Texas is one of the most firearm-friendly states in the country. The following article is an overview of gun laws in the Lone Star State.
If you are a resident that is 21 years of age or older, you have the right to openly carry a handgun once you have obtained a permit after completing a firearm safety course. Training is available in person by a licensed instructor or online.
Handguns carried openly need to be in a hip or shoulder holster. Guns are not allowed to be carried in any place where the business depends mainly on alcohol sales or schools, although some exceptions apply.
While adults who are at least 18 years old can purchase a shotgun or rifle, only those who are 21 or older can buy a handgun. Firearm distributors must conduct a background check by directly contact the FBI.
Certain classes of individuals are not allowed to possess firearms in Texas, such as convicted felons and those who have been convicted of a Class A misdemeanor for a domestic violence offense. Unlawfully carrying a handgun is considered a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $4,000.
However, if a handgun is carried into a bar or correctional facility, it is considered a third-degree felony, which results in a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a maximum fine of $10,000. A felon in possession of a firearm can be charged as a third-degree felony.
If an adult allows a minor to gain “access to a firearm that his “readily dischargeable”, he/she can be charged with criminal negligence. This offense is a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by a maximum fine of $500. However, if the minor discharges the gun, resulting in a serious bodily injury or death, it is considered a Class A misdemeanor.
The following are illegal weapons in Texas:
- A machine gun
- An explosive weapon
- A firearm with a short barrel
- A silencer
- A device that sprays chemicals
- Bullets which pierce armor
- Brass knuckles
- A tire deflation device
Possession of a machine gun, an explosive device, a silencer, a chemical device, or armor-piercing bullets is a Third-degree felony. Possession of brass knuckles is a Class A misdemeanor. Possession of a tire deflation device is a state jail penalty, punishable by a state jail sentence of up to six months and a maximum fine of $10,000.