & Gun Laws

Everything you need to know about owning a firearm in the state of Texas

Texas State Seal

Texas Reciprocity Map

Last Updated: 2021

Texas Concealed Carry Reciprocity Overview

29M

STATE POPULATION

1.5M

LICENSES ISSUED

7.4%

LICENSE PERCENTAGE

37

STATES HONORED

21

MINIMUM AGE TO CC

5

YEARS LICENSE VALID

24

RECIPROCATING STATES

YES

CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY

16

CC CERTIFIED INSTRUCTORS

Knowing your gun rights in Texas is the first step in protecting yourself and your family.

Texas is home to almost 29 million people and has issued 1.5 million concealed carry (CC) licenses, meaning that 7.4% of the population are already permitted to CC. Being fully aware of your gun rights and state’s laws is the first step every Texan must take toward responsible firearm ownership. The next is understanding how Texas gun laws translate across state lines.

Obtaining your CC license and owning a gun is an experience that can mean a new life of safety and protection for the carrier. Concealed Coalition offers fully certified instructors providing knowledge, awareness, and confidence to our customers to help make this happen.

Texas Concealed Carry and State Gun Laws

Summary of Texas Gun Laws

Your Texas Gun Rights

Reciprocity laws and other gun-related regulations are subject to change, so be sure to visit the regularly updated website of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) for current information. The present situation can be summarized as follows:

Individuals who meet the eligibility criteria on page 10 of the DPS handgun statutes Sec. 411. 172 are on their way to obtaining a CC license in Texas via the DPS website. These include meeting the minimum age limit of 21 years, being a legal resident for at least six months before applying, and being fully qualified to purchase a handgun under applicable federal and state law.

Open Carry in Texas

Open carry of a handgun/shotgun/rifle is legal in Texas with possession of a Texas License to Carry (LTC) and if the gun is secured in a hip or shoulder holster. It is also legal when an individual possesses a CC license or permit from one of the 37 states on Texas’ reciprocity list.

Concealed Carry in Texas

CC is legal in Texas under the same circumstances as open carry. Obtaining your Texas CC license requires undertaking a training course and passing both a demonstration of firearm proficiency and a written exam.

Self Defense Laws in Texas

A CC license is a powerful way to protect yourself and others. It is crucial to know where the line is when it comes to self-defense under the law to avoid excessive action. Texas operates under two provisions – the Stand Your Ground and Castle Doctrine approaches – and knowing how these affect your gun rights in the state is vital.

Use of Force

Use of force is legally justified in Texas when individuals believe it is necessary to protect themselves or their property from harm by individuals using unlawful force or attempting unlawful entry. The entirety of permitted circumstances is detailed in Texas Penal Code Chapter 9, Subchapter C.

Use of Deadly Force

Section 9.32 of Subchapter C and Section 9.42 of Subchapter D fully detail the permitted circumstances for using deadly force. A few of these are attempted robbery, kidnapping, assault, rape, arson, and burglary, with deadly force usually only being a sanctioned option during nighttime.

Protecting Yourself After Use of Force

Acting under the perception of a legitimate threat with a reasonable belief of imminent harm in response to an immediate threat may well be viewed as justified so long as use of force did not persist after the threat had ended.

Firearms training is an excellent way to gain the skills necessary to gauge threat levels. Contact the Concealed Coalition team at (214)-624-9037 or explore our available and upcoming classes for information on training.

Texas Gun Laws by Statute

Concealed Coalition is dedicated to dispelling the myths surrounding gun ownership and promoting a culture of understanding, responsibility, and confidence. Our certified instructors are qualified across multiple states, and our online or local training classes provide convenient learning environments run by instructors who care.

Contact us today at (512) 489-7051 or email to discuss your concealed carry permit educational needs.

Quick Links

Texas Concealed Carry Training Classes

CONCEALED CARRY BASICS IN TEXAS

QUESTION

ANSWER

Does Texas recognize constitutional carry?

Texas has become the latest state to adopt constitutional carry laws. Starting September 1, 2021 Texans will be able to carry handguns without a license. 

Is open carry permitted in Texas?

If Texas requires a license to carry a concealed firearm, how are those licenses issued?

Texas License to Carry a Handgun is issued on a non-discretionary (“shall-issue”) basis to all eligible, qualified applicants by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

What is the minimum age in Texas to get a concealed carry license?

You must be 21 (18 if a member or honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. military) to carry concealed in Texas.

