News

Reminder: Texas Open Carry is Here!

Open carry without a permit is now legal in Mississippi.

On January 1, individuals who possess either a valid License To Carry or CHL may be allowed to open carry their handgun in a belt or shoulder holster. Watch this important video on the basics of Open Carry from Texas Law Shield Independent Program Attorney Michele Byington. To learn more, register to attend a Gun Law Workshop.

Some points in particular legal open carriers must realize and prepare for: — You must possess a valid handgun license recognized by the state of Texas.

— You must open-carry your sidearm in a belt holster or shoulder holster.

— Each open-carry individual must realize that law enforcement may approach you and detain you, and perhaps disarm you, to to check for a valid Texas-recognized license.

What’s your take on Texas’ new law and open carry in general. Share your thoughts and opinions in the comment section.

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Comments (28)

  1. Living here in Texas, at first glance the “Open /Carry Law” looks great. Whether to open carry or concealed carry is a person’s right; However, a Democrat attached an amendment that allows “any” establishment to post a 30-07 sign stating open carry is not allowed on premises. So if you go to and Mall, you may carry in a mall but random stores may have 30-07 signs so some stores may not allow entrance, making the open carrier be at risk of violating law depending on store or restaurant unless paying close attention to signs be ready to convert type of carry while on same outing? This amendment has pretty much killed any open carry, I haven’t seen an open carry here in San Antonio since law went into effect. Has a “Law on the Books” but is useless under current restrictions.

  2. I personally do not open carry because I don’t want to cause panic to some of the public and also advertise to the bad guys. I am, however, glad of open carry so I don’t have to worry about being in trouble with the law for “brandishing” anymore because someone saw my gun accidentally exposed.

    1. @FCMII I can totally understand that. It is so stupid that a person could be charged because some limp-wrist is scared because he saw a gimps of a gun as you reached for your wallet.

  3. This is awesome for Texas! Wish we had the option here in Illinois. Hopefully we continue to see more Constitutional Carry in 2016, as well as even further support for the 2nd Amendment. As for those that have not already done so start the year right and join the NRA or any other of the fine organization advocating, and fighting on our behalf to protect our freedom to bear arms.

  4. Congrats Texans on your victory. We in Virginia have had open carry for anyone who can legally own a gun for years. We don;t need to have a CCW to open carry. but this is a step forward for you, so don’t mess it up with a lot of high publicity carry episodes.

    \As for myself, i never open carry. i much prefer for the bad guys, and the good guys, not to know I am carrying.

    1. Hi Mikial. Because I am a steady and sound minded man, I think I’ll go out today, the 1st day of open carry in the great State of Texas, and strap on my largest handgun that I have a holster for, sling my AR over my shoulder and walk around the mall all day long.

      Just kidding! I was out early today carrying concealed and I didn’t see hoards of open carriers swarming about and blood running in the streets. I guess we’re off to a good start. I don’t expect much to change at all.

      Speaking of blood running in the streets, just as everywhere a move to legalize the open carrying of handguns has been proposed, the ultra-socialists here in Austin (probably the most Marxist city in Texas) were seen and heard predicting exactly that. They are expecting to see a serious uptick in murder and shootings in the streets. I would seriously bet $1000 that this will not happen.

      Have a good year everyone.

    2. Hi, Sean, and Happy New Year!

      I’m very happy Texans have a Second Amendment right restored that should have never been taken from them in the first place. I also completely agree with you that not only will crime not increase, I predict it will drop.

      I saw an article that said how businesses in Texas will now have to try to decide how they will react to open carry. More Liberal drivel. The same idiots that try to be “Gun Free Zones” like Target will continue being stupid, and businesses like Kroger and Wal Mart will respect the rights of law abiding citizens.

      It is not at all uncommon here to see people carrying openly in Wal Mart, while riding motorcycles, and in many other businesses. I myself seldom open carry. Usually only when I don’t feel like switching to an IWB from the OWB I always have on around the house, or when going for a walk after dark with my wife. Where we live there aren’t any sidewalks anyway.

      Have a wonderful New Year and enjoy the fruits of your hard labor to get a very stupid law changed.

