Texas Firearms Laws

Firearms laws in Texas are complex and ever-changing, making it challenging for gun owners and enthusiasts to keep up with the latest regulations. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive overview of Texas firearms laws, including the types of firearms that are legal, the process of obtaining a gun license, and the various restrictions on gun ownership.

Introduction to Texas Firearms Laws

In Texas, owning a firearm is considered a fundamental right protected by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. However, this right is not absolute, and there are certain restrictions and requirements that must be met to legally own and carry firearms in Texas.

Texas publishes a resource on firearms laws at License to Carry - Gun Laws - Guides at Texas State Law Library

Types of Firearms which are Legal in Texas

Under Texas law, it is legal to own and carry a variety of firearms, including handguns, rifles, shotguns, and semi-automatic weapons. However, certain types of firearms are restricted or prohibited, such as fully automatic weapons, silencers (suppressors), and armor-piercing ammunition.

Obtaining a Gun License in Texas

To legally carry a handgun in Texas, individuals must obtain a License to Carry (LTC) from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). To be eligible for an LTC and follow state firearms laws, individuals must meet certain requirements, including being 18 years of age or older, completing a handgun proficiency course, and passing a criminal background check.

License to Carry - Step-by-Step

Restrictions on Gun Ownership in Texas

While owning a firearm is legal in Texas, there are several restrictions on gun ownership. For example, it is illegal for convicted felons, individuals with certain mental health conditions, and those who have been subject to protective orders to own firearms. Additionally, certain locations, such as schools and government buildings, are designated as "gun-free zones," where it is illegal to carry a firearm.

Texas Open Carry and Concealed Carry Laws

Texas allows for both open carry and concealed carry of handguns, although there are specific rules and requirements that must be followed.

Open Carry Laws in Texas

In Texas, individuals with an LTC are allowed to openly carry a handgun in public places where it is legal to do so. However, there are certain restrictions on where open carry is allowed, such as schools, hospitals, and airports.  Additionally, Texas has in place several firearms laws regarding signage; 30.05, 30.06, 30.07 are signs specifically restricting types of carry.

Concealed Carry Laws in Texas

In addition to open carry, Texas also allows for concealed carry of handguns with an LTC. This means that individuals can carry a concealed handgun on their person, but it must be concealed from plain view. There are also certain restrictions on where concealed carry is allowed, such as bars, sporting events, and polling places.

Texas Firearms Sales and Transfer of Firearms Laws

Texas has specific laws and regulations regarding the sale and transfer of firearms, including background checks and waiting periods.

Background Checks in Texas

Under Texas law, licensed firearms dealers are required to conduct a background check on anyone purchasing a firearm. This includes both handguns and long guns. Private sellers are not required to conduct background checks, but it is recommended.

Waiting Periods in Texas

Unlike some states, Texas does not have a waiting period for firearm purchases. Once a background check is completed and approved, the individual can take possession of the firearm immediately.


Texas firearms laws are complex and ever-changing, making it essential for gun owners and enthusiasts to stay informed and up-to-date on the latest regulations. By understanding the types of firearms that are legal, the process of obtaining a gun license, and the various restrictions on gun ownership, individuals can exercise their Second Amendment rights while remaining in compliance with Texas firearms laws.

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