Can you concealed carry weapons other than handguns in Texas with a concealed carry license (or under permit-less carry if applicable)?

Yes. Texas has no laws that restrict carrying rifles and shotguns, other than general gun prohibitions for a few people (including recent felons) and at at few places (such as K-12 schools). But Texas does require a license to carry a handgun—either concealed or openly—away from your own property.

Is it legal to own a taser or stun gun in Texas?

Texas doesn’t require a permit to have stun guns or Tasers, but these electronic weapons must be used in a legal way. The state of Texas does not regulate possession of stun guns or Tasers. There may be local regulations, however, and Texans across the state could face charges for using these weapons unlawfully.

Is it legal to buy or use chemical spray/pepper spray in Texas?

Yes, pepper spray and chemical spray is legal to carry and use in Texas.

Does Texas have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?

No, Texas has no magazine capacity restrictions.

Does Texas have ammunition restrictions?

Texas Penal Code Section 46.05 (a)(2) prohibits armor-piercing ammo.

CONCEALED CARRY LOCATIONS IN TEXAS

QUESTION

ANSWER

Where can't I carry a concealed firearm in Texas?

Penal Code Section 46.03 prohibits possessing a firearm in the following locations:

  • Any educational institution, their related premises, or related vehicles without express written permission or if the individual satisfies the criteria of Subchapter H, Section 411 of U.S. Government Code
  • Polling places on election days or while voting is in progress
  • Government courts or offices used by the court unless pursuant to written regulations or authorization
  • Racetracks and professional sporting events
  • Airport secured areas
  • Within correctional facilities or within 1,000 feet of a Texas Department of Criminal Justice location on the day of an execution
  • 7. A business receiving 51% of its income from serving alcohol (businesses are required to post signs making such premises easier for CC license holders to identify)
  • On another person’s property after effective notification by either sign or speech that firearms are not permitted
  • Bars or designated bar areas in other establishments such as restaurants

These prohibitions may be subject to exclusion under certain CC circumstances, such as if the individual is a law enforcement officer. No civilian should fail to observe them and should always contact the Texas DPS if they’re in any doubt of where it is safe to carry.

Where can I carry a concealed firearm in Texas?

Licensed individuals may CC in many locations that do not meet the criteria listed above, provided they adhere to local and site-specific regulations and rules of conduct governing firearm ownership, such as respecting the wishes of private property owners regarding the presence of firearms. Approved locations include:

  • Public places not licensed to sell alcohol and which have not posted a 30.06 or 30.07 sign(s)
  • A persons’ premises or premises under their control, including motor vehicles and boats
  • At your workplace, but not in the parking lot (dependent on workplace policy)
  • The premises of businesses licensed to sell alcohol
  • In a hospital or nursing home, amusement park, established place of religious worship, or meeting of a governmental entity where 30.06 or 30.07 signs are not posted.
  • Public areas of city facilities
  • The Texas State Capitol
  • National parks and wildlife refuges, with several exceptions. These game sanctuaries are state-owned riverbeds in McMullen County, LaSalle County and the Atascosa, Frio, and Nueces riverbeds in Live Oak County. Firearms are not allowed over or on the water of Murvaul Lake in Panola County nor on or across the land of the Lower Colorado River Authority.

An important note: these laws are specific to Texas and do not apply to federal property locations, which include but are not limited to:

  • VA facilities
  • Post offices
  • Military bases
  • Offices or buildings used by federal agencies such as the Inland Revenue Service or Social Security office.

The golden rule of “ask ahead” applies in every case of CC-approved and denied locations. This has the added advantage of keeping you current with firearms policy which can change in terms of law or according to the preference of new management. Advance confirmation of CC permissions from authorities or property owners even if you were allowed on a previous visit will give you peace of mind.

Can you carry a concealed handgun in a vehicle in Texas?

Texas law allows the transport of a firearm in a motor vehicle or watercraft. However, a person must have a license to carry a handgun (LTC) if they want to have their handgun in plain view (in a shoulder or belt holster) while in their vehicle.

Can you carry a concealed handgun in a vehicle in Texas?

Texas law allows the transport of a firearm in a motor vehicle or watercraft. However, a person must have a license to carry a handgun (LTC) if they want to have their handgun in plain view (in a shoulder or belt holster) while in their vehicle.

Can you carry a concealed firearm at roadside rest areas in Texas?

Yes, Texas LTC or a concealed carry license/permit from a state that Texas honors.

Can you carry a concealed firearm in state/national parks, state/national forest and Wildlife Management Areas in Texas?

