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Texas Gun Laws

Texas Gun Laws



Over the past ten years, Texas’ gun laws have seen significant changes, reflecting the state’s commitment to upholding Second Amendment rights while addressing evolving perspectives on public safety. From open carry to background checks, these developments underscore Texas’ dedication to responsible firearm ownership. This article provides an overview of the key updates in Texas’ gun laws and regulations from 2013 to 2023, presented in bullet points:

2013 – Open Carry Legislation:

   – Enactment of laws allowing individuals with a valid concealed carry permit to openly carry handguns in public places.

2014 – Enhanced Penalties for Gun Crimes:

   – Introduction of legislation enforcing stricter penalties for individuals convicted of gun-related crimes.

   – Aims to deter illegal firearm use and promote public safety.

2015 – Campus Carry Enactment:

   – Adoption of laws allowing individuals with valid handgun carry permits to carry firearms on college campuses.

2016 – Enhanced Background Checks for Firearm Sales:

   – Strengthened background checks for firearm sales at gun shows and online, aiming to close potential loopholes.

2017 – “Constitutional Carry” Discussion:

   – Exploration of potential legislation allowing individuals to carry firearms without a concealed carry permit.

2018 – Enhanced Reporting on Lost or Stolen Firearms:

   – Strengthened laws requiring firearm owners to report lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement within a specific timeframe.

2019 – Firearm Storage and Child Access Prevention Laws:

   – Enactment of laws promoting responsible firearm storage and holding adults accountable for securing firearms from children’s access.

2020 – Enhanced Reporting on Mental Health and Firearm Access:

   – Exploration of ways to improve the reporting and evaluation of mental health records in relation to firearm background checks.

2021 – Firearm Waiting Period Consideration:

   – Discussion about implementing a mandatory waiting period for firearm purchases to allow for comprehensive background checks.

2022 – Enhanced Oversight of Firearms Dealers:

    – Strengthened regulation and oversight of firearm dealers to ensure responsible sales practices.

2022 – Enhanced Mental Health Reporting:

    – Strengthened reporting of mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

    – Aims to prevent firearm access by individuals with mental health concerns.

2023 – Firearm Training and Safety Initiatives:

    – Introduction of initiatives promoting firearm safety education and training among gun owners.

    – Emphasis on responsible practices and handling.

2023 – Enhanced Reporting on Domestic Violence:

    – Strengthened reporting of domestic violence incidents to NICS, preventing individuals with restraining orders from accessing firearms.

2023 – “Red Flag” Law Exploration:

    – Discussion around potential “red flag” laws allowing law enforcement to seek temporary firearm removal for individuals posing risks.

Texas’ gun laws have evolved over the past decade, reflecting the state’s commitment to responsible firearm ownership and community safety. These changes demonstrate Texas’ proactive approach to firearm regulation. As the state continues to adapt its laws, it remains crucial for stakeholders, policymakers, and the public to engage in informed discussions that prioritize individual rights while maintaining community security.

In recent times, residents of the state of Texas
have petitioned for the lifting of the open-carry restrictions imposed by Texas gun law. They believe that open-carry is a basic gun right, with roots in the state’s history and culture.
Texas is one of the six states that prohibit the open carry of handguns in the country. It is, however, the only real restriction concerning firearms by Texas gun laws. No permit is necessary for the purchase of rifles, shotguns, ammunition, or any firearm component in the state. The only qualifications pertinent to the purchase of firearms set by Texas gun laws is that the purchaser be at least 18 years of age and a resident of the state. Minors may also purchase weapons if they can provide for written permission by their parent or legal guardian.
No state license is needed for the possession of rifle, handgun, or shotgun. However, there are certain restrictions imposed. No person convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor under the Class A category may possess a handgun. Class A misdemeanors generally include crimes involving the family or the household.
The carrying of a concealed handgun is allowed according to Texas gun laws if the person has the appropriate permit. In recent times, residents of Texas are petitioning for this piece of legislature to be lifted, for many consider that it is a an inherent right to carry handguns openly. In order to carry a concealed handgun, a person must apply for a license with the Department of Public Safety and meet certain requirements:
     The completed materials and applications
     Two passport color photographs
     At least 21 years of age
     Resident of the state of Texas
     Completion of a handgun proficiency test by a qualified instructor
     An affidavit stating the applicant’s full understanding of laws and rights, and lawful fulfillment of the requirements
     Authorization to access records
It is the discretion of the Department of Public Safety to issue a license to carry to those qualified. Applicants that do not meet the requirements include those with felony or Class A misdemeanor records, history of addiction to drugs, alcohol, or controlled substances, mental illness history, or delinquent records involving tax or child support payments. The handgun proficiency test must be completed successfully. It shall also state the test-takers proficiency with either a revolver or semi-automatic pistol.
Certain places or establishments have a restriction on carrying handguns on their premises which include government-related facilities, buildings, or offices, places for religious worship, a race track, businesses that more than 51% of its revenue is from the sale of alcohol for consumption on the location, and schools.
It is also deemed illegal by Texas gun law for a person to not conceal their handgun. Minors under the age of found in possession of a firearm are legally excluded if the minor is engaged in hunting and other sporting activities, defending of people or property as allowed by law, or during agricultural activities.
All such activities are permissible if the minor was properly supervised by an adult over the age of eighteen. An adult will be held responsible if a minor under the age of 17 gains access to a weapon. It is deemed negligible if the adult did not secure the weapon in an appropriate place and the firearm can be readily used. Machines guns are allowed for possession in the state according to Texas gun laws, as long as they are registered on the federal level. It is also key to note that ammunition that can be considered as armor-piercing is considered illegal to possess and sell.