Texas law generally prohibits any person, including a valid handgun license holder, from intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possessing a firearm of any sort:
- 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 area of an airport terminal building to which access is controlled by the inspection of persons and property under federal law unless all firearms were checked as baggage in accordance with federal or state law or regulations before entering
- 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 proper notice that going within 1,000 feet of the premises with a weapon was prohibited or that possessing a weapon within 1,000 feet of the premises was prohibited, unless the actor possesses the firearm while in a vehicle being driven on a public road or while at the actor’s residence or place of employment.1
Any assisted living facility is 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.”2
Texas prohibits the possession of a deadly weapon while in a correctional facility.3
Texas law prohibits the possession of firearms on certain state-owned lands.4
Texas law 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. Special rules apply to handgun license holders, as noted below.5
Prohibitions Specific to Handgun License Holders
Texas law specifically provides that a handgun license holder is prohibited from intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carrying a handgun on or about his or her person, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed:
- On the premises of a correctional facility
- On the premises of a hospital or a nursing home, unless the license holder has written authorization of the hospital or nursing home administration, as appropriate, provided effective notice was given6
License holders are generally allowed to carry a handgun on their person, either concealed or in a shoulder or belt holster, unless effective notice is given :
- In an amusement park
- At any meeting of a governmental entity7
Effective “notice” is given if the owner of the property or someone with apparent authority to act for the owner provides notice by:
- Oral communication;
- A card or other document on which is written the following language: “Pursuant to Section 30.06, Penal Code (trespass by holder of license to carry a handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (handgun license law), may not enter this property with a handgun”; or
- A sign posted on the property that includes the above language in both English and Spanish, appearing in contrasting colors with block letters at least one inch in height; and displayed in a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public.8
If a license holder carries a handgun on the property of another without effective consent and received “notice” (as defined above) that entry by a license holder on the property with a handgun was forbidden or that remaining on the property with a handgun was prohibited and the license holder failed to depart, the license holder is criminally liable.9
Texas law allows public or private employers to prohibit persons who are licensed to carry handguns from doing so on the premises of the business.10 However, in 2011, Texas enacted a law that prevents employers from prohibiting employees who are handgun license holders from transporting or storing firearms or ammunition in a locked, privately owned motor vehicle in a parking area the employer provides for employees.11
Liquor Licensees, Hospitals, and Nursing Homes
Valid handgun license holders are also specifically prohibited from intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carrying a handgun on or about his or her person, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed, on the premises of a business that has a permit or license issued under certain chapters of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, if the business derives 51 percent or more of its income from the sale or service of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption. A person is subject to prosecution under this prohibition only if he or she received notice that entry on the property by a license holder with a handgun was forbidden, or that remaining on the property with a handgun was forbidden and failed to depart. For purposes of this prohibition, a person receives notice if the owner of the property or someone with apparent authority to act for the owner provides “notice” as described above.12
In addition, Texas law requires these businesses, as well as licensed hospitals and nursing homes, to prominently display, in both English and Spanish, a sign stating that it is unlawful for a person licensed to carry a handgun to carry a handgun on the premises. The sign must appear in contrasting colors with block letters at least one inch in height and, for the establishments serving alcohol, must include on its face the number “51” printed in solid red at least five inches in height. The sign must also be displayed in a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public.13
Businesses holding these liquor permits or licenses who do not derive 51% or more of their income from the sale of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption, or who hold other liquor permits or licenses, are also prohibited from knowingly allowing a person to possess a firearm in a building on the licensed premises, but handgun license holders are exempt.14 Texas law requires a sign to be displayed in a prominent place on the premises giving notice that it is unlawful to carry a weapon on the premises unless the person is licensed to carry the weapon and it is a properly concealed firearm.15 The sign must be at least 6 inches high and 14 inches wide, must appear in contrasting colors, and shall be displayed in a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public.16
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- Tex. Penal Code § 46.03(a), (f) and (g).
- Tex. Health & Safety Code § 247.065(b)(9).
- Tex. Penal Code § 38.11(d)(2).
- 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.
- See Tex. Penal Code § 30.05(f).
- Tex. Penal Code § 46.035.
- Tex. Penal Code § 46.035.
- Tex. Penal Code § 30.06(b), (c)(3).
- Tex. Penal Code § 30.06. This prohibition does not apply if the license holder possesses a handgun on property that is owned or leased by a governmental entity, and possession on that government property is otherwise lawful. Tex. Penal Code § 30.06(e).
- Tex. Gov’t Code § 411.203; Tex. Labor Code § 52.062(b).
- Tex. Labor Code § 52.061.
- Tex. Penal Code § 30.06(a)-(c). See also Tex. Penal Code § 46.035(b)(1), (k).
- Tex. Gov’t Code § 411.204.
- Tex. Alco. Bev. Code §§ 11.61(e) and 61.71(f).
- Tex. Alco. Bev. Code §§ 11.041 and 61.11.
- Tex. Alco. Bev. Code §§ 11.041, 61.11.