Guns in Vehicles in Texas

Posted on January 1, 2012

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 concealed handgun license in order to carry a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle or watercraft that is owned by the person or under the person’s control, although Texas generally prohibits intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carrying a handgun in plain view in a motor vehicle or watercraft.1 Even concealed handgun license holders must conceal their handguns when in a motor vehicle or watercraft.2

A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries a handgun on or about his or her person in a motor vehicle or watercraft that is not owned by the person or under the person’s control.3 However, this provision does not apply to a concealed handgun license holder properly carrying a concealed handgun.4

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.5

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.6

  1. Tex. Penal Code § 46.02(a-1). []
  2. Tex. Penal Code § 46.035. For other narrow exceptions to the requirement that firearms in cars be concealed, see section 46.15(b). []
  3. Tex. Penal Code § 46.02(a). []
  4. Tex.. Penal Code § 46.15(b)(6). []
  5. Tex. Penal Code § 46.03. []
  6. Tex. Hum. Res. Code § 42.042(e-2). []