Introduction to Open Carry Laws in Texas

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Open carry laws in Texas have been a topic of interest and debate for many years. These laws govern the carrying of firearms in public spaces, and they have undergone several changes over time. Understanding the current state of open carry laws in Texas is crucial for residents and visitors alike. In this article, we will explore the updated open carry laws in Texas, including recent legislative changes and important considerations for gun owners.

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History of Open Carry Laws in Texas

Texas has a long history of gun ownership and a strong gun culture. Traditionally, the state has had relatively permissive gun laws compared to some other parts of the United States. However, the specifics of open carry regulations have evolved over time.

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Until relatively recently, Texas prohibited the open carry of handguns in most public places. However, in 2015, the state legislature passed House Bill 910, which allowed licensed individuals to openly carry handguns in a holster. This marked a significant shift in Texas gun laws and was celebrated by many gun rights advocates.

Current Open Carry Regulations

As of [current date], Texas law permits individuals with a License to Carry (LTC) to openly carry handguns in public places. However, there are certain restrictions and requirements that gun owners must adhere to:

  1. License to Carry (LTC): To openly carry a handgun in Texas, individuals must possess a valid License to Carry (LTC). This license requires completion of a training course, a background check, and meeting other eligibility criteria.
  2. Holster Requirement: The handgun must be carried in a shoulder or belt holster. Simply holding or carrying the handgun in hand is not permitted.
  3. Restricted Areas: There are certain places where open carry is prohibited, including schools, polling places, government buildings, and establishments that derive 51% or more of their income from alcohol sales.
  4. Private Property Rights: Property owners have the right to prohibit the open carry of handguns on their premises by displaying appropriate signage.
  5. Age Restrictions: Individuals must be at least 21 years old to obtain an LTC and openly carry a handgun in Texas.
  6. Training and Education: While not explicitly required by law, individuals are strongly encouraged to undergo firearms training and education to ensure safe and responsible gun ownership.

Recent Legislative Changes

In recent years, there have been ongoing discussions and debates surrounding potential changes to Texas’ open carry laws. While significant alterations have not occurred since the passage of House Bill 910 in 2015, lawmakers continue to propose various amendments and adjustments.

One area of focus has been on expanding or restricting the locations where open carry is permitted. Additionally, there have been debates regarding the requirements for obtaining an LTC, including the necessity of firearms training and background checks.

Considerations for Gun Owners

For individuals considering open carry in Texas, there are several important factors to keep in mind:

  1. Legal Obligations: Understand the specific requirements and restrictions outlined in Texas law regarding open carry.
  2. Safety and Training: Prioritize safety by undergoing proper firearms training and education. Responsible gun ownership includes knowledge of gun safety principles and proficiency in handling firearms.
  3. Awareness of Surroundings: Be mindful of your surroundings and how openly carrying a handgun may be perceived by others. Respect private property rights and any posted signage prohibiting firearms.
  4. Compliance with Regulations: Ensure that you possess a valid LTC and adhere to all requirements, including holstering the handgun properly.
  5. Engage in Civil Discourse: Participate in discussions and debates surrounding gun laws in a respectful and constructive manner. Advocate for policies that prioritize both public safety and individual rights.


The open carry laws in Texas have evolved over time, reflecting the state’s complex relationship with gun rights and public safety. While current regulations permit the open carry of handguns by licensed individuals, there are important restrictions and considerations to keep in mind. By staying informed and adhering to legal requirements, gun owners can exercise their rights responsibly while contributing to a safer community.

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