Letter from the Chief
On January 1, 2016 persons with a Concealed Handgun License issued under Chapter 411 of the Texas Government Code or persons who have obtained the new “License to Carry” under Chapter 411 of the Texas Government Code, will be allowed to openly carry a handgun.
A person does not have the right to carry a handgun openly or concealed, unless they have obtained the proper license to carry under Chapter 411 of the Texas Government Code. With the new law, there are limitations on the open carry law as to when, where and how persons can carry handguns. This is all explained under Chapter 46.02 Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon statute of the Texas Penal Code.
In order to open carry a handgun; an individual must carry the handgun in a manner that is dictated by statute. The Texas Penal Code Section 46.02 specifically states “a person who is carrying a license issued under Chapter 411, Sub-chapter H, of the Texas Government Code; to carry a handgun, it must be carried in a concealed manner, or in a shoulder or belt holster.” This statute does not include long guns such as rifles or shotguns.
Persons who own property or businesses have the right to allow, or not to allow individuals who have a License to Carry to openly or conceal carry on their premises. If a property owner chooses not to allow the open carry of handguns on their property or premise, the property owner must place notice at every entrance stating that open carry is prohibited. There is specific language and signage requirements that have to be met in order to prohibit open carry on a person’s property or premise. If a persons property or premise does not meet these requirements it is not a violation of any law to open carry or conceal carry a handgun. The statute that explains the signage requirements and specific language is Section 30.06 and 30.07 of the Texas Penal Code. If a license to carry holder enters the premises and remains on the premises after being told to leave, and there is proper posting or notification that entry is forbidden, then the license holder is violation of section 30.06 or 30.07 Texas Penal Code, Trespass by License Holder.
The Manvel Police Department is not advocating either to allow or not to allow the open carry of handguns on person’s property. This information is being provided as a resource to educate the property owners of their rights. The law is new and there are many interpretations of what a person can and cannot do as a property owner, private citizen and business owner. If you are not sure of the law, or feel you have been misled please contact me at the Manvel Police Department.