If you're a gun owner living in Texas, then it’s important to know the local gun laws. Although Texas has relatively fewer restrictions then many other states, there are nonetheless important rules you need to be aware of. For instance, even though the Texas legislature made open carry legal in 2015 (provided the weapons were kept in shoulder or waist holsters), that doesn't mean that it's an anything-goes situation. Even with the new open carry laws, there are still specific places where it's unlawful to carry a weapon in Texas.
Businesses That Sell Alcohol
If alcohol sales in a specific business comprise 51 percent or higher of total sales, you may not take a weapon into the establishment. This applies even if you aren't consuming alcohol yourself. Although many charges involving weapons are prosecuted as misdemeanors in Texas, this particular charge is a Class C Felony.
On the Premises of Correctional Institute
This is another weapons charge that's considered a Class C Felony in Texas. Even if you're just going to pay a brief visit to an inmate, leave your weapon at home.
Churches, Synagogues, and Other Places of Worship
Having a weapon on your person in a church, synagogue, or other designated place o religious worship is also not allowed under Texas law. This is generally prosecuted as a Class A Misdemeanor and carries fines of up to $4,000.
At School Events
You are also not allowed to carry a weapon while attending a high school or college sporting event. The only exception is if you are a participant in the event and the weapon is used in the event. For instance, you would be allowed to carry the gun you're using at a target shooting competition, but you wouldn't be able to have it at a basketball game.
At Nursing Homes and Hospitals
Unless you have written permission from the administrator of these facilities, having a weapon in a hospital or nursing home may result in being charged with a Class A Misdemeanor.
Airports, Polling Stations and Other Places
There are a few more places where you may face charges for unlawfully carrying a weapon. These include racetracks, government meetings, polling places during the day of an election, amusement parks, and airport terminal buildings.
Please feel free to reach out to Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC at your convenience if you've got further questions about gun laws in Texas. Our skilled criminal defense attorneys can help build a case designed to provide you with the best possible outcome, so don't hesitate to get in touch if we can be of assistance.