Other Texas Gun Laws

The Texas License to Carry (LTC) is the most well-known aspect of the state’s gun laws, but it is just one part of a complex and nuanced regulatory landscape. In addition to obtaining an LTC, gun owners and enthusiasts must also navigate various rules related to buying and selling firearms, as well as carrying them in vehicles. Furthermore, Texas has strict laws governing the use of firearms in the presence of alcohol. In this article, we will explore these lesser-known aspects of Texas gun laws to help you stay informed and compliant.

Buying and Selling Firearms in Texas

Texas has relatively relaxed laws regarding the purchase and sale of firearms, especially compared to other states with stricter gun control measures. However, there are still some rules and restrictions that must be followed to legally buy and sell guns in Texas.

Age Requirements

To purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer in Texas, you must be at least 18 years old. However, federal law requires you to be 21 years old to buy a handgun from a licensed dealer. Private sales of firearms, which occur between individuals without a licensed dealer as an intermediary, have no age restrictions under Texas law.

Background Checks

In Texas, licensed dealers are required to conduct a background check before selling a firearm to a customer. This includes a check of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), as well as a search of the Texas Department of Public Safety’s criminal history database. There is no waiting period for purchasing a firearm in Texas.

Prohibited Buyers and Sellers

Certain individuals are prohibited from buying or selling firearms under Texas and federal law. These include individuals convicted of certain crimes, individuals subject to a protective order, and individuals with a history of mental illness. Additionally, it is illegal to sell a firearm to someone who is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.

Carrying Firearms in Vehicles in Texas

In Texas, it is legal to carry a firearm in a vehicle without an LTC, as long as the firearm is not in plain view. However, there are still rules and regulations that must be followed to do so legally.

Long Guns vs. Handguns

There are different rules for carrying long guns (rifles and shotguns) and handguns in vehicles. Long guns can be carried in a vehicle without an LTC as long as they are not in plain view. Handguns, on the other hand, must be either concealed or carried openly with an LTC.

School Zones and Federal Property

It is illegal to possess a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school zone, even if you have an LTC. Additionally, federal law prohibits the possession of firearms on certain types of federal property, such as post offices and courthouses.

Firearms and Alcohol Laws in Texas

Texas has strict laws governing the possession and use of firearms in the presence of alcohol. Violations of these laws can result in serious legal consequences.

Open Carry and Alcohol

It is illegal to openly carry a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If a law enforcement officer determines that you are impaired while openly carrying a firearm, you can be arrested and charged with a Class C misdemeanor.

Concealed Carry and Alcohol

Under Texas law, it is legal to carry a concealed firearm in a restaurant or bar that serves alcohol, as long as the business does not post a sign prohibiting firearms. However, it is illegal to consume alcohol while carrying a concealed firearm. If you are caught carrying a firearm while intoxicated, you can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.


While the Texas License to Carry is the most well-known aspect of the state’s gun laws, it is important to be aware of other rules and regulations that govern gun ownership and use in Texas. Whether you are buying or selling firearms, carrying them in vehicles, or consuming alcohol in their presence, it is crucial to understand and follow the law to avoid legal trouble.

By following these rules, you can safely and legally exercise your Second Amendment rights as a gun owner in Texas. Remember, owning a firearm is a serious responsibility, and it is up to each individual to educate themselves on the laws and regulations that govern their use.

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