skip navigation

Texas Concealed Carry Laws

Texas Concealed Carry Laws

Texas concealed carry laws are complex and we are not just limited to concealed carry anymore. Where you can carry a handgun and the rules and restrictions that apply are different depending on what part of Texas law you are carrying under. You can carry under permitless (constitutional) carry or you can carry with a license (LTC).

Each form of carry has it’s own set of laws, rules and regulations. Those carry concealed without a license have more restrictions and can’t carry in all of the same places those with a license can.

License To Carry Names

People call the license to carry different things in different states. Some of the common names are below.

  • LTC (license to carry)
  • CHL (concealed handgun license)
  • CCW (concealed carry weapons)
  • CHP (concealed handgun permit)
  • CWL (concealed weapons license)
  • CWP (concealed weapons permit)

If you are carrying with a Texas License to carry you will have more freedom and protections than those carrying without a license, there is an entire set of restrictions and penalties in the Texas penal code that apply to those carrying without a license.

Open and Concealed Carry

The state of Texas allows both open and concealed carry. Most people still refer to everything as “concealed carry” but open carry is also legal. You won’t see many people open carrying a handgun but you can. Those with or without a license can carry open or concealed. They just have to follow different rules and regulations.

When carrying open or when the handgun is visible in your vehicle, Texas law requires the handgun to be in a holster. You should always keep your handgun in a holster for safety reasons regardless of what the law says.

Texas Constitutional Carry

Texas passed a law called “permitless carry”, people refer to it as “constitutional carry” although it is not true constitutional carry because of all the restrictions added to it that do not apply to those carrying with a license. Normally when states pass “constitutional carry” you get the same right as those that carry with a license but not in Texas, they created additional penalties for those carrying without a license.

We call it restrictive carry. You don’t have all of the rights a person with a license has. You must obey all “no gun’ gun buster signs, you don’t have trespass protection and you can’t carry in all of the same places. You are also restricted from even having the handgun in your vehicle in a school zone.

Texas License To Carry

The Texas license to carry allows you to carry in the more places without all the restrictions that apply to “permitless carry”. Texas continues to ease restrictions and get rid of penalties for those who carry with a Texas LTC. Those carrying with a Texas LTC also have criminal trespass protection and prohibited places protections. Anyone wanting to carry is always better off with a license to carry.

With a license you can ignore the no carry “gun buster” signs and you have trespass protection. You can also have a handgun in your vehicle in a school zone. The license to carry allows you to possess the handgun in a school zone under Texas and federal law.

Firearms in Vehicles

In Texas it is legal to have a loaded handgun or rifle in your vehicle with or without a license. Texas law requires the handgun to be in a holster so you can’t just have a handgun laying on your front seat unless it is in a case OR in a holster.

This only applies in Texas. If you are traveling outside of Texas and you don’t have a license to carry you need to unload all firearms and store them in separate place from the ammunition.

Want To Get Your License?

Don't Put it off

For Ages 18 or older

Join thousands of students all across Texas.