    3. Why won’t you honor my permit any longer ? Just kidding. But really, why would VA do that ?

    4. A friend who runs our local range went to a meeting held by the the Attorney General about it. According to him, the new guy went through all the state gun laws and compared Virginia’s requirements for a CHP (VA is a Concealed Handgun Permit) with those of other states. He determined that many of them issue CCWs in circumstances that VA would not. For example, 15 of the 25 states he axed will issue a CCW to someone who has had a DUI on the past 3 years. VA will not do that, and will not recognize permits form a state that will. Consequently, the AG found that existing VA law was not being followed and made the change.

      Of course, the guy is buddies with our Democratic Governor McAuliffe and Bloomberg, so this was a perfect chance to do some gun control. Our legislature is (which is overwhelmingly Republican) has already reacted by introducing a bill to pass a total recognition of all CCWs with all states like Utah has.

  5. I can’t say I’m a fan of they way this law is written. A free citizen can be detained and disarmed without probable cause. C’mon Texas.

  6. I live in Texas and I don’t intend to open carry. The idea that I could be walking along and a Police cruiser could pull up and the officer/s detain me simply to look at my LTC isn’t a situation I want a part of. The fact that they may choose to disarm me first is a real problem for me. It seems to me if I am walking along, not breaking any laws, not looking suspicious, that the officer would disarm me seems to be an overreaction. I know that the mantra of many police officers and their departments is that nearly the most important thing to remember each day they step out in uniform is to come home safe, but I’ve always been of the opinion that doing their job should be the most important thing each day. Being a police officer is an extremely difficult job and can also be dangerous to the health and life of each officer; BUT no one forces someone to become a police officer. Like it or not it’s your job to be in danger, coming home safe is SECONDARY to doing the job. I know this may not be a very popular opinion, but there you go.

    Officer, keep your hands off my weapon. I think it is much more dangerous for everyone in a situation where a patrol officer thinks it’s a good idea to look at someone’s LTC and then some gun handling occurs. I have had a number of conversations with Sheriffs and Police officers all of whom told me that 90%+ of their co-workers aren’t skilled in gun handling and aren’t very good shots. I help run a members only gun range and we have many LEO’s who shoot IDPA and other activities at the range, so I have the opportunity to talk with them about these issues. The absolute safest place for a loaded hand gun to be other than in a locked safe is in a holster. If an officer wants to disarm someone before a wallet can be retrieved and a license taken out for examination it can be very awkward for that officer to take the weapon out the holster, carry it safely and put it into the patrol car (I’m assuming that they would do that; simply holding someone’s loaded weapon doesn’t seem like a good idea to me), then check the license, and then reverse the procedure with the handgun. Seems like a lot of gun handling to me. What if the officer drops you weapon in a mud puddle? I’m sure the police department’s attitude would be “tough poo poo citizen, we’re simply doing our job.” Yep, it’s your job to harass someone whose walking down the street with a legally carried weapon. Hmmmmmm.

    1. Sean Kendall I wholeheartedly concur!

      Texas Constitution Article 1 Sec. 9.SEARCHES AND SEIZURES.
      The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers and possessions, from all unreasonable seizures or searches, and no warrant to search any place, or to seize any person or thing, shall issue without describing them as near as may be, nor without probable cause,
      supported by oath or affirmation.

      Without PROBABLE CAUSE they have NO authority to do anything! Why are we even discussing this??? Stop the goons with lawful actions such as filing lawsuits against any individual who attempts to take your weapon WITHOUT a warrant.

      FYI – In Texas, when ANY “officer” violates ANY law (constitution) or Statute (employee rule) they FORFEIT their office and any immunity they THOUGHT they had. Any violation by an officer is instantly TREASON as a deliberate act against the people of Texas.

      The Texas Supreme Court has determined that ‘all officers are deemed knowledgeable of the law upon its enactment’ meaning that they are PAID to know the law so they MUST!

      This means simply that whenever you see a cop who abuses their office, they become a target as they are deliberately going against what they are PAID to do and as such are the worst kind of criminal – a PRETEND GOOD PERSON!

