"Constitutional Carry" (Texas' New Gun Law)
Harris & Harris Law Group, PLLC
WHAT IS “CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY” AND WHEN DOES IT TAKE EFFECT?
This year, the Texas Legislature enacted House Bill 1927, the Firearm Carry Act of 2021. It has also been referred to as “Constitutional Carry” in Texas.
The act, which becomes law on September 1, 2021, eliminates the old requirement that Texas residents obtain a license to carry handguns. The new law has no effect on guns other than handguns, as Texas law already permits open carry of a rifle without a license.
SO WHAT IS CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY?
Constitutional carry allows a person 21 years or older who is not otherwise prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a firearm, to carry a firearm. There is no longer a requirement that you obtain a concealed handgun license before being allowed to carry.
A person is disqualified from carrying, regardless of the new law, if:
They are not yet 21 years of age or older(or)
They are a convicted felon under Section 46.04 of the Penal Code(or)
They have been convicted of a family violence offense under Section 22.01 of the Penal Code(or)
They are subject to a Protective Order under 46.04(c) of the Penal Code(or)
They have been adjudicated as mentally incompetent
This law also enhances criminal penalties for felons and family violence offenders that are caught carrying a firearm. Finally, the law requires that the Department of Public Safety offer free online gun safety courses.
HOW DOES THE NEW GUN LAW IN TEXAS AFFECT ME?
If you want to carry a gun, check the requirements. Make sure you are not part of the groups of people disqualified from open carry by the new law. If you are in the disqualified class, don’t put yourself in a situation where you can be charged for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, which can carry serious criminal penalties. If you do end up in the unfortunate situation of being charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, contact Harris & Harris Law Group, PLLC.