There’s nothing more frustrating than traveling with your handgun from Texas into another U.S. state, only to find out you can’t carry it there or that it must be concealed.
Some states, similarly to Texas, have approved open and concealed carry, while other states’ laws differ. The Texas government has formed reciprocity agreements with some states, meaning that the state will accept your license to carry or that Texas will honor the handgun licenses issued by those states for license holders at least 21 years old.
How do you know if you can open or conceal carry into other states? It’s important to know that information before you set off on your travels.
Texas Gun Laws
U.S state gun laws come in several types:
The state issues concealed weapons permits in shall-issue states. State law provides the only requirements to carry a gun, such as a minimum age of 21. The applicants don’t have to show “good cause” to get a license to carry.
The state or responsible government level may issue a permit based on the need, justification and suitability of the applicant.
The state does not issue or require permits. The only legal criteria for carrying a gun is age. Federal regulations apply. A majority of states follow the shall-issue practice. This list includes Texas. In Texas, the state government issues concealed weapons permits through the Department of Public Safety. When buying a gun from a family member or private individual, the state doesn’t require a background check or firearms registration. To carry a gun, you must take 4-6 hours of classroom or online training and a 1-2-hour shooting proficiency course and demonstration to apply for a license to carry (LTC) and receive a passing score on each. You must be 21 years of age to get an LTC, except in the case of military personnel who can apply at age 18, and a resident of Texas or a relocating individual planning to establish residency. If you’ve been convicted of a felony or a Class A or B misdemeanor, or are a fugitive from justice for either, you may not apply for the LTC. Applicants may not be chemically dependent or lack the ability to exercise sound judgement concerning proper handgun use and storage and must not be delinquent in paying child support and taxes. The full list of qualifications can be found on the DPS website.
Residents already know that there’s no place like Texas. When you travel to or through various states beyond Texas, that state will have its own set of rules for concealed and open handgun carry. In those states that have a reciprocal agreement with Texas for handgun carrying, those states’ laws preside, and you’re required to follow them. The same applies for handgun permit carriers from other states that visit Texas. In addition, whether you’re a traveling Texan or a Texas tourist, no guns are allowed into places where prohibited by state law or that have the proper signage stating so. Texas honors concealed carry from residents 21 years and older in 42 states. When licensed residents travel to Texas from a state with reciprocity, they can carry a concealed weapon and can carry openly if the handgun is placed in a shoulder or belt holster. Eighteen states honor Texas LTC permits, while another five allow those only from Texas residents that are LTC holders, but not from relocating nonresidents. Fourteen states do not require a permit at all but may have some restrictions.
Armed with Knowledge
If you’re traveling out of state from Texas, check the destination state’s website on handgun laws to learn about any restrictions or guidelines. Arm yourself with as much information as needed before traveling. Knowing what to do in each state prepares you so you can enjoy your travels and the ability to manage your handgun carrying properly.