Skip to Main Content
Last updated .


Texas law generally prohibits any person, including people who have a valid license to carry a handgun, from intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possessing a firearm in the following locations:1

  • On the premises of a public or private K-12 school or institution of higher education, the grounds or building on which a school-sponsored activity is being conducted, or a passenger transportation vehicle of a school or educational institution, unless the person does so pursuant to written regulations or written authorization from the institution. (Individuals with valid handgun licenses may also be authorized to carry concealed handguns on college and university campuses, events, and transportation vehicles, however—see the Guns in Schools in Texas webpage for more information about these laws).
  • On the premises of a polling place on the day of an election or while early voting is in progress
  • On the premises of any government court or offices utilized by the court, unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the court
  • On the premises of a racetrack
  • In or into the “secured area” of an airport2
  • Within 1,000 feet of premises the location of which is designated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as a place of execution on a day that a sentence of death is set to be imposed, if the person received specified notice.3
  • On the premises of a business that has a liquor-related permit or license, if the business derives 51% or more of its income from the sale or service of alcohol for on-premises consumption.4
  • On the premises where a high school, collegiate, or professional sporting or interscholastic event is taking place (unless the person is a participant in the event and a firearm is used in the event)5
  • On the premises of a correctional or civil commitment facility6
  • On the premises of a hospital, mental hospital, or nursing home, unless the person has written authorization from the facility’s administration7
  • In an amusement park8
  • People who do not have a valid license to carry a handgun are also generally restricted from carrying firearms In the room or rooms where a meeting of a government entity is held, if the meeting is an open government meeting and the government entity provided required notices regarding a prohibition on firearms.9

Texas law generally states that it is a defense to prosecution under these location restriction laws that a person carried a handgun on a restricted premises or property, but promptly departed from the premises or property after personally receiving notice that carrying a firearm was prohibited. This defense is not available if the property posted prominent signs carrying specified notices regarding the firearm prohibition.10

Texas law also considers a person to be guilty of trespassing if the person enters or remains on another person’s property with a firearm after receiving notice that firearms are forbidden, although separate rules or defenses may apply to people with valid licenses to carry handguns or regarding firearms in certain residential properties or hotels.11

Texas law also generally prohibits possession of firearms on certain state-owned lands.12

Texas law generally authorizes both public and private employers to prohibit their employees from possessing firearms or ammunition on the premises of the employer’s business, provided that, with some exceptions, employers are generally not authorized to prohibit employees who lawfully possess firearms or ammunition from transporting or storing firearms or ammunition in a locked, privately owned motor vehicle in a parking area provided by the employer for employees.13

MEDIA REQUESTS

Our experts can speak to the full spectrum of gun violence prevention issues. Have a question? Email us at media@giffords.org.

Contact
  1. Tex. Penal Code §§ 46.03; 46.035. For the purpose of these location restrictions, Florida law generally defines the term “premises” to mean “a building or portion of a building,” and states that the term “does not include any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area.” Tex. Penal Code § 46.03(c)(4).[]
  2. Tex. Penal Code § 46.03(a(5), (c)(5), (e-1). This term is defined as an area of an airport terminal building to which access is controlled by the inspection of persons and property under federal law, or an aircraft parking area that is used by common carriers in air transportation but not by general aviation and to which access is controlled under federal law. Texas passed legislation in 2021 to declare that the restriction on bringing firearms into the “secured area” of an airport does not include a baggage claim area, a motor vehicle parking area used by passengers, employees, or persons awaiting an arrival, or an area used by the public to pick up or drop off passengers or employees. See 2021 TX HB 1920, amending Tex. Penal Code § 46.03(c).[]
  3. Tex. Penal Code § 46.03(a), (f) and (g).[]
  4. These business are generally required by state law to post prominent signs at their entrances regarding the firearm prohibition, as specified. Tex. Gov’t Code § 411.204.[]
  5. But note that this restriction does not apply if a person who has a valid license to carry a handgun carries a handgun on a premises where a collegiate sporting event is taking place and was not given effective notice regarding the firearm prohibition. See Tex. Penal Code § 46.15(q).[]
  6. See also Tex. Penal Code § 38.11(d)(2).[]
  7. Hospitals and nursing homes are generally required to to post prominent signs at their entrances regarding the firearm prohibition, as specified. Tex. Gov’t Code § 411.204. Assisted living facilities are also required to post a “provider’s bill of rights” in a prominent place in the facility stating that a provider of personal care services has the right to “maintain an environment free of weapons.” Tex. Health & Safety Code § 247.065(b)(9).[]
  8. “Amusement park” is defined to mean “a permanent indoor or outdoor facility or park where amusement rides are available for use by the public that is located in a county with a population of more than one million, encompasses at least 75 acres in surface area, is enclosed with access only through controlled entries, is open for operation more than 120 days in each calendar year, and has security guards on the premises at all times. The term does not include any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area.” Tex. Penal Code § 46.03(c).[]
  9. Tex. Penal Code §§ 46.03(a)(14); 46.15(b)(6) (exempting people with a license to carry a handgun if they are carrying a concealed or holstered handgun).[]
  10. Tex. Penal Code § 46.15(m) – (o).[]
  11. See Tex. Penal Code §§ 30.05(c), (d-3), (f) – (f-4); 30.06 (governing the crime of unlawful trespass by a license holder with a concealed handgun).[]
  12. Tex. Parks & Wild. Code § 62.081 prohibits the possession of a firearm on or across the land of the Lower Colorado River Authority. Possession of a firearm is also prohibited in:

    • All the state-owned riverbeds in LaSalle County (Tex. Parks & Wild. Code § 82.712)
    • All the state-owned riverbeds in McMullen County (Tex. Parks & Wild. Code § 82.722)
    • The state-owned land area and water in the Aransas and Poesta rivers in Bee County (Tex. Parks & Wild. Code § 82.732)
    • The state-owned riverbeds of the Nueces, Frio, and Atascosa rivers in Live Oak County (Tex. Parks & Wild. Code § 82.762)

    No person may possess a rifle or pistol for shooting on or over the water of Murvaul Lake in Panola County. Tex. Parks & Wild. Code § 283.022.[]

  13. Tex. Gov’t Code § 411.203; Tex. Labor Code §§ 52.061; 52.062(b).[]