Terms and Conditions
2021 Unlicensed Carry Law
As of September 1st, 2021, Texas law no longer requires people to have a license to carry (LTC) in order to carry a handgun in most public places. However, Texans are still able to get a license to carry after the new law takes effect.
People with a handgun license may be able to take their gun some places where unlicensed people can’t. For example, there are different rules for unlicensed carry and licensed carry near schools and at colleges. Also, businesses and other private property owners can usually choose whether to prohibit unlicensed carry, open carry by license holders, concealed carry by license holders, or some combination of those options.
Additionally, Texans may need a Texas License to Carry if they want to carry their handgun in another state that requires a handgun license and has a reciprocity agreement with Texas.
HB 1927 (87th Leg. Session, 2021) — Relating to carrying of a firearm by a person who is 21 years of age or older and not otherwise prohibited by state or federal law from possessing the firearm.Effective: September 1st, 2021
This law removed the requirement to have a license to carry in order to carry a handgun in Texas.
Texas License to Carry (LTC)
Texas Laws & Regulations
Texas Government Code, Chapter 411, Subchapter HThis section discusses licenses to carry handguns. These licenses are regulated by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Texas Administrative Code, Title 37, Chapter 6This chapter of the Texas Administrative Code contains rules issued by the Department of Public Safety related to licenses to carry handguns. These include rules related to eligibility and application procedures for handgun licenses, handgun instructor licenses, and approved online course providers.
Handgun Licensing: Laws & RegulationsThis page from the Texas Department of Public Safety compiles relevant laws and regulations related to handgun licenses.
Understanding the Law
Handgun Licensing: Frequently Asked QuestionsThis FAQ from the Texas Department of Public Safety discusses many aspects of the LTC licensing process including eligibility, training requirements, and relevant laws.
LTC Benefits: Benefits of a Texas Handgun LicenseThis page from the Texas Department of Public Safety explains some perks of getting a license to carry a handgun in Texas.
Texas Department of Public Safety: Regulatory Services Division (RSD) Contact CenterThis agency administers the Handgun Licensing Program.
LTCs for 18 to 20-Year-Olds Under Protective Orders
Normally, Texans must be at least 21 years old in order to get a license to carry a handgun (LTC). However, in 2021, HB 918 gave Texans aged 18-20 the ability to get an LTC if they are protected under certain types of protective orders or magistrate’s emergency protective orders.
Section 411.172 of the Texas Government CodeThis section sets out the eligibility requirements for getting a license to carry (LTC) in Texas. Subsection (i) allows those 18-20 years old and who are protected by certain protective orders to apply for an LTC.
Section 411.1735 of the Texas Government CodeThis statute describes how a person can apply for a license to carry a handgun (LTC) if they are 18-20 years old and are under an active protective order or magistrate’s order. It also says that the LTC must have a “protective order designation” on it.
Understanding the Law
As the bill analysis for the new law explains,
H.B. 918 amends the Government Code to make a person who is at least 18 years of age but not yet 21 years of age eligible for a handgun license if the person meets all other license requirements except the minimum age under federal law to purchase a handgun and is protected under an active protective order or magistrate’s order for emergency protection […].
Victims can apply for an LTC under this new law if they are covered by a protective order for: family violence, stalking, compelling prostitution, or certain sexual or trafficking crimes.
- HB 918 is a Texas law that became effective 9/1/2021. This bill analysis includes an author/sponsor statement of intent which provides an explanation of the law.
Duty to Inform
Section 411.205 of the Texas Government Code is sometimes called the “duty to inform” law. The law says that if a person with a license to carry a handgun (LTC) is carrying a handgun and is asked by a peace officer to show ID, they must show both:
- Their driver’s license or other ID
- Their handgun license
Also, if the person’s handgun license has a “protective order designation” (see above for details), they must also display:
- A copy of the protective order or magistrate’s emergency protective order associated with the designation
- Section 411.205 of the Texas Government CodeThis statute requires those with a license to carry a handgun (LTC) to display their LTC to a peace officer upon request. Those with a “protective order designation” must also display a copy of the order.
Traveling With Firearms
Traveling to another state and wondering if you can take your gun? These resources explain Texas’s handgun license reciprocity agreements with other states.
- Handgun Licensing: Reciprocity Agreements With Other StatesRefer to this list for information about LTC reciprocity between states. Provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety, this list indicates whether or not Texas has an agreement with the state and provides a copy of the agreement.
- I’m Visiting Texas From Another State, and I Have a License to Carry in My Home State. Can I Carry My Gun in Texas?This FAQ discusses Texas’s reciprocity agreements with other states relating to licenses to carry handguns.
- What’s Legal in Your State Might Not Be Legal in TexasThis private attorney’s blog post discusses issues that might arise when traveling with your gun.
- Transporting Firearms and AmmunitionThe Transportation Security Administration (TSA) provides this information about traveling on airplanes with firearms and ammunition.