      Spread the word, the RULES (statutes) are for employees and the citizens are ONLY responsible under common law to EACH OTHER!

      The so-called “courts” are tribunals for the punishment of petty grievances by public servants and were NEVER intended to be entered by citizens.

      Now you see what has happened since we delegated the punishment of violators to the same group who are their friends. The IA (Internal Affairs) of each police department should be disbanded and a Citizen’s Oversight Committee should be elected to review EVERY instance of physical contact with a public servant.

      All contacts should be recorded in every office and every minute of the video MUST be available to EVERYONE without any cost or coercion. Only when the public servants begin to see that they are NOT the RULERS will we start to see honest employees – maybe.

    2. I have to agree with you. A large number of “accidental”, (a misnomer), discharges occur when a weapon is drawn and holstered. I don’t open carry and I won’t tell a police officer I have a weapon every time I say hello. If it gets down to them going to search me, then I will advise them that I have a concealed weapon and a license to carry it.

  7. Open carry was all fine and good in the ‘Old West’, but we no longer live in the 1800’s. When the unenlightened and uneducated see an armed person that is not immediately recognizable as law enforcement, they go into panic mode. Some LEOs do the same thing. All assume that a person displaying a hand gun is up to no good. Then you have those idiots walking about with a rifle strapped to their back. Where is their brain? Some say that open carry will deter criminal activity. I say, it makes you the first victim in a robbery scenario. I don’t want the bastards know that I am carrying, then when I use my weapon, it is a very nasty surprise for them.

    1. While it’s not the 1800’s, I can’t help but think that if 10% – 30% of everyone you saw out in public was open carrying and it simply wasn’t something that was out of the ordinary, that everyone would be much, much safer. At least in daylight hours. Evil doers will still skulk around in the shadows and cause problems. But, I bet, that evil doers would be very, very careful not enter homes that were occupied as they would be thinking that the owners might be one of the open carriers they just saw down at the mall.

    2. Have seen how people react to open carry. Was in a fast-food restaurant, once, man came in w/open carry. Everybody & I do mean EVERYBODY, stopped what they were doing to see what he would do. A woman even dropped her tray of food. I don’t know about everyone else, but I just do not like that kind of attention focused on me. As for perps skulking about and worrying about breaking in to homes where there might be someone with a weapon, sorry, have heard too many times on the news where people broke into home, in broad daylight, fully knowing that someone was home and that that someone had a gun in the house. Some survivors even admitted to breaking in to find weapons. Determined criminals, or stupid ones either are deterred by the though of an armed person being in a house the intend to burglarize.

    3. @Sean

      Agreed! The reason open carry is a big deal as Dark Angel correctly points out, is because it is not a common sight in most places. If responsibly armed citizens were more common, no one would even look twice.

      Having said that, under most circumstances, I simply don’t open carry because I don’t want anyone to know I’m armed. And I always ignore “No Guns” signs except when it’s a government building. Those guys just have no sense of humor. 😉

    4. Lived in Kentucky a long time before CCWs were anywhere. In Kentucky, like similar states like Arizona and a few others, you could openly carry a firearm. Don’t know about others, but in Kentucky, if you forgot yourself and carried into a Government Office, city, state, or federal, someone would politely remind you that weapons were not allowed, thus giving you a chance to retreat without involving the LEOs. I almost went into a Post Office with my .45 revolver. Chief of Police saw me and stopped me. No fuss, no recriminations, just; ‘You can’t take you pistol in there.’ Took it off, handed it to him, told him to hold it ’til I was finished. He did, but then, he was a close friend, too.

  8. Honestly, open carry is pretty stupid. In Indiana, our permits do not dictate that our weapon must be concealed, so open carry has always been legal with your permit. While I do carry open while working around the farm, or making a quick run into town for something, I would never recommend it as a normal means of operation while out in public. The problem with open carry is that EVERYONE gets to see that you’re armed. That means that the bad guys have plenty of opportunity to plan your demise before you are even engaged in the confrontation. Countless times I’ve walked up behind an armed person in public and gently placed my hand on their shoulder and whispered in their ear asking what they would have done if I were intent on harming them. I’m close enough at that point to have taken their weapon from them and used it for my own purpose. I’m close enough that I could have incapacitated them with just about anything. Since they are obviously armed, and since we are in public, if I were intent on doing harm, its very easy for me to get very close to them without them being alerted to a possible threat, and render them ineffective by one means or another. I get the idea of making it legal so that a person can’t be convicted for doing it, generally speaking, the practice of open carry is a bad idea.

