You may have heard about the new constitutional carry gun law taking effect September 1st, 2021. What does the new law mean for gun owners, License-to-carry (LTC) holders and all other Texans?
What is Constitutional Carry?
Constitutional carry refers to an American citizen’s 2nd amendment right to bear arms. House Bill 1927 eliminates the requirement for Texas residents to obtain a LTC for handguns if they’re not prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a gun. This allows any Texan 21 or older the option to carry a handgun openly or concealed as long as they have not lost that right by law.
The new law enhances the criminal penalties for felons and family violence offenders caught carrying. Additionally, the Texas State Senate made changes that required the Texas Department of Public Safety to offer a free online course on gun safety. Not affected by the change is the current law allowing Texans to openly carry long guns like shotguns or rifles in most public places without a license.
Even with the new law in Texas, there are still perks to obtaining an LTC. A handgun license would allow the carrier to be eligible for reciprocity in states that have agreements with Texas. A license is also considered a valid form of ID when casting a ballot and grants expedited access into the Texas Capitol.
Where can an eligible Texan not carry a handgun?
Even though the new law broadens eligibility, there are still restricted locations where carrying a handgun is not be permitted unless you are a licensed peace officer.
- Bars and other businesses that make 51% of their receipts from alcohol
- Sporting events and horse or dog races
- Polling places
- Jails and prisons
- Government buildings
- Federal property and national park buildings
- Private businesses or land in which the owner has signage posted outlawing weapons
Education and Training are Important
Even though Texas is broadening the scope of who can carry, the importance of gun safety remains a responsibility of all gun owners. With the potential for an increase in gun ownership, the need and demand for training should increase as well. Whether you are a new handgun owner or long time owner looking for a refresher course, check out the classes and training courses we offer at Heart of Texas Shooting Center. Send us a message with any questions or to ensure your education and training are up to date.