Texas rules state that you may not show/display or fire your gun in a state park. If you have a valid Handgun License, you may carry your handgun in many state parks. But even with a license, handguns are not allowed in parks that are leased from the federal government. Check with the park before you go. Refer to Texas State Park Regulations for specific regulations – 59.134(d).

Can you carry a concealed firearm in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol in Texas?

Under Texas law you cannot carry a firearm into a bar. You’ll know it’s a bar because bars are required by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to post 51% signs indicating that the establishment derives more than 51% of its revenue through the sale of alcohol for on-site consumption.

Can you carry or possess a firearm on hotel property in Texas?

Check with the hotel to be clear on their policy.

Does Texas have laws relating to storing firearms in private vehicles in an employee parking lot?

Texas Labor Code, Section 52.061 allows licensed individuals to keep their weapon concealed and locked in their car.

IMPORTANT GUN LAWS IN TEXAS

QUESTION

ANSWER

Do you have a duty to notify a police officer that you're carrying a concealed firearm in Texas?

Texans must provide both their driver’s and handgun licenses when asked for their ID by law enforcement under Texas Government Code 411.205.

Are "No Weapons Allowed? signs enforced in Texas? If, yes, violating the sign would be considered to be a crime. If, no, violating the sign would not be considered a criminal offense.

Yes. Texas businesses wishing to prohibit firearms on their premises must post signs adhering to 30.6 and 30. 7 requirements. This involves using strictly designated language in adherence to the Texas Penal Code. Failure to comply with effective notification renders the offending entrant (even when in possession of a CC license) guilty of a misdemeanor.

Does Texas have preemption laws related to concealed carry (i.e., Does state law supersede local laws regarding the possession of handguns)?

Yes.

Does Texas have a red flag law?

No.

Does Texas state law define brandishing?

It is an offense under Penal Code Section 42.01(8) to display a firearm in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm.

Does Texas have laws regarding carrying a concealed firearm while using alcohol or chemical substances?

Penal Code Section 46.035(d) states that no Texan may carry a firearm while intoxicated.

Does Texas issue concealed carry licenses to non-residents?

Yes, and with no deviation from the process for residents.

Does Texas allow the public to access concealed carry registry information through public records law?

Only agents of criminal justice organizations can access CC registry information in Texas.

HANDGUN PURCHASE & POSSESSION IN TEXAS

QUESTION

ANSWER

Is a permit required to purchase a handgun in Texas?

No, however, you must be at least 18 to purchase a long arm, 21 or older to buy a handgun, and 18+ to possess a firearm in general (there are exceptions to this last rule for minors using guns under adult supervision).

Are background checks required for private gun sales in Texas?

Texas does not currently require background checks for firearms sold or traded at gun shows by private individuals or unlicensed vendors. Owners Protection Act that includes any private seller who does not rely on gun sales as the primary means of income.

Does my current Texas concealed carry license exempt me from needing a background check when I purchase firearm? 

Anyone who holds a current and valid Texas License to Carry is exempt from having a background check completed, even when purchasing at a federally licensed gun dealer.

Is there a waiting period after purchasing a handgun in Texas?

Texas does not have a waiting period nor does it register firearms. You do have to show government issued identification to ensure your eligibility to purchase a gun. If you have a License to Carry (LTC), bring it in, we will not need to conduct a background check. You will just simply fill out the required paperwork.

Do handguns need to be registered in Texas?

The State of Texas does not maintain a registry of firearms. However, the National Firearms Act does require that certain types of firearms or other weapons be registered (such as short barreled shot guns, machine guns, silencers, etc.)

What is the minimum age to possess and transport a handgun in Texas?

Texas and Federal law only regulate the ownership of all firearms to 18 years of age or older, and regulate the transfer of handguns to 21 years or older by FFL dealers. However, a private citizen may sell, gift, lease and so on.
 

Can I possess/carry a handgun in my home without a license? 

It is lawful to possess a concealed firearm for self-defense or other lawful purposes within the interior of a private conveyance, without a license, if the firearm is securely encased or is otherwise not readily accessible for immediate use.

