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Texas Gun Laws as compiled by the NRA
Your State Firearms Laws
Compiled by NRA Institute for Legislative Action
(As of July 1989)
PLEASE NOTE: In addition to state laws, the purchase, sale, and
(in certain circumstances) the possession & interstate transpor-
tation of firearms is regulated by the Gun Control Act of 1968,
as amended by the Firearms Owners Protection Act. Also, cities
and localities may have their own firearms ordinances in addition
to federal & state laws. Details may be obtained by contacting
local law enforcement authorities, or by consulting the State Laws
and Published Ordinances - Firearms, available from the U.S. Govern-
ment Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.
Quick Reference Chart
Rifles & Shotguns Handguns
Permit to Purchase NO NO
Registration of Firearm NO NO
License of Ownership NO NO
Permit to Carry NO NO*
*Carrying is restricted; no permit provided (yet. -Editor.)
State Constitutional Provision on Firearms
"Every citizen shall have the right to keep & bear arms in
the lawful defense of himself or the State; but the Legislature
shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms, with
a view to prevent crime." Article I, Section 23.
No state license is required to possess a rifle, shotgun
A person who has been convicted of a felony involving an
act of violence may legally posses a firearm only on his own
It is unlawful to posses, manufacture, transport, repair
or sell a rifle with a barrel less than 16 inches & overall length
less than 26 inches or a shotgun with a barrel less than 18 inches
& overall length less than 26 inches. Federal registration of the
firearm by the possessor is a defense to prosecution under this section.
It is unlawful for any person to sell, rent, loan or give a
handgun to any person if the seller knows that the buyer intends
to use it unlawfully. It is unlawful to knowingly sell, rent, give
or offer to sell, rent or give any firearm to a person under 18 years
of age, without the written consent of his parent or guardian.
It is unlawful to knowingly or recklessly sell any firearm or
ammunition to any person who is intoxicated.
It is unlawful to intentionally, knowingly or recklessly carry
a handgun on or about one's person, openly OR concealed. Exceptions
to the above provision are:
1. On one's own premises under his control.
2. While engaged in lawful hunting, fishing or other sporting
activity including target shooting.
3. While traveling in one's personal auto on a bona fide trip
across one or more county lines.
4. Traveling to & from a range, place of repair or other site where
the type of firearm is normally used, provided the route is direct &
without unreasonable delay.
5. Peace officers other than a person commissioned by the Texas State
Board of Pharmacy.
Texas has no permit to carry a handgun (again, yet. -Editor).
To carry a handgun legally, a person must fall into one of the above exceptions.
It is unlawful to carry any firearm onto the premises of any school
or educational institution without written authorization, or onto the
premises of a polling place on an election day, or into a court or
offices utilized by a court.
Antiques and Replicas
Antique or curio weapons manufactured before 1898 are not
considered firearms and are exempt from regulation.
It is unlawful to possess, manufacture, transport, repair or sell a
machine gun. Federal registration of the machine gun by the possessor is
a defense to prosecution under this section.
It is a misdemeanor to carry a handgun except with the exceptions
listed above in Carry, but it is a felony to carry a handgun onto
any premises licensed to sell or serve alcoholic beverages.
Texas has enacted a law enabling its residents to purchase rifles
or shotguns from licensed dealers in contiguous states, provided the
purchase complies with the laws of Texas and of the state of purchase
and with all federal regulations.
a. A person who commits a trespass while carrying a deadly
weapon will have his conviction upgraded to a class A
b. It is unlawful to display a firearm in a public place in a
manner calculated to alarm.
c. It is unlawful to discharge a firearm in a public place or
on or across a public road.
d. It is unlawful to possess, manufacture, transport, repair or
sell "handgun ammunition that is designed primarily for the
purpose of penetrating metal or body armor and to be used
principally in pistols and revolvers."
e. A city or town may not adopt regulations relating to the
transfer, private ownership, keeping, transportation, license,
or registration of firearms, ammunition, or firearms supplies.
CAUTION: State firearms laws are subject to frequent change. The
above summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement
of law. To determine the applicability of these laws to specific
situations which you may encounter, you are strongly urged to consult
a local attorney.
NRA Institute for Legislative Action
1600 Rhode Island Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
(c) 1989 NRA Institute for Legislative Action
Permission to reprint granted with appropriate credit to NRA Institute.
Brought to you by:
The Hill Country Practical Pistol Club
c/o Marc McCord
11513 Fast Horse Drive
Austin, TX 78759
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