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Texas Has New Permitless Carry Gun Law

 Posted on September 15, 2021 in Criminal Defense

Fort Worth Weapon Charges Defense AttorneyThis month, permitless carry became legal in the state of Texas. Although this means that anyone who legally owns a gun is now allowed to carry it in public without a license, there are still some stipulations to the law that citizens should be aware of in order to avoid any issues with law enforcement and possible criminal charges.

Recent Gun Law History in Texas

In 1995, then-Governor George W. Bush signed the Texas concealed carry law. This law gave Texans the right to carry a licensed gun in public. Almost 20 years later, lawmakers passed the Texas Motorist Protection Act which made it legal for people who do not have a handgun license to keep a weapon in their vehicle. Several years later, laws were passed that allowed open carry and the allowance of guns on state university campuses.

Even with all of those laws passed, Texans were still required to have a handgun license in order to take their guns outside of their homes or their vehicles. However, this new law changes that. For the first time since the United States Reconstruction Era, Texans who legally own a gun can now carry it in public for the first time without a carry license.

Legal Gun Ownership

It is important to note that this new Texas constitutional carry law does not change gun ownership eligibility. In order to legally own a handgun, a person must:

  • Be at least 21-years-old. Active duty military members who are younger than 21 may also qualify.

  • Not have any felony convictions. Five years after the person has completed their sentence, they may then legally own a gun.

  • Not have any family violence convictions. Five years after the person has completed their criminal sentence, they may then legally own a gun.

The new law does include certain misdemeanor convictions that will now prevent a person from carrying a handgun outside their home or vehicle until five years has passed since they completed any criminal sentence for the crime. These new misdemeanors include assault that causes bodily injury, deadly conduct, disorderly conduct with a firearm, and terroristic threats.

The following are locations where carrying a gun is still prohibited. A person caught carrying a gun into one of these locations faces criminal charges of a Class A misdemeanor or third-degree felony:

  • Airports once a person has gone beyond security

  • Amusement parks

  • Bars

  • Civil commitment facilities 

  • Correctional facilities 

  • Courts or offices that are being utilized by the court 

  • Governmental open meetings if notice is provided 

  • Hospitals 

  • Mental hospitals 

  • Nursing homes 

  • Polling places 

  • Racetracks 

  • Schools (including school activities and school buses) 

  • Sporting events (high school, college, or professional) 

A person could also face charges if they are caught carrying a gun outside their property or vehicle if they are intoxicated, on federal property, in a business that forbids firearms on their premises, or on a school campus without a license to carry.

Contact a Collin County Defense Attorney

If you are facing any kind of weapons charge, you need an aggressive Plano criminal lawyer defending you. Although Texas may have more relaxed gun laws than other states, penalties for disobeying these laws can still be harsh. Call The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. at 214-544-0061 to schedule a free consultation and find out how we can help.




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