Summary of new laws passed in the 84th Regular Legislative Session that impact Handgun Licensing.
House Bill 910 Effective: January 1, 2016
Caption: Relating to the authority of a person who is licensed to carry a handgun to openly carry a holstered handgun; creating criminal offense.
- Authorizes individuals to obtain a license to openly carry a handgun in the same places that allow the licensed carrying of a concealed handgun with some exceptions. (See “Exceptions” below for more information.)
- Unconcealed handguns, loaded or unloaded, must be carried in a shoulder or belt holster.
- Individuals who hold a valid CHL may continue to carry with valid existing license.
- A separate license will not be required to open carry. No additional fee will be required.
- Individuals currently licensed will not be required to attend additional training. Training curriculum for new applicants will be updated to reflect the new training requirements related to the use of restraint holsters and methods to ensure the secure carrying of openly carried handguns. The new curriculum will be required for all classes beginning January 1, 2016.
- The eligibility criteria to obtain a license to carry do not change.
- The department has updated the website and training materials to reference License to Carry (LTC) instead of Concealed Handgun License (CHL).
- Changes to the laminated license have been implemented. For examples of licenses currently in circulation, see: LTC sample.
- Information regarding signage is available in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) found on the department’s website at: FAQs
- Open carry is not permitted by a license holder regardless of whether the handgun is holstered:
- On the premises of an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education
- On any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage or other parking area of an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education
- By an individual who is acting as a personal protection officer under Chapter 1702, Occupations Code and is not wearing a uniform
Proposal being considered in the Texas Legislature:
House Bill 1911 (by state Rep. James White, R-Hillister) and House Bill 375 (by state Rep. Jonathan Strickland, R-Bedford) would make licensing requirements for the carry of a handgun optional in the State of Texas. It would give all Texans the right to openly carry a firearm with or without a permit.