Guns in Vehicles in Texas

Posted on August 14, 2015

Texas has no laws regarding the carrying of long guns (rifles or shotguns) in motor vehicles.

Texas does not require a person to have a valid handgun license in order to carry a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle or watercraft if the vehicle is owned by the person or under the person’s control.  However, Texas generally prohibits intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carrying a handgun in plain view in a motor vehicle or watercraft, except by handgun license holders carrying the handgun in a shoulder or belt holster.1

Texas law also prohibits intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possessing or going with a firearm on a passenger transportation vehicle of a school or educational institution except pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the institution.2 However, Texas passed a law in 2015, which will exempt valid handgun license holders from this restriction, effective August 1, 2016.3

In 2011, Texas passed a law prohibiting the Department of Family and Child Services from restricting a foster parent from carrying a handgun in a vehicle while transporting a foster child.4

  1. Tex. Penal Code § 46.02(a-1). For other narrow exceptions to the requirement that firearms in cars and watercraft be concealed, see section 46.15(b). []
  2. Tex. Penal Code § 46.03(a). []
  3. See 2015 Tx. S.B. 11, amending Tex. Penal Code § 46.03(a)(1). []
  4. Tex. Hum. Res. Code § 42.042(e-2). []