Texas Open Carry and Concealed Carry Laws
The offense of Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon in Texas covers several different weapons – handguns, a club, and certain “illegal” knives.
By, Houston Criminal Lawyer .
When Can You (legally) Carry A Weapon in Texas?
That question is mostly addressed in Texas Penal Code Sec. 46.02 (referenced below).
This statute makes clear that a person has the right to carry any of these weapons on his person while he is on his own property (or property under his control). 46.02 of the Texas Penal Code also states that a person has the right to carry a handgun on or about his person while “en route” to or inside of a motor vehicle that he owns or that is under his control.
However, the law also provides that it is unlawful to carry on or about your person a handgun in a motor vehicle that is owned by that person or under that person’s control if the handgun is in plain view or if the person is engaged in criminal activity (other than a traffic ordinance or class C offense).
Texas Penal Code 46.02 provides the following:
(a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun, illegal knife, or club if the person is not:
(1) on the person’s own premises or premises under the person’s control; or
(2) inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle or watercraft that is owned by the person or under the person’s control.
(a-1) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun in a motor vehicle or watercraft that is owned by the person or under the person’s control at any time in which:
(1) the handgun is in plain view, unless the person is licensed to carry a handgun under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, and the handgun is carried in a shoulder or belt holster; or
(2) the person is:
(A) engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic or boating;
(B) prohibited by law from possessing a firearm; or
(C) a member of a criminal street gang, as defined by Section 71.01.
Can I carry a gun in my car in Texas?
What does this mean for handguns in the vehicle?
Unless a person has a Texas license to carry (LTC), that person must keep the handgun out of plain view and only in a motor vehicle owned by that person or under that person’s control. And if that person is engaged in some other sort of criminal activity, including possession of marijuana or other drugs or Driving While Intoxicated, then it is unlawful to carry that weapon.
This of course assumes that the person is otherwise not prohibited from possessing a firearm.
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