Texas Gun Permit: Laws, Cost, Restrictions, & FAQs
Texas, known for its strong support of the Second Amendment, issues licenses to carry firearms to its residents and non-residents. The process involves complying with specific requirements set by the Texas pistol permit license law. This article aims to provide a detailed overview of the Texas gun permit system, the application process, different types of gun permits, associated costs, and relevant laws related to gun possession in the state.
Texas Gun Permit Summary
Texas follows a “shall-issue” policy, where the Department of Public Safety oversees the application process. The state issues permits for both open and concealed carry, and applicants must meet certain criteria to be eligible.
How To Get a Gun Permit in Texas?
To obtain a gun permit in Texas, applicants must meet the following requirements:
1. Residency and Age
Applicants must legally reside in Texas for at least six months, or if new residents, they must establish residency in the state. The minimum age requirement is 21 years for civilians and 18 years for active members of the United States Armed Forces. Out-of-service officers must have an honorable discharge.
2. Criminal History
Applicants must not have any felony convictions, class A or class B misdemeanor charges, or active warrants. They must not be fugitives or have any form of intoxicant dependency.
3. Firearm Knowledge
Applicants should be knowledgeable about firearm handling and proper storage.
4. Child Support
If required by the attorney general, applicants must agree to pay necessary child support fees.
5. Taxpayer Status
Applicants must be taxpayers in Texas or pay any other relevant fees imposed by the state, municipality, or county.
6. Restraining Orders
Applicants should not have any protective orders or restraining orders related to spousal relationships or properties.
7. Original Documents
All documents submitted for the license application must be original and accurate.
8. Federal and State Qualifications
Applicants must meet all federal and state qualifications to possess firearms.
Different Types of Gun Permits in Texas
Texas issues the following types of gun permits:
- State permit to purchase long guns: Not applicable; no state permit required.
- State permit to purchase handguns: Not applicable; no state permit required.
- State permit to open carry: Texas allows open carry without a permit since 2021.
- State permit to conceal carry long guns: Not applicable; no state permit required.
- State permit to conceal carry handguns: Texas issues a permit for concealed carry of handguns.
Cost of Getting a Gun License in Texas
The application fee for an initial or renewal permit is $40. However, for honorably discharged military veterans, the cost is $25 for both permits.
Gun Permits Application and Renewal Process in Texas
The application process for a gun permit in Texas involves the following steps:
- Complete Firearm Training: Enroll in a Texas firearm training program that meets concealed carry requirements.
- Download Application: Download the application form from an online portal and fill it out.
- Take Fingerprint: Have your fingerprint taken and submit it through L-1 Enrollment Services (additional charges may apply).
- Submit the Application: Send the completed application and firearm training certificate to the Department of Public Safety either by mail or in person.
- Receive Notification: After the processing period, you will receive notification of your approved application.
For permit renewals, you will receive a reminder notification at least six months before the expiration date. You can apply for renewal anytime within this period, and you have an additional year after the expiry date to renew. After this grace period, your permit becomes invalid, and you must apply for a new one.
Gun Permit Reciprocity in Texas
Texas has specific requirements for accepting permits from other states. Texas accepts permits from some states and has reciprocity agreements with others. Here are the reciprocity scenarios:
States That Texas Will Accept Their Pistol Permits
Residents of the following states can possess firearms in Texas, as their permits meet Texas requirements:
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
States That Will Recognize Pistol Permits From Texas
Residents of the following states can use their Texas gun license in their respective states, but they must adhere to the local gun laws:
- South Carolina
States That Have Restricted Reciprocity With Texas
These states will honor a Texas pistol license, but additional individual requirements must be met before open or concealed carry is permitted:
- South Carolina
States That Do Not Require Permits for Firearms Possession
Residents of the following “constitutional carry” states can possess firearms without a permit:
- New Hampshire
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Relevant Gun Laws, Permits, and Legislation in Texas
Possession of Firearms in Private Vehicles of the State
With a license to carry, individuals can carry firearms openly in holsters on their belts or shoulders in their private vehicles. Without a license, individuals must conceal the firearm within the vehicle.
Possession of Firearms in Roadside Areas
Individuals can possess firearms in roadside areas of the state if they have a Texas gun license or a permit from a state recognized by Texas.
Possession of Firearms in State Parks, Forests, and Wildlife Management Areas
Firearms can be carried in state parks, forests, and wildlife management areas with a Texas pistol permit or a recognized out-of-state permit. However, there are restrictions in specific locations like the lower Colorado River and Murvaul Lake in Panola County.
Possession of Firearms in Restaurants and Bar Areas of the State
Concealed carry in restaurant areas is allowed with a pistol permit unless prohibited by posted signs. Possession of firearms is prohibited in bars and establishments selling alcohol.
Possession of Firearms in Hotels
Hotels in Texas have the authority to regulate the possession or handling of firearms on their premises. They can use signage for this purpose.
Possession of Firearms in Employee Parking Lots
Employers cannot prohibit legal employees from storing firearms in their vehicles within the premises, as long as the firearms are entirely out of sight.
Texas issues licenses to carry firearms to residents and non-residents, allowing open and concealed carry. To obtain a permit, applicants must meet specific requirements related to age, residency, criminal history, firearm knowledge, and more. Texas also has reciprocity agreements with certain states, allowing recognition of out-of-state permits. Understanding the relevant gun laws and permit legislation is essential for responsible gun ownership and carrying in the Lone Star State.
Can I open carry in Texas without a permit?
Yes, open carry without a permit is legal in Texas since 2021.
Is it legal to possess assault weapons in Texas?
Texas prohibits the manufacturing, selling, repair, or possession of assault weapons like machine guns unless they are federally registered.
How much does it cost to get a gun license in Texas?
The initial and renewal permit application costs $40. For honorably discharged military veterans, the cost is $25 for both permits.
Can I possess firearms in my vehicle in Texas?
Yes, with a license to carry, you can possess firearms openly in holsters on your belt or shoulder. Without a license, you must conceal the firearm within the vehicle.
Which states accept Texas pistol permits?
Texas recognizes permits from states that meet its requirements. Some states also accept Texas permits, while others have limited reciprocity with additional requirements.