Can I have a gun in my vehicle in Texas?
In general, yes. The Texas Motorist Protection Act (HB 1815), effective as of September 1, 2007, permits any law-abiding Texas resident the legal right to carry a handgun inside their motor vehicle in Texas without a license. You must be able to purchase and posses firearms under state and federal law, you must not be a member of a street gang and you must not be engaged in a crime higher than a class C misdemeanor. When it comes to Texas and firearms in your vehicle, remember that these laws only apply in Texas.
Handguns In Your Vehicle
As stated above, you can have a handgun in your vehicles in Texas without any type of permit as long as you meet the guidelines under state and federal law. The handgun can be in reach and loaded or unloaded. It no longer needs to be concealed but Texas law requires the handgun to be in a holster. A holster is a sleeve the handgun slides into and it covers the trigger guard, the are usually made from leather or kydex (plastic). As long as it is in a holster it can be visible or concealed in your vehicle. When it comes to a handgun in your vehicle, you must be 21 years of age.
Long Guns In Your Vehicle
You can have a long gun (rifle) in your vehicle in Texas, you must be able to posses firearms under state and federal law. The long gun may be loaded or unloaded and does not have to be concealed. Texas does not have many long gun laws on the books like it does with handguns.
The Federal Gun-Free School Zones law prohibits individuals from possessing a firearm that has moved through interstate commerce (all firearms) in or on the grounds or within 1,000 feet of a public, parochial, or private school, unless an exception applies. The most common exceptions to the Federal Gun-Free School Zones laws in Texas are:
- You live within 1,000 feet of a school, so long as the person is not prohibited from possessing a firearm on their private property.
- You are a Texas LTC holder. Note: this does not apply to Texas residents who hold a non-resident license from another state.
- Under “permiless carry” you can NOT have a handgun in your vehicle in a school zone, you MUST have a Texas LTC to do so.
license to carry
If you would like to be able to carry in more places and bypass some of the restrictions above, you can get certified for your Texas LTC online. Our online course is valid statewide and you can enroll here.