Open Carrying in Texas

Posted on August 14, 2015

Texas generally prohibits the open carrying of handguns, whether loaded or unloaded, on or about the person.1 However, in 2015, Texas enacted a law authorizing valid handgun license holders to carry visible handguns on their person in a shoulder or belt holster, provided that they also carry a valid handgun license.2 Texas also permits open carry of handguns by certain security officers, most persons on their own premises or premises under their control, and persons who are engaging in (including going to or from) a lawful hunting or sporting activity, among others.3 Individuals in motor vehicles and boats are also generally prohibited from carrying a handgun in plain view in Texas, although individuals who are “traveling” are exempt from this prohibition,4, as are valid handgun license holders if they carry the handgun in a shoulder or belt holster.5

Texas also prohibits a handgun licensee from intentionally displaying a handgun which is carried on or about his or her person, unless the handgun is in a shoulder or belt holster.6

The open carrying of long guns is generally allowed in Texas. However, Texas law prohibits the display of a firearm in a public place in a “manner calculated to alarm.”7

  1. Tex. Penal Code § 46.02. []
  2. Tex. Penal Code §§ 46.02(a), 46.15(b)(6). []
  3. Tex. Penal Code § 46.15. []
  4. Tex. Penal Code §§ 46.02(a-1), 46.15(b)(2). []
  5. Tex. Penal Code §§ 46.02(a-1)(1), 46.15(b)(6). []
  6. Tex. Penal Code § 46.035(a). []
  7. Tex. Penal Code § 42.01(a)(8). []