Under the United States federal and state law (up until extremely recently),any American citizen currently residing in Texas must have a registered license in order to carry a handgun, be that openly or concealed about their person.
The New State Law
In the last few weeks, a new Texas state law has been passed which allows the unlicensed carrying of handguns across the state, making Texas the twenty-first state to allow the practice. Crucially, however, there are a still a number of restrictions on such an activity and as the owner of a handgun in Texas, it is vital you make yourself aware of the small details.
The new law requires the Texas Department of Public Safety to supply and promote an online course on its website that teaches proper and strict firearm safety and handling. Licensed handgun safety instructors are still available throughout the state and offer their services where needed.
It is your sole responsibility as a gun owner (if you are required) to apply and complete a TX concealed carry license application if you are intending on transporting your firearm anywhere outside of your home.
Which Firearms are Banned?
Under Texas state law, there are few exceptions to the types of weapons you can legally purchase and subsequently own. These exceptions include rifles with a barrel length of less than sixteen inches and shotguns with a barrel length of less than eighteen inches. Even these exceptions can be re-included if the owner pays a $200 tax and registers the weapon with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Who can Legally Purchase Firearms?
In the state of Texas, it is illegal to purchase a rifle whilst you are under the age of eighteen and illegal to purchase a handgun whilst you are under the age of twenty-one. Outside of when it is used to defend oneself, it is also illegal for a person younger than eighteen to possess a handgun. Thankfully, people who have been convicted of domestic violence are also unable to purchase a firearm.
Gun Crime in Texas
It goes without saying that the responsibility of owning a firearm should be one that is respected and treated incredibly seriously. In the state of Texas alone, gun violence costs an average of $16.6 billion every year.
The statistics pertaining to gun crime in Texas are staggering and, as a responsible handgun owner, it is your duty to yourself, your state and your country to take care when operating, cleaning or otherwise using your firearm.
Secure Ways to Store Your Firearms
The most important investment when it comes to safely storing your handguns is to use a trigger lock. A trigger lock is essentially an affordable and easy to operate way of categorically ensuring the gun can be fired by an unauthorized user. You should always store your firearm in a solid gun case, both for the safety of the people around you and for the protection of the firearm itself.