TEXAS CONCEALED CARRY LICENSE INFORMATION

Concealed Carry Requirements to Register for a License in Texas

An applicant must be:

  • Be a legal resident of Texas for 6 months or have relocated with the intent to establish residency in the state;
  • Be at least 21 years of age, 18 if a member or veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, Reserves or National Guard or discharged under honorable conditions;
  • Meet training requirements;
  • Have not been convicted of a felony;
  • Have not been charged with the commission of a Class A or Class B misdemeanor or equivalent offense, or of an offense under Section 42.01, Penal Code, or equivalent offense, or of a felony under an information or indictment;
  • Not be a fugitive from justice for a felony or a Class A or Class B misdemeanor or equivalent offense;
  • Not be chemically dependent;
  • Be capable of exercising sound judgment with respect to the proper use and storage of a handgun;
  • Not, in the 5 years preceding the date of application, have been convicted of a Class A or Class B misdemeanor or equivalent offense or of an offense under Section 42.01, Penal Code, or equivalent offense;
  • Be fully qualified under applicable federal and state law to purchase a handgun;
  • Not have been finally determined to be delinquent in making a child support payment administered or collected by the attorney general;
  • Not have been finally determined to be delinquent in the payment of a tax or other money collected by the comptroller, the tax collector of a political subdivision of the state or any agency or subdivision of the state;
  • Not be currently restricted under a court protective order or subject to a restraining order affecting the spousal relationship, other than a restraining order solely affecting property interests;
  • Not, in the 10 years preceding the date of application, have been adjudicated as having engaged in delinquent conduct violating a penal law of the grade of felony; 
  • Not have made any material misrepresentation, or failed to disclose any material fact, in an application submitted pursuant to Section 411.174; and
  • Meet federal law requirements.

Fees:

$40 for standard initial licenses and renewals.

$25 for initial licenses and renewals for honorably discharged military vets.

Valid For:

5 years

Processing Time:

The processing time for new Texas Concealed Handgun Licenses is 60 days from the date they receive your application.

Non-Resident Concealed Carry License:

Out-of-state residents must supply a color copy, front and back, of a state driver’s license or ID card and a proficiency certificate not greater than 2 years old from a course approved by the Texas Dept. of Public Safety. Applications may be submitted online or via mail. 

Name & Address Changes:

You can make name and address changes online.

Lost or Stolen Licenses:

You can submit a request for a new license online. You will be issued a new license number for security reasons.

Residency Changes:

Texas issues resident and non-resident licenses, so you can apply for your license at any time. In order to apply for a resident license, you need to be a legal resident of Texas for six months or have relocated with the intent to establish residency in the state.

If a person with a Texas license to carry establishes residency in another state, the license is valid until it expires provided he or she submits the above referenced name/address change form.

TEXAS CONCEALED CARRY LICENSE APPLICATION PROCESS

Overview

Texas is considered a “hybrid” state, meaning online and in-person certification classes are available to acquire a Concealed Carry license.

Step One:

Download the application form or submit an online application.

Step Two:

Schedule an appointment for fingerprinting. All fingerprints must be submitted through L-1 Enrollment Services. There is a fee of $9.95 for fingerprinting.

Step Three:

Complete classroom training. Pass the written exam and pass a shooting proficiency demonstration.

Step Four:

Submit the Certificate of Training to the Dept. of Public Safety to complete the application.
If you are making the application by mail, send your application to:

Texas Department of Public Safety
Concealed Handgun – MSC 0245
P.O. Box 4087
Austin, TX 78773-0001

Step Five:

You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved.

TEXAS CONCEALED CARRY LICENSE RENEWAL PROCESS

Overview

A Texas license is valid for five years, and holders are typically notified six months before their license expires. Renewal requests can be submitted up to six months before the expiration date or up to 12 months after expiration. Individuals with an existing license can log in via the Texas DPS portal and complete an online renewal form. Renewal fees range from free to $40, depending on which category the licensee occupies. Successful applicants will be notified by mail if their license was approved.

Step One:

Approximately 150 days prior to the expiration date of your license, the Texas Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) will send you a renewal form with complete instructions on how to renew your license. If you fail to renew your license by its expiration date, you may renew it up to 6 months after it has expired. However, there is a late fee of $15 for renewing after the expiration date.

If your license has been expired for longer than 6 months, it cannot be renewed. You must apply for a new license.

There are three options for renewal: online, in person at an FDACS regional office or an authorized Texas tax collector’s office in your area, or by mail. 

