A new state law allows most Texans carry handguns in public without going through training or having to get permits. Gov. Greg Abbott lauded the so-called “constitutional carry” legislation and other firearms bills when he signed them into law.

As of September 1st, 2021, Texas law no longer requires people to have a license to carry (LTC) in order to carry a handgun in most public places. See our Carry of Firearms page for more info on this new law. However, Texans are still able to get a license to carry after the new law takes effect.

TX law allows holders of other states' licenses to carry in Texas

Texas allows non-residents to obtain a License to Carry permit. The Texas Non-resident License to Carry Permit is issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety. You must be a legal resident of another state or your must be relocating to Texas with the intent of establishing residency. You must be 21 years of age or older to apply for the permit.

While a resident of Texas (or a nonresident holding a recognized permit) is generally authorized to carry in most public places, there are State and Federal laws that still restrict a permit holder from carrying a weapon in certain situations. These include:

Note some states (Maine, New Hampshire, and Washington) do fully or partially adopt constitutional carry and are also states that do not honor Texas concealed carry reciprocity. Depending on your circumstances, you may be allowed to carry a handgun in those states as a Texas resident.

Licensed Texans can now carry handguns in 37 states

In more than 40 states, people can carry loaded, semi-automatic rifles in public without a license or training. Five states, including California and the District of Columbia, ban the open carry of loaded long guns, while only Massachusetts, Minnesota and New Jersey require permits to openly carry long guns, according to Everytown. In 29 states, civilians can open carry loaded long guns around state capitols, according to Everytown.

This title provides essential information for anyone looking to carry a firearm across state lines. A brief, one page summary of relevant gun laws is provided for each of the 50 states as well as Canada and Mexico. Many common traveling issues for gun owners are discussed such as firearms and national parks, motorcycle issues, universally restricted areas, the Castle doctrine, and traveling by air, cruise ship, train, and Greyhound bus. A national reciprocity list is also provided to identify each states recognize permits from other states. New to this edition is information on vehicle gun possession at colleges and right of self-defense or "stand your ground" laws.

Relaxing restrictions on civilians carrying concealed guns in public increases officer-involved shootings. A 2022 study found that 10 states who removed requirements to carry a concealed handgun from 2014 to 2020 experienced a 12.9 percent average increase in officer-involved shootings.  Those who hold a carry license have been involved in fewer crimes than those who do not have a license.

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