​Open Carry

House Bill 910, which became effective January 1, 2016, expands the scope of a concealed handgun license to authorize an individual possessing a license to carry a handgun to carry the handgun in plain view in a public place if the handgun is carried in a shoulder or belt holster. A private property owner can choose to prohibit open and/or concealed carry on their premises by given notice either through oral or written communication.

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Open Carry FAQs

What is the open carry legislation?

House Bill 910, recently passed by the Texas Legislature and signed by the Governor, will expand the scope of a concealed handgun license to authorize an individual possessing a license to carry a handgun to carry the handgun in plain view in a public place if the handgun is carried in a shoulder or belt holster.

When did the law become effective?

HB 910 became effective on January 1, 2016.

Is open carry of handguns permitted in all public places?

Yes, a person that has a license to carry a handgun is permitted to conceal carry or openly carry a handgun in all public places unless prohibited by a private property owner.

Can a business or restaurant prohibit a person from openly carrying a handgun on the premises?

Yes. Penal Code, Section 30.07, makes it a criminal offense for a license holder to openly carry a handgun on the property of another person if the person:

  • does not have effective consent; and
  • received notice that entry on the property by a license holder openly carrying a handgun was forbidden.

A private property owner or business can give notice to a license holder either through oral or written communication. If written communication, then it can be provided on a card or document with the exact language: “Pursuant to Section 30.07, Penal Code (trespass by license holder with an openly carried handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not enter this property with a handgun that is carried openly”

If written communication is provided by a sign posted on the property, then the sign must

  • Include the above language (bold font) in both English and Spanish;
  • Appear in contrasting colors with block letters at least one inch in height; and
  • Be displayed in a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public at each entrance to the property.

TRA created 3"x 5" cards and business cards with the required language prohibiting open carry, and/or concealed carry if you choose to have employees hand out cards.

Can a business prohibit employees from carrying weapons on the premise?

Yes, you can prohibit employees from carrying weapons on premise, regardless of what your open/concealed policy is for customers. However, you cannot prohibit an employee with a license to carry a handgun from keeping that weapon in their locked car on premise. Complete the form on this page to download a sample workplace violence policy.

Can a business or private property owner prohibit open carry and allow concealed carry of a handgun?

Yes. Texas law will permit private property owners to prohibit only open carry if they post the proper signage. Texas law will also permit private property owners to prohibit both concealed and open carry of handguns if the property owner properly posts two different signs relating prohibiting concealed carry and open carry.

Has there been any change in the law regarding establishments whose income is greater than 50% in alcohol sales?

No. A license holder that carries a handgun, either concealed or openly, commits an offense if he/she carries the handgun on the premises of a business that has a TABC permit or license and earns greater than 50% of their income from alcohol sales. The TABC has signs for the prohibition of handguns for premises with greater than 50% of alcohol sales. Download TABC signs.

Where can I get signs to prohibit concealed or open carry of handguns?

TRA developed signs that meet the requirements to prohibit open carry and/or concealed carry on your premises if you choose. The signs are 11"x14" , in both English and Spanish, in the required font and contrasting colors required by law. They are available free of charge by submitting completing the form on this page.