On September 1st, 2021, Texas Constitutional Carry goes into effect. Otherwise known as HB1927 the "Firearm Carry Act of 2021 (FCA)," the bill will give law-abiding citizens the freedom to carry a handgun without an LTC. There are still strong reasons to consider getting your license to carry, and at minimum, understand the laws.
Do I Need an LTC to Carry in Texas?
Let's take a look at a summary of the stipulations that allow you to carry under the new act. You must meet all the following criteria:
- Must be 21 years of age or older
- Must not be prohibited from having a firearm in public under Texas law
- No felons
- No people convicted of assault on a family or household member
- No people under some protective orders
- Must not be prohibited from owning a firearm under federal law
- Must not have been convicted of certain offenses within the past five years
- Assault causing bodily injury
- Deadly conduct
- Disorderly conduct involving discharging or displaying a firearm
So assuming you are a responsible person in good standing under the law and 21 years of age or older, then the answer is you do not need an LTC to carry in Texas. There is also no requirement that a person carrying under the act be a Texas resident!
So I Can Carry Everywhere?
Not quite. Broadly the Act allows you to carry in any public location that does not have the appropriate notices in place or otherwise is not a prohibited place, such as a Post Office. It is key to note that there are differences in where a person carrying under the FCA can possess a firearm compared to an LTC holder.
For example, carrying under the FCA allows you to be on a collegiate campus' walkways, streets, sidewalks, garages, and grounds where a school-sponsored activity is NOT taking place. Going inside a building of a college is prohibited though under the Texas Constitutional Carry. On the other hand, LTC holders can do so so long as there is not 30.06 signage.
Finally, there is new signage specific to the FCA that you must be aware of if you choose to carry under the Act. These are the 51% sign and the new 46.03 sign. This leads us to the next topic; should you still get your Texas License to Carry?
To LTC or Not
So the question we are left with is, why would you still get your Texas License to Carry? That answer is pretty straightforward actually. There are multiple upsides to getting your LTC and more allowances to where you are permitted to have a firearm on your person.
Plain and simple, as an LTC holder you have more rights.
- Clarity for Law Enforcement Officers as they adjust to FCA. An LTC makes it clear that you are a responsible person exercising your rights.
- Avoid NICS delays and walk out with your firearm in most cases when purchasing.
- Certain prohibited places must post appropriate 30.06 or 30.07 signage to lawfully prevent LTC holders from carrying on-premises.
- The FCA allows for any verbal, hand-drawn, printed, or 46.03 sign to serve as lawful prevention.
- On-Private Property, if you do not see a posted sign, it is construed as an "oops" type event. Under FCA, you will have broken the law.
- There is a zero-tolerance limit for alcohol while carrying under Texas Constitutional Carry. For LTC holders that will now be .08%.
- Reciprocity with other states. This provides peace of mind while traveling to other states that recognize the Texas LTC.
This is a short list of the differences but the points that will matter most to most individuals. As you can see, there are major benefits to getting your License to Carry.
Get Your LTC
The crew here at Legion is dedicated to helping you develop your skills to the highest degree of mastery. If you are getting started carrying and using a pistol, we recommend either Pistol Skills I or Introduction to Pistol. Both of these classes will get you comfortable, safe, and capable. Further, you will be ready to ace the shooting portion of your LTC.
If you are in the Central Texas area, we HIGHLY recommend our partners at Central Texas Gun Works. The owner, Michael Cargill, is a staunch supporter and advocate of second amendment rights. He's keenly familiar with current law and active legislation related to being a person who carries responsibly.
They offer License to Carry classes weekly so it is easy to find a time that fits your schedule. Give them a call or just sign up using the link above. Tell them Legion sent you!
Learn More about the FCA
To learn more about the Firearm Carry Act of 2021, download this guide from US LawShield.