Texas Open Carry Goes Into Effect, Questions Answered

Texas became the 45th state to allow some form of open carry of firearms Friday.

The biggest misconception about House Bill 910 the is that anyone can openly carry firearms anywhere. Carriers must be licensed and even those who are cannot carry inside locations that prohibit guns.

More than 825,000 Texans have concealed handgun licenses, which are now called License to Carry.

North Richland Hills Police Department officials said their officers have been training for months and doing community outreach with citizens to answer questions and prepare them to see people carrying guns. Sgt. Mickey Shelley said there is some uneasiness, but he's confident that will pass.

"The anxieties that we're hearing and seeing amongst the public are the same ones that were around 20 years ago when the concealed handgun license first began," he said. "I imagine that those anxieties will disperse just like it did 20 years ago."

Here are a few facts you need to know about the new law:

  • You must be 21 years old to openly carry; the same rules apply as concealed carry.
  • A gun must be secured in a shoulder or belt holster.
  • If you have a concealed handgun license, you are cleared to openly carry. There are no additional courses required.
  • Business owners have the right to ban open carry in their establishment, but there must be two signs: one banning open carry and the other banning concealed carry. The signs have to adhere to certain guidelines, and must be in both Spanish and English.

Visit the Texas Department of Public Safety website for more specifics relating to open carry.

Online: Frequently Asked Questions

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