Are you looking to purchase a new handgun but don’t know what to ask. The n this article is for you. How to Buy a Gun in Texas – Texas Handgun Purchasing Laws
Are you planning to buy a gun in Texas? You’ve landed in the right place!
Texas Government allows you to have a gun for self-defense, sport, or your collections. You can buy the gun from an authorized dealer and get a license to carry guns to openly carry the weapon with you.
This article covers everything you need to know before purchasing firearms in Texas, including gun laws and the purchase process.
How to Buy a Gun in Texas
Texas gun laws permit you to have a long gun if you are 18 years old and a handgun if you are 21 years or above. Besides, you need to provide identification proof for gun purchases and get a Texas license to open carry it.
Below is the procedure to buy a gun in Texas:
1. What type of gun do you want to buy, and what are the requirements for owning it?
After deciding to purchase a gun, you must finalize the type of gun you want. Texas federal government has different laws for different types of gun owners. The eligibility criteria to purchase various guns also differ. So, you need to check the requirements to own a gun before buying it.
For example, you can only buy a handgun if your minimum age is 21 years and after staying in Texas for six months. Similarly, Texas federal laws for possessing long arms, rifles, machine guns, etc., are different.
You can check guns online and see the requirements to own a gun before purchasing it.
2. How do you find a reputable dealer in your area, and what should you look for when choosing one?
You will find various dealers selling guns in Texas. However, you should only purchase a gun from licensed dealers. A licensed dealer with a Federal Firearms License (FFL) can legally sell firearms.
Authorized dealers will also run a background check on you to verify your eligibility to own the gun. Gun retailers usually have a pawn shop or registered gun shops, and you can effortlessly find a nearby dealer online.
3. What are the requirements for purchasing a gun in Texas?
The requirements for purchasing guns in Texas vary depending on the gun. Following are the basic rules to possess firearms in Texas.
To buy and carry a handgun, a Texas resident must fulfil the following criteria:
- Must have stayed in Texas for six months.
- Must be above 21 years old, or 18 years if active-duty military.
- Shouldn’t have felony convictions.
- Shouldn’t have been charged with a misdemeanor of class A or B.
- Should not be intoxicated.
- Shouldn’t owe back taxes or child support.
Individuals can get a concealed handgun license after submitting their fingerprints and completing the registration process.
Unlike handguns, you don’t need any license to carry long guns or rifles in Texas. According to Texas gun laws, you can open carry such weapons without licensing them. However, you cannot use or wave the gun publicly or take it to prohibited areas.
4. How do you go about buying a gun in Texas?
Texas law doesn’t restrict you from purchasing a gun from a specific dealer. You can buy a gun online, from gun shows, or in-person from a gun dealer.
Nevertheless, the problem with online purchases is that you can’t test the weapon before its delivery. So, the best option is to visit a gun dealer and legally purchase the gun after testing it.
Here is the process to buy a gun in Texas from a gun dealer:
Be prepared to show identification
You need to prove your eligibility before buying a gun in Texas. You can do that by carrying your license to carry to the gun shop or by submitting identification proof. The shop owner will use your identification and license to check if you are eligible to purchase the gun according to Texas federal law.
With a constitutional carry license, it becomes easier for the gun dealers to sell the gun since they don’t have to run background checks on the buyer.
Complete the required paperwork
The next step is to complete paperwork before handing over the gun. For this, the dealer will fill in your details and the weapon details on a form. These details will remain a record of your purchase and prove your eligibility to carry a handgun.
Wait for the dealer to complete a background check
After completing the firearm registration process, your firearm dealer will conduct an on-the-spot background check called National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). This will help the dealer know your criminal history and verify if you are eligible to purchase a gun as per the Texas legislature.
The Texas federal law requires you to be present in-person to purchase a gun. You cannot send a friend or relative to get a firearm for you.
Complete your purchase
If you are found eligible to own a gun, you can immediately complete the payment and take your new weapon home. Most dealers accept online or card payments. You can also contact the dealer in advance to know their preferred payment mode.
5. What should you consider before buying a gun in Texas?
Although Texas gun laws allow residents to have concealed firearms with or without a license in their motor vehicle, you need to follow certain rules to prevent unlawful carry. Below are some essential points to remember before buying guns:
- Federal regulations for purchasing guns vary depending on the gun type. So, check your eligibility before buying your weapon.
- Choose a safe storage location in your house to store the gun. And if you are planning to carry concealed weapons, check the Texas gun laws for concealed carry before taking your gun in public.
- Purchase the accessories needed to store the gun and travel with it—for example, storage box, shoulder holster, etc.
- Try target practice before buying a gun to know which gun will be best for you.
- Check the Texas gun rights applicable to your weapon and follow it.
6. Are there restrictions on where you can carry a gun in Texas?
Texas law shield allows residents to keep a long gun or have a gun with them and travel with the weapon with or without a license. However, carrying handguns to some places is prohibited by law.
Following is a list of the generally prohibited regions by the Texas department:
- Federal buildings
- School campus buildings
- Public sporting events
- College campuses
- Amusement parks
- Court offices or circuit court
- Alcohol-selling businesses
- Correctional facilities
- Execution areas
- Secure airport areas
- Post offices
- Election polling areas
7. What are the penalties for violating firearms laws in Texas?
The penalties for illegally carrying handguns in Texas are as follows:
- Using a gun or keeping it with you while committing a violent crime is a first-degree felony, and its punishment is life in prison.
- Carrying a gun while committing a non-violent offense exempts you from getting community supervision and may require you to serve 90 days in jail.
What is Texas & Federal Handgun Purchasing Laws
The pre-empt state law for handguns states that residents above 21 can purchase a handgun in Texas. But the gun owner should meet specific eligibility criteria to buy and carry the weapon.
The gun owner can also apply for a license on the website after completing a safety course.
Again, according to the state permit, a handgun can be carried openly in a belt or shoulder holster. Gun owners are also restricted from carrying their weapons to places like government offices.
Can I Buy a Handgun in Texas without a Permit?
Yes, you can buy a handgun without a permit in Texas. But you need to follow gun laws before keeping a gun in public.
A Permit Isn't Required to Make a Handgun Purchase
You don’t need to provide a license to purchase a handgun. However, you must prove your eligibility to the gun dealer before making your purchase. And you can do that by providing a government-approved identification.
A Permit Is Needed for Concealed Carry
According to the laws, it is mandatory to have a gun permit to conceal carry a handgun anywhere. Also, this permit still restricts you from taking your weapon to federal buildings, parks, etc.
Texas allows all individuals above 18 to have a long gun. But if you want a handgun, you must be above 21 years old. Also, different eligibility criteria are applied depending on the gun type.
The legal age to buy firearms in Texas is 18 for long arms and 21 for handguns. Individuals below this age cannot carry or buy firearms from dealers.
Yes, you can buy a gun in Texas at 18 through private sales. You can visit private sellers and provide identification proof to buy a long gun.
No, Texas doesn’t allow firearm dealers to sell firearms to out-of-state residents, excluding some exceptions. So, check your state’s laws before purchasing Texas.
Texas allows residents to purchase guns from other states. So, you can purchase a gun from New Mexico and take it to Texas based on your license.
Texas banned 18-year-old individuals from having a handgun due to the gun violence at Robb elementary school, where 19 children were killed using assault weapons. So, the Giffords Law center increased the minimum age limit to 21 years for keeping handguns.