Texas Expands Handgun Rights Through 2016 and Beyond

The Texas legislature recently passed two bills related to handgun possession in the state. House Bill 910 makes it legal for people to carry handguns openly. Senate Bill 11 allows people who have handgun licenses to carry concealed handguns in some circumstances on college campuses across the Lone Star State.

The following is a quick overview of each new law:

House Bill 910: Open carry

Texas residents have been able to carry handguns with a license since 1995, as long as the gun is concealed. However, this new law will allow people to carry their handguns openly beginning January 1, 2016, on the condition that the weapon is secured in a belt or shoulder holster. License holders are also still able to carry their guns in a concealed manner.

The bill was effectively established by removing the word “concealed” from the previous legislation. Now, starting the first of the year, Texans will be able to have a “handgun license” rather than a “concealed handgun license.”

One other major change is that property owners must give notice to licensed gun holders that concealed guns are not allowed on their property. This notice may come in the form of written or oral communication.

Senate Bill 11: Handguns on campus

This bill allows licensed gun holders to carry guns on the campuses of both private and public universities as of August 1, 2016 (2017 for community and junior colleges). Individuals are eligible to carry guns on campus if they:

  • Are at least 21
  • Have been a legal resident of Texas for at least six months before applying
  • Have never been convicted of a felony
  • Are not currently facing class A or B misdemeanor charges
  • Are not known to be chemically dependent
  • Are capable of using “sound judgment”
  • Are qualified to purchase a gun under federal and state law
  • Are up to date on child support payments or any other payments collected by state agencies

For more information on these new pieces of legislation and how they might affect your organization, speak with an experienced Dallas attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers.