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 valid handgun license in order to carry a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle or watercraft if the vehicle is owned by the person or under the person’s control. However, Texas generally prohibits intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carrying a handgun in plain view in a motor vehicle or watercraft, except by handgun license holders carrying the handgun in a shoulder or belt holster.1
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.2 However, Texas passed a law in 2015, which exempted valid handgun license holders from this restriction, effective August 1, 2016.3 Texas law now generally prohbits K-12 school districts from preventing concealed carry license holders from keeping firearms or ammunition in a locked, privately owned or leased motor vehicle in K-12 school parking areas, provided that the firearm or ammunition is not in plain view.4
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.5
- Tex. Penal Code § 46.02(a-1). For other narrow exceptions to the requirement that firearms in cars and watercraft be concealed, see section 46.15(b).
- Tex. Penal Code § 46.03(a).
- See 2015 Tx. S.B. 11, amending Tex. Penal Code § 46.03(a)(1).
- Tex. Educ. Code § 37.0815 (as amended by 2017 TX SB 1566, Section 13.
- Tex. Hum. Res. Code § 42.042(e-2).