It's almost here. Texas has several changes to its gun toting laws that begin January 1, 2016. Are you up to speed? 

The following information and wording has been obtained directly from the State of Texas Department of Public Safety website, if you have questions please refer to the DPS FAQ.

Open Carry: House Bill 910
Effective: January 1, 2016

Caption: Relating to the authority of a person who is licensed to carry a handgun to openly carry a holstered handgun; creating criminal offense.

General Information:

  • Authorizes individuals to obtain a license to openly carry a handgun in the same places that allow the licensed carrying of a concealed handgun with some exceptions. (See "Exceptions" below for more information.)
  • Unconcealed handguns, loaded or unloaded, must be carried in a shoulder or belt holster.
  • Individuals who hold a valid CHL may continue to carry with valid existing license.
  • A separate license will not be required to open carry. No additional fee will be required.
  • Individuals currently licensed will not be required to attend additional training. Training curriculum for new applicants will be updated to reflect the new training requirements related to the use of restraint holsters and methods to ensure the secure carrying of openly carried handguns. The new curriculum will be required for all classes beginning January 1, 2016.
  • The eligibility criteria to obtain a license to carry do not change.
  • The department will be updating website, forms and training materials to reference License to Carry (LTC) instead of Concealed Handgun License (CHL).
  • Changes to the laminated license are being developed and will be implemented at a later date.

Signage:

Effective 1/1/2016, a sign posted under §30.06, Texas Penal Code, must do the following:

  • Include the following text in English and in Spanish:
  • Pursuant to Section 30.06, Penal Code (trespass by license holder with a concealed handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not enter this property with a concealed handgun”
  • 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.
  • Include the following text in English and in Spanish: “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.”
  • 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.DPS does not furnish or sell these signs. Private property owners may print the signs or purchase the signs from a commercial printing company.

Exceptions:

  • Open carry is not permitted by a license holder regardless of whether the handgun is holstered:
  • on the premises of an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education
  • on any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage or other parking area of an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education
  • by an individual who is acting as a personal protection officer under Chapter 1702, Occupations Code and is not wearing a uniform

Campus Carry: Senate Bill 11
Effective: August 1, 2016

Caption: Relating to the carrying of handguns on the campuses of and certain other locations associated with institutions of higher education; providing a criminal penalty.

  • Authorizes a license holder to carry a concealed handgun on or about the license holder's person while the license holder is on the campus of an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education in this state. Open carrying of handguns is still prohibited at these locations.
  • Authorizes an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education in this state to establish rules, regulation, or other provisions concerning the storage of handguns in dormitories or other residential facilities that are owned or leased and operated by the institution and located on the campus of the institution.
  • Requires the president or other chief executive officer of an institution of higher education in this state to establish reasonable rules, regulations, or other provisions regarding the carrying of concealed handguns by license holders on the campus or on specific premises located on the campus.
  • Authorizes posting of a sign under Penal Code Section 30.06 with respect to any portion of a premises on which license holders may not carry.
  • The effective date of this law for a public junior college is August 1, 2017

There are a few more details and other specific situations and other new law information available at the DPS website below.