Updated December 20, 2022
The Texas Constitutional Carry law went into effect on September 1, 2021. What does that mean if you want to constitutionally carry? Should you still get an LTC? What is the Texas Constitutional Carry law? What are the benefits of obtaining an LTC? In this brief article, we will discuss!
What is the Texas constitutional Carry law?
The Texas Constitutional carry law allows non-prohibited individuals to concealed carry or open carry (within a holster) handguns in most public spaces without a license. Currently, constitutional carriers must be at least 21 years old, but litigation is ongoing to see that the age minimum dropped to 18. Additionally, a person who has been convicted of an assaultive misdemeanor in the previous five years may not be able to engage in Texas Constitutional Carry1.
Want to confirm you are qualified? Speak to an attorney by contacting our firm or calling (281) 668-9957.
Should I get an LTC?
Whether someone might want to obtain a carry permit in a permitless carry state will be highly dependent on the specific individual, their priorities, and their lifestyle. In many states, the permitting process is undoubtedly a hassle. However, the important thing to understand is that when a state passes constitutional carry, there are still reasons to go through the permitting process. If you already have an LTC, we recommend renewing your license.
What are the Benefits of an LTC?
Texas has reciprocity agreements with other states. In short, Texas recognizes permits issued in other states, and other states recognize the Texas LTC2. Some states have no such agreement and may automatically recognize another state’s license or permit. If you live in a constitutional carry state, and you choose not to obtain a permit, you likely won’t be able to travel out of state and still carry your handgun.
Travel and constitutional carry law can create their own set of issues. Some permitless carry states only allow residents of that state to take advantage of permitless carry. Others only allow for permitless open carry but will not let a non-license holder carry concealed. Some permitless carry states allow license or permit holders to carry in more locations than those who carry without a license or permit.
Remember – the law regarding where you are legally allowed to carry, how you carry, and when you may use your weapon varies from state to state. This is particularly important for people who live or work somewhere that forces them to frequently cross into neighboring states. Ensure that you research local use of force and carry laws whenever you travel outside of your home state with a firearm.
NICS Background Checks
Americans are buying firearms at a record-setting pace. In fact, the volume of purchases oftentimes creates a backlog in the background check system. A Texas License to Carry a Handgun (“LTC”) may expedite your firearm purchase because it acts as a substitute for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”).
Many people don’t know that carry license and permits in nearly half the country qualify as an alternative to the NICS background check requirement if you purchase a gun through a Federal Firearms Licensee (“FFL”), and Texas is one of these states. While you will still be required to fill out a Form 4473, there is no need to wait on the NICS return.
More Rights for LTC Holders
An additional benefit to holding a recognized license or permit is the ability to lawfully carry in locations that may be prohibited to non-license holders carrying under the authority of Texas Constitutional Carry. These locations include hospitals and nursing facilities (without effective Tex. Penal Code Secs. 30.06/30.07 notice) and open meetings of governmental entities in a location that is not prohibited for some other reason (e.g., a school). Not to mention, there will likely be private establishments that choose to exclude non-license holders but allow LTC holders to carry.
The Law-Abiding Gun Owner
Constitutional carry is a divisive issue—even in the pro-gun community. For many law-abiding gun owners, going through the process of getting licensed is an important step that creates a foundation of knowledge to carry safely and legally. Getting a Texas License to Carry requires a baseline of training and skills before heading out into public with a handgun. Some see the idea of foregoing these minimum requirements and carrying in public as a necessary preservation of Second Amendment rights and question the true value of these minimal educational requirements.
Should you obtain or renew your LTC? If you qualify, should you carry under the Texas constitutional carry law? Only you can decide what is best for you. However, there are many benefits to having a Texas LTC—even under Texas Constitutional Carry.
Still have questions?
The attorneys at Walker & Taylor will provide experienced legal representation. We are here to help. Contact the firm for a free case evaluation by calling (281) 668-9957 today!