Open Carry Laws

Beginning on January 1, 2016, H.B. 910 will allow a person with a current concealed handgun license or a person who obtains the new "license to carry a handgun," to carry a handgun in a concealed manner or openly in a belt or shoulder holster. The rules related to where and when a license holder may openly carry are essentially identical to where and when a concealed handgun license holder can carry under current law.

Constitutional Carry

Constitutional carry did not pass in Texas so a license is required. Officers have the authority to legally detain and check for a license to carry under Penal Code 46.02 Unlawfully Carrying Weapons. If a person refuses to identify themselves, it is presumed that they are unlawfully carrying a weapon and they are subject to arrest for UCW and Penal Code 38.02 Failure to ID. If the person does have a valid license to carry but they do not have the physical license in their possession that is no longer an offense.

Requirement to Display License

Government Code Section 411.205 Requirement to Display License states if a license holder is carrying a handgun on or about the license holder’s person when a magistrate or a peace officer demands that the license holder display identification, the license holder shall display both the license holder’s driver’s license or identification certificate issued by the department and the license holder’s handgun license. This section was amended in 2009 and now carries no penalty.

Disarm a License Holder

Moreover, an officer who is acting in the lawful discharge of the officer’s official duties may disarm a license holder at any time the officer reasonably believes it is necessary for the protection of the license holder, officer, or another individual. The officer shall return the handgun to the license holder before discharging the license holder from the scene if the officer determines that the license holder is not a threat to the officer, license holder, or another individual and if the license holder has not violated any law that results in an arrest.