How Old Do You Have to be to Open Carry?
You must be 21 years old to apply for a handgun license. Once you legally have your license, there are no age limitations to open carry. The minimum age to openly carry a handgun should not be confused with the required age to purchase a firearm, which is 18.
Open Carry with a Loaded Weapon?
If you have an open carry license, you may carry your weapon loaded or unloaded. Of course, carrying a loaded weapon requires you to take the utmost caution and care as to not put yourself or others in danger.
License to Carry After a Conviction
If you have been convicted of any class A misdemeanor, any class B misdemeanor, or a class C disorderly conduct, you will be required to wait five years after your conviction until you can obtain a license. If you commit a non-violent felony and receive deferred adjudication, you will need to wait ten years from the date that you received deferred adjudication.
If you’ve been convicted of a felony, you will not be able to qualify for a handgun license at any point after the conviction. See Gov. Code Secs. 411.171, 411.1711 and 411.172.
Open Carry Vs Concealed Carry
Whether you carry concealed or open is a matter of preference. If you carry open it may serve as a deterrent to a criminal and make him less likely to commit a crime since your weapon will be on display in a holster. However, it may also make you a target since the criminal will know that you are armed and he may make you his first victim. Carrying concealed gives you the element of surprise. The decision is yours to make.
Texas Concealed Carry Laws
Open carry has not changed anything about concealed carry law in Texas. You may still carry concealed in places where it is legal to do so.
In order to get your CHL (or now, your LTC) and be in accordance with Texas carry law, you still must:
- Be 21 years old
- Complete the state application for LTC
- Present valid ID
- Have proof of Texas residency
- Pay all class and processing fees
- Pass the handgun proficiency test
Can you Open Carry with a Concealed Permit?
Yes. You may carry openly without updating your CHL (concealed handgun license)–it will serve as your license to carry openly as well. The same precautions that are taken with your weapon when concealing should all be taken when carrying openly. When your CHL is renewed, you will be given an LTC.
Texas Constitutional Carry
In the 2017 Texas legislative session, lawmakers have proposed a bill that would make Texas the 14th state to permit constitutional carry. While the bill has not yet passed, it will be part of the discussion during the 85th legislative session.
What will it mean if Texas becomes a constitutional carry state? Texans will no longer need to have a permit to carry a firearm. Currently, Texans do not need a permit to purchase a firearm and are not required to register their firearm with the state, they can carry as long as they have an LTC. Constitutional carry would eliminate the need for the LTC, permitting concealed/open carry for any Texan who legally owns a handgun. More on the potentials of constitutional carry in Texas in Justin’s interview with the CW news.
Open Carry States
A full list of US states that allow the open carry of handguns appears below. Particular restrictions and requirements about open carry vary on a state-to-state basis. Do not open carry in any of these states without first becoming familiar with the laws of that state.
Click here to view Texas’ reciprocal gun law agreements with other states.