People are generally authorized to openly carry long guns in Texas, although state law prohibits people from displaying a firearm in a public place in a “manner calculated to alarm.”1
However, Texas generally prohibits people from openly carryinghandguns, whether loaded or unloaded, on or about their person in public spaces, except if the handguns are carried in a holster (in which case a holstered handgun may be partially or even wholly visible to another person).2 Texas previously required people to obtain a license to carry a handgun in order to carry concealed or holstered handguns in public but legislation enacted in 2021 now generally authorizes people to carry holstered handguns in most public spaces whether or not they have a license to carry, provided that the handgun is kept concealed or holstered when in public.3
Individuals in motor vehicles and boats are also generally prohibited from carrying unholstered handgun in plain view in Texas, although individuals who are “traveling” are exempt from this prohibition.4 See the Guns in Vehicles in Texas page for more information.
Texas also permits open carry of handguns by certain security officers, most people while on their own premises or premises under their control, and people who are engaging in (including going to or from) a lawful hunting or sporting activity, among others.5
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- Tex. Penal Code § 42.01(a)(8).
- Tex. Penal Code §§ 46.02(a-5); 46.035; 46.15(b)(6). In 2015, Texas enacted a law authorizing valid handgun license holders to carry visible handguns in a shoulder or belt holster on their person, provided that they also carried a valid handgun license with them while doing so. However, in 2021, Texas again amended this law to remove any permit requirement for carrying concealed or holstered handguns in most public spaces, and also removed language that previously required holstered weapons to be carried in a shoulder or belt holster only. As a result, current law authorizes people to carry partially or wholly visible handguns in a holster of any type without a license to carry a handgun.
- See 2021 TX HB 1927.
- Tex. Penal Code §§ 46.02(a-1); 46.15(b)(2), (b)(6).
- Tex. Penal Code § 46.15.