    1. Mark, while I can see you making a point with you getting close enough to touch someone with an open carry, I think that it is foolish. I carry concealed, but have had people get to close to me. It is then I request that they back-the-hell-off. If they don’t, I open my jacket enough to show them that I am carrying a weapon. As former military and law enforcement, I am always aware of my surrounding and of people that get too close. A person can’t get within 3 feet of me without my being aware of their presence. Generally speaking, if someone gets too close, their intent is nefarious, or they don’t respect a persons space. Once, had a person get way too close. I had to show my ID and he was looking over my shoulder, attempting to get my info. I asked him, no so politely to back the f**k off. He ran off at the mouth, saying he could do whatever he wanted to do. I pulled my weapon from my belt, where only he could see it, telling him that he really didn’t want to escalate the situation. He did back off , all the time telling me how crazy I was and that it wasn’t over. Yet, I concluded my business and left still unmolested.

    2. I agree with you , Mark, about the wisdom of practicing open carry. I wonder if it is perhaps a way of “showing off”. The expansion of carry permission across the nation is still new, and the less we flaunt it, the better. That being said, it is still good that open carry is legalized. I have read of citizens, legally carrying concealed, being detained by law enforcement only because their weapon accidentally became visible.

    3. Being former Military and law enforcement and having had combat experience, I can tell for a fact that if you were to walk up on me and place your hand on my shoulder, you would end up on your rear on the floor. Not really to bright to be coming up behind people and doing that.

    4. @ mark; Not a good idea. Don’t ever place your hand on me in a threatening way. My gun is not the only weapon I carry. A knife is much better suited for that close of a confrontation.

      @ Dark Angel, not a good idea. Flashing your weapon is “brandishing” and can get you in the slammer, or worse, maybe even dead.

      I do not open carry.

    5. @Mark

      I understand the point you’re making when you touch someone, but touching a stranger in public like that will get you hurt or worse. That person has no idea who you are and what your intent is. Once someone lays a hand on you and you have concern for your safety, many states consider it an assault and the “victim” now has grounds for self defense. I don’t open carry, but I do stay pretty aware of people behind me and any stranger putting their hand on my like that would probably suffer some broken fingers or an elbow to the solar plexus at a minimum.

    6. Really Mark, “countless” times you have walked up to someone and whispered in their ear and said if you wanted you could have incapacitated them? Thank you for writing the funniest thing I have read so far this year.

  9. The Federal Constitution, 2nd Amendment prohibits the INFRINGEMENT of the Right to Bear Arms.

    Texas Constitution, Sec. 23. RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS.
    Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the State; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime.

    The way that I read this is that the Texas Legislature can ONLY encourage the wearing of arms to prevent crime. They have done this by authorizing police to Open Carry arms.

    Here is the real secret in Texas Law – the Statutes ONLY apply to Employees! Citizens write the Law – Constitution – and have hired agents to write the Employee Rules – Statutes.

    When WE the citizens realize the FACTS concerning the nature of the Law in Texas, we will begin to take back OUR authority and Power and make the EMPLOYEES behave themselves! When WE begin to hold each employee accountable for their EVERY action, the Life-Long Welfare receivers – employees – will be forced to leave the ranks of the GUILTY and face unemployment.

    The first step is to force EVERYONE who accepts a Texas Government Check to take a monthly DRUG SCREENING TEST before they get paid.

    We are doing this with the Registration/Inspection of government owned vehicles so we can do it with drug screening.

    No Drugs – you can eat. Use drugs and you starve!

    1. Yes. You are correct. All these State laws regarding what, where, and when we can have arms available to us are clear violations of the 2nd A.

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