Posted on January 1, 2012
Last updated April 13, 2012
In our publication Gun Laws Matter 2012: Understanding the Link Between Weak Laws and Gun Violence, the Law Center ranked each state based on a review of state laws in 29 different firearms-related policy areas. Texas ranked 35th out of 50 – having enacted few gun violence prevention laws. Among other things, Texas requires the reporting of mentally ill individuals to the federal database used for firearm purchaser background checks.
Texas law does not, however:
- Require a background check prior to the transfer of a firearm between unlicensed individuals;
- Require firearms dealers to obtain a state license;
- Regulate the transfer or possession of assault weapons, 50 caliber rifles, or large capacity ammunition magazines;
- Require gun owners to obtain a license, register their firearms, or report lost or stolen firearms;
- Limit the number of firearms that may be purchased at one time;
- Regulate unsafe handguns (“junk guns” or “Saturday night specials”);
- Significantly regulate ammunition;
- Allow local governments to regulate firearms; or
- Give local law enforcement discretion to deny a concealed handgun permit.
In 2009, 2,691 people died from firearm-related injuries in Texas. In addition, according to data published by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, in 2007, 2008, and again in 2009, Texas exported the fourth largest number of crime guns among the states. Texas also is consistently the state that supplies the greatest number of crime guns to Mexico. In 2009, 40% of the Mexican crime guns that were traced to the U.S. were originally sold in Texas.
Texas Firearms Laws
For details about specific firearms laws in Texas, choose a topic below, or see all of the firearms laws in this state.