September 3, 2021
On September 1, 2021, Texas House Bill 1927 took effect, making Texas the 21st state to eliminate a license requirement to carry a handgun. Prior to Sept. 1, Texans were required to submit fingerprints, complete four to six hours of training, and pass a written exam and shooting proficiency test to obtain a license to carry a handgun. These requirements have now been eliminated. Texas residents who are at least twenty-one years or older may now carry a handgun (concealed or openly) so long as they are not prohibited by federal or state law from possessing firearms, are not under an active protective order, and are not intoxicated.
There are still various specified locations at which a person may not carry a handgun, including schools, courts, hospitals, and correctional facilities. In addition, private businesses can prohibit the carrying of handguns by posting a notice in compliance with Texas law. Those Texans who exercise their constitutional right to carry should be aware of these limitations.
This is promising news for Second Amendment advocates in the face of a push by the Biden Administration for significant additional firearm restrictions. Texas has now joined a number of other states recognizing a citizen’s constitutional right to carry a handgun without a license, including Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia.
The constitutional carry law does not, however, eliminate the Texas License to Carry (LTC) program, and there still remain benefits to obtaining a LTC in the Lone Star State. For example, a LTC allows persons to bypass a federal background check when purchasing a handgun since applicants for LTC are required to pass a federal background check as a threshold requirement. In addition, those who possess a Texas LTC are permitted to carry handguns in 36 other states that accept and honor the Texas LTC, another distinct advantage for Texas LTC holders.
Renzulli Law Firm, LLP will continue to monitor new and developing firearms legislation in Texas, and around the county. If you have any questions concerning firearms related legislation, please contact John F. Renzulli or Christopher Renzulli.