Concealed Carry Texas or carrying a concealed weapon (CCW) in Texas, refers to the practice of concealing a weapon (such as a handgun) in public in Texas, either on one’s person or in close proximity.
Historically, almost every state prohibited or severely restricted the carrying of loaded weapons in public places. These regulations were among the first to be enacted in the United States. In the late twentieth century, some states, including Texas, began to give law enforcement discretion to issue permits (often referred to as “CCW” or carrying a concealed weapon permits) to people who passed a background check, received firearm safety training, and/or demonstrated a specific need to carry concealed, loaded guns in public.
In Texas, licensed concealed carry went into effect in 1995, and licensed open carry went into effect in 2015. However; House Bill 910, which went into effect on January 1, 2016, modifies the prior law relating to concealed carry licenses; it allows a person with a current concealed handgun license, or a person who obtains the new “license to carry a handgun,” to carry a handgun concealed or openly in a belt or shoulder holster. The bill abolishes the distinction between concealed and open carry and establishes a “license to carry a handgun.
Nevertheless; it is still a crime for a license holder to openly carry a handgun (even in a holster) on the premises of any institution of higher learning that has prohibited open carry and has posted proper notices. (Tex. Penal Code, Section 46.03 (2021).)
What you need to know about Concealed Carry Texas:
As you might know; Texas no longer requires a license to carry a handgun for anyone 21 or older as of September 1, 2021. Although Texas still issues handgun licenses, most places no longer require a permit to carry a handgun, unless you are under the age of 21 or cannot legally own a gun. However, there are still a few places in Texas where carrying a gun is illegal.
Carrying firearms on school and college campuses are prohibited. These restrictions were not eliminated by HB 1927, which removed the requirement to have an LTC for a handgun. However, a “campus concealed carry exception” applies to this provision, allowing a license holder to carry a concealed handgun on the premises of an institution of higher education, including the premises of a junior college or private or independent institution of higher education, on any grounds or building where an activity sponsored by the institution is being conducted, or in a passenger transportation vehicle of the institution, subject to the institution’s rules. 46.03(a)(1); TEX. GOV’T CODE 411.2031
The Bottom Line:
For the majority of gun owners in Texas, maintaining an unobtrusive, low profile is a top priority. As a result, those who conceal carry outnumber those who open carry in Texas. When it comes to carrying concealed in Texas, there isn’t anything special you have to do. However, it’s probably a good idea to keep your firearm in a holster because you don’t want any accidental or negligent discharges. It also has significant advantages, such as the ability to defend yourself without others knowing you are carrying a weapon. This gives you an element of surprise while also reducing the possibility that thieves will take it from you before you can draw it.
However; whether you want concealed carry or openly, is entirely up to you and depends on your personal preferences. Regardless of how you decide to carry your gun, whether it’s concealed carry or openly, make sure you’re well educated, responsible, and effective with carrying your gun.