Texas Gun Laws

Texans have had a long history of using guns for personal defense and hunting. Since the first settlers came, firearms have been used to defend against the Mexican Army, Comanches, bandits, and wild animals. Texans have always used weapons to hunt wild game such as deer and wild hogs, and times like the Great Depression made these animals even more vital for survival. That said, Texas has gun smoke in its psyche, with laws to reflect that. Texas has some of the freest gun laws in the United States, and many Texans use these laws to keep and use arms on a regular basis.

Texas, unlike more liberal states, has no restrictions on weapons other than those imposed by the national government. Texans can own as many “assault weapons” and high-capacity shotguns and pistols as they see fit, and can even own weapons such as automatic and silenced weapons that are heavily regulated by the Federal Government provided they can get the proper forms signed by local law enforcement and pay the nominal transfer tax.

Texas also has no waiting periods or registration for any type of weapon. Anyone in Texas can walk into a gun store, find a gun they like, pay for it as the federal background check goes through, and walk out with their weapon, magazines, accessories, and ammunition that day without the state or local government being any the wiser.

Texas, like most states, allows citizens to carry pistols concealed with a license to do so. The license requires a 10 hour block of instruction, a written exam, and a marksmanship test. Applicants must be fingerprinted and pass background checks before they can get their license to carry. Concealed carry can be done almost anywhere in Texas, save banks, schools, bars, and any establishment with a state-authorized sign explicitly stating that firearms are not allowed. Several other state concealed carry licenses are accepted by Texas, allowing residents of other states already qualified to carry to do so.

Along with concealed carry, a law was passed allowing Texans to carry concealed weapons inside their vehicles without a license. Any rifle, shotgun, or pistol can be taken along in your car or truck, just make sure it is not in a gun rack…even if it looks cool.

Texas also has a law called the “Castle Doctrine”. This law allows citizens to use deadly force against anyone breaking into their home or vehicle without fear of prosecution. It also eliminates the idea that a citizen has the “duty to retreat” and flee their property, or that deadly force is only excusable when you are backed into a corner.

Texas is a model of what every state and nation should be in terms of gun laws. It upholds law-abiding citizens’ rights to use their weapons for legal purposes, and more places around the world should follow its lead.