As a Texas criminal defense attorney, it’s essential to stay informed about recent changes in firearm laws. One significant development is House Bill 1927, commonly known as constitutional carry, which took effect in Texas on September 1, 2021. In this blog post, we’ll explore the key aspects of this law.

1. The Law Explained

Under constitutional carry, Texans aged 21 or older with a clean criminal record can now carry a handgun concealed without obtaining a license. This change represents a significant shift in Texas gun regulations.

2. Where Can You Carry Concealed?

Texans who meet the eligibility criteria can carry handguns concealed in various locations, including:

  • Public Areas: You can carry concealed in public spaces, such as parks, sidewalks, and streets.
  • State Government Buildings: Most state government buildings now allow concealed carry. (SEE EXCEPTIONS HERE)
  • Businesses That Do Not Prohibit Guns: Private businesses have the discretion to allow concealed carry on their premises.

3. What’s Excluded?

While constitutional carry expands gun rights, certain places remain off-limits for concealed carry:

  • Polling Places During Voting: Firearms are prohibited at polling locations during elections.
  • Government Meetings Open to the Public: Concealed carry is not allowed during official government meetings.
  • Courthouses: Except when specifically authorized, courthouses remain gun-free zones.
  • High Schools, Colleges, and Professional Sporting Events: These locations continue to prohibit concealed carry.
  • Racetracks, Correctional Facilities, Access-Controlled Airport Terminals, and Amusement Parks: These areas are also excluded.

4. Private Businesses and Churches

Private businesses and churches can still exercise their right to control firearms on their premises. They can choose to:

  • Prohibit Open Carry: While constitutional carry allows concealed carry, businesses can still ban open carry.
  • Allow Concealed Carry: If a business permits concealed carry, gun owners must comply with any warnings or notices.

5. Obtaining a License

Although constitutional carry eliminates the need for a license, Texans can still choose to obtain a License to Carry (LTC). Previously, obtaining an LTC required passing a safety course and background check. The new law directs the Texas Department of Public Safety to create a free, online gun safety course, but training is no longer mandatory.

6. Conclusion

As a criminal defense attorney, it’s crucial to understand these changes and guide your clients accordingly. Remember that this blog post provides general information and not legal advice. Always consult with a qualified legal professional for personalized guidance.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. As a Texas criminal defense attorney, I recommend that you consult with a qualified legal professional regarding your specific situation. Laws can vary, and individual circumstances may impact the application of these legal principles. Always seek personalized legal advice before making any decisions related to firearms, self-defense, or other legal matters.