Indoor gun ranges offer a controlled environment for competitive sport shooting, recreational shooters and law enforcement. They’re safe from weather elements and offer a great opportunity for target shooting and improving your accuracy. Before you load your gun in your vehicle and head to a range in Texas, ensure you’re familiar with all the applicable laws. This guide will help you ensure you’re compliant so you can focus on fixing that shot group.
On September 21st, 2021, a new constitutional carry law took effect changing who can carry a firearm in public. It affects people over 21 years old who are not otherwise prohibited from carrying, storing, possessing, or transporting a firearm.
Who Can Carry a Firearm in Public
You can now carry a firearm in most places without a license to carry (LTC) as long as you qualify under the law:
- You are at least 21 years old
- Have no prior felony convictions (Texas Penal Code Section 46.04)
- Have no recent convictions of certain misdemeanors (Texas Penal Code Sections 46.02 and 46.04)
- Are not subject to an existing protective order (Texas Penal Code Section 46.04(c))
- Have no restrictions from possessing a firearm (18 United States Code Section 922(g))
- Are not intoxicated (Texas Penal Code Section 46.02(a-6)
It is still a crime in Texas to carry a handgun in public, in another person’s plain view, unless it’s in its holster and you have a license to carry.
Who Can Not Carry a Firearm in Public
Do NOT carry in public if any of the following apply to you:
- A domestic violence restraining order has been placed against you
- You are in the country illegally or under a nonimmigrant visa
- You’ve been dishonorably discharged from the military
- You have fled to avoid criminal punishment
- You use illegal drugs
If you were prohibited from carrying a handgun before the new law took place, you still are not permitted to carry a firearm (Section 2 of HB 1927 ).
When You Have a Firearm in the Car
When in a motor vehicle or watercraft:
- You must not have a handgun in plain view unless you are at least 21 years old, your handgun is carried in a holster, and you have a LTC (Subchapter H, Chapter 411)
- You must not engage in criminal activity
- You must not be prohibited from being in possession of a firearm
The following weapons and ammunition are prohibited unless otherwise specified (Sec. 46.05):
- Explosive weapons
- Machine guns
- Short-barrel firearms
- Armor-piercing ammunition
- Chemical-dispensing devices
- Zip guns
- Tire-deflation devices
- Improvised explosive devices
Penalties for Violating the Law
In Texas, illegal firearm possession may be a misdemeanor or felony depending on the type of weapon and where it was carried:
- Unlawful carrying of a handgun without a license is a Class-A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year of imprisonment and up to a $4,000 fine (Sec. 46.04).
- Possession of a firearm on a property with a clear sign that says firearms are prohibited on the property is a Clas-C misdemeanor punishable by a fine not exceeding $200
- Unlawful carrying of a handgun where alcohol is sold is a third-degree felony and punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine of no more than $10,000
If you have more questions about how to transport your gun to the indoor range, call us at Hot Shooting Center at 254-492-8300 and we’d be happy to answer your questions so you can feel confident that you’re compliant with all local gun laws.