Texas Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW): Gun Laws, Application, Requirements & Online Training
Concealed carry permits have become a significant aspect of gun laws in many states, and Texas is no exception. With a shall-issue policy for concealed carry permits issued by the Department of Public Safety, Texas provides residents and non-residents the opportunity to carry concealed weapons legally, as long as all the requirements are met. In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of Texas concealed carry laws, the application process, restrictions, and frequently asked questions.
Texas Gun Laws
In Texas, residents can conceal carry with a License To Carry (LTC), which is the state’s CCW permit. Non-residents can also carry concealed if they possess a license from states that Texas reciprocates with or by applying for a Texas CCW permit.
Applicants for the Texas LTC must be at least twenty-one years old, or eighteen years old if they are members of the military posted to the state. Honorably discharged military members are also eligible to apply. A Texas concealed carry permit class requirement for firearm training is mandatory, followed by a written examination and demonstration of firearm expertise.
Texas Concealed Carry Permit Reciprocity
Texas has reciprocity agreements with several states, allowing the acceptance of their CCW permits in Texas. Similarly, Texas CCW permit holders can carry concealed in other states that recognize the Texas permit. However, some states have restrictions or permitless carry policies that must be understood before carrying there.
Location Restrictions for CCW in Texas
While Texas allows concealed carry, there are specific locations where carrying a firearm is prohibited. These include universities, high schools, state parks, places of worship, polling units, airports, and certain business establishments. However, law enforcement officers and peace officers are exempt from these restrictions.
Places Where You Cannot Conceal Carry in Texas
The following are areas where concealed carry is not allowed in Texas:
- Universities with firearm restrictions
- High schools and colleges (unless the firearm is encased in a vehicle, away from public view)
- Stadiums or event centers hosting professional sporting activities
- State parks
- Mosques, churches, or places of worship
- Governmental body meetings
- Schooling activities and vehicles transporting school students
- Businesses where alcohol sales contribute to over half of their income (with appropriate signage)
- Hospitals and healthcare centers
- Prisons, detention facilities, and correctional facilities
- Under the influence of alcohol or intoxicating substances
- Involvement in illegal activities or gang membership
- Criminal execution locations (within one thousand feet)
- Courts or court activity offices
- Polling units on election dates
- Secured areas of an airport
- Private properties or buildings with firearm restriction signage
- Business places with permission from the employer
- Places restricted by federal laws
Places Where You Can Conceal Carry in Texas
Firearms can be carried without restriction in certain places in Texas, such as restaurants (excluding bar areas), private vehicles, state and national forests, and Wildlife Management Areas.
Concealed Carry for Law Enforcement Officers in Texas
Active and retired law enforcement officers in Texas are allowed to carry concealed firearms without location restrictions under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA). Retired officers must meet certain criteria and qualifications to carry under LEOSA standards.
Buying and Selling of Firearms in Texas
Texas does not issue purchase permits or require handgun registration. Firearm purchases in the state involve a criminal record background check, but holders of a Texas LTC are exempt from this requirement.
Texas CCW Permit Requirements
To apply for a Texas CCW permit, applicants must:
- Reside legally in Texas for at least six months (or establish residency as a new resident)
- Be at least twenty-one years old (or eighteen years old for military members)
- Have no felony convictions or certain misdemeanor charges
- Not be a fugitive or have an arrest warrant
- Not be dependent on intoxicants
- Demonstrate knowledge of firearm handling and storage
- Not have been convicted of certain misdemeanor charges within five years before application
- Meet all federal and state qualifications to possess firearms
- Pay necessary fees for child support or other levies
- Not have any protective orders or restraining orders related to spousal relationships or properties
- Submit all original documents without forgery or misrepresentation
- Meet all federal law requirements for CCW permit application
How to Apply for CCW Permits in Texas
Applicants must first complete a firearm training class certified by the state. The application is then downloaded and submitted, along with fingerprint information, to the Department of Public Safety. Approved applicants receive mail notification.
Understanding Texas concealed carry laws is crucial for responsible gun owners. While the state allows concealed carry in many places, specific restrictions apply. By meeting the necessary requirements and following the application process, individuals can obtain a Texas CCW permit and exercise their right to carry concealed.
Texas Concealed Carry FAQs
How long does a Texas CCW permit last?
The permit is valid for five years, with an option for renewal.
How much does the Texas CCW permit application cost?
The application costs forty dollars, but military veterans pay twenty-five dollars.
What is the processing time for CCW permits in Texas?
The processing period is typically sixty days.
When can I apply for CCW permit renewal in Texas?
You can apply for renewal six months before the permit expires, with a grace period of twelve months after expiration.