Step Two:

If renewing in person, schedule an appointment online and take the following documents:

  •  Your unsigned application.
  • An acceptable picture ID; for example, a driver license or state-issued identification card.
  • Payment method: cash, check, debit or credit card. Please note, our third-party payment processor will charge a 2.5% convenience fee for credit and debit card transactions. Checks must be made payable to David Jordan, Lake County Tax Collector and not to the Department of Agriculture.
    • Regional offices will accept payment by personal check, cashier’s check or money order. Regional offices cannot accept cash and cannot accept credit or debit cards for renewals.
    • Tax collector offices may charge an additional convenience fee of up to $12 for renewal licenses. Contact your local tax collector to determine the precise amount you will need to pay and which payment methods are accepted.
  • If arrested since the last issuance of your concealed weapon license, for a non-disqualifying offense, bring with you certified copies of the court documentation reflecting the final disposition of the charge(s) filed against you.
  • Any legal documentation associated with a name change.
  • Your renewal notice.

A tax collector deputy will take your photograph and submit your renewal application electronically to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for processing. Staff will also take fingerprints when applicable; fingerprints are required for out-of-state renewals.

If renewing by mail, complete your renewal form and mail it to the address below: 

Concealed Weapon or Firearm License Renewal 
Division of Licensing
P.O. Box 6387
Tallahassee, FL 32314-6387

Step Three:

At a regional office: You should be able to complete the entire process of applying for a renewal license in an hour or less. Your application will be processed while you wait and you will receive your license in minutes.

At a tax collector’s office: Eligible Texas residents should be able to complete the entire process of applying for a renewal license in an hour or less; your application will be processed while you wait and you will receive your license in minutes. If you are a non-Texas resident or your application requires a name change, you will receive your license by mail.

If renewing by mail, you should receive your license within two weeks of the date we receive your application.

Concealed Carry for Law Enforcement Officers and Retired LEOs

Qualified active and honorably retired law enforcement officers (LEOs) can carry a concealed firearm anywhere in the United States or its territories under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA). Active officers must meet department and state firearm proficiency levels and the required physical and psychological criteria to carry a gun. They must also be qualified under Section 926B of the U.S. Federal Code.

Retired LEOs wanting to CC must satisfy the conditions of Section 926C of the U.S. Federal Code, the Texas Occupations Code, Section 1701.357, and qualify for a firearms proficiency certificate. This involves submitting the proper application.

It is important to note that LEOSA certification does not preempt all state and local laws, with the exceptions being laws allowing private parties to prohibit the possession of concealed firearms on their property, and laws banning or restricting possession of firearms on state or local government property, installations, buildings, bases, or parks.

Firearms Training & Competency

Training is an essential step for anyone to become a responsible gun owner. Concealed Coalition has local classes across the U.S. and online training to qualify you for a CC license.

Proper firearms training is essential for any individual with the right to carry a gun, and especially those who do not receive training as part of their employment. Texans can get the following types of training and qualification:

NRA Training

The National Rifle Association offers several types of training at a wide range of locations. Use its local training locator to find classes near you and specific lessons.

Hunter Safety Courses

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department provides an FAQ page about hunter safety education courses that must be completed by any hunter born on or after September 2, 1971. Texans have three different ways to gain this qualification.

Firearms Safety Courses From Other Providers

Training is an essential step for anyone to become a responsible gun owner. Concealed Coalition has local classes across the U.S. and online training to qualify you for a CC license.

Public and private institutions, colleges, or law enforcement agencies in Texas sometimes provide firearms training. The educators in such scenarios will be certified by either the NRA, Texas DPS, or the Criminal Justice Training Commission.

A Firearms Training Course With a State-Certified Instructor

Concealed Coalition offers training to help Texans learn more about guns on their way to gaining a CC license. Our highly specialized instructors provide actionable lessons based on their extensive practical experience to ensure you gain tested and reliable skills.

DD Form 214 or Military Orders for Active or Former Military Members

The military document DD Form 214 is the Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. It is issued when a service member performs active duty or has completed at least 90 consecutive days of active-duty training.

CC licenses are available from the Texas DPS website, and active military personnel can acquire theirs for half price. Honorably discharged veterans must present their DD Form 214 on application (which can be a copy or the original) and confirm that they received an honorable discharge or a general discharge under honorable conditions.

Documents from Participation in an Organized Shooting Competition

Individuals presenting evidence of sufficient experience with a firearm through participation in an organized shooting competition may consider this applicable toward the necessary training to acquire a CC license.

Get Certified for a Texas Concealed Carry Permit Today

Our network of firearms professionals are holding training classes and in-person certification courses throughout Texas. Use our certification locator to enroll in an upcoming firearms training course near you today, or visit our Texas concealed carry permitting resource for online certification.

Texas Concealed Carry License Information & Courses
Get Certified Today