Some Do's and Dont's With the New Texas Open Carry Law - ITS Tactical

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Some Do’s and Dont’s With the New Texas Open Carry Law

By The ITS Crew


As of January 1st, Texans with a valid Concealed Handgun License may now openly carry their handguns. While it will always be your choice on which method to carry, it’s a great step forward in the furthering of our 2nd Amendment rights.

There are, however, some things to be aware of with the new law. Today we’ll be discussing the basics and some do’s and dont’s related to open carry in Texas.

Concealed Carry

Mean Gene Leather Belts

Let’s first examine the current law for carrying a handgun in Texas, before the recent open carry addition. In 1995, Texas passed its first Concealed Carry bill allowing residents to apply for a Concealed Handgun License. Unlike some states, Texas required applicants to take a class and pass a shooting test to obtain a CHL.

Once issued, the CHL was required to be renewed every five years, which included taking an additional class. (The requirement of the class for renewal has since been removed.) With a CHL, the holder could now carry in public and into private establishments as long as the gun was concealed. Businesses that didn’t want concealed carry on their premises had to display a sign known as Section 30.06, which gives specific language in both English and Spanish about a License Holder behind barred from entering their establishment with a concealed handgun.

Signs that don’t have the specific language, or aren’t placed in a conspicuous location don’t hold the weight of law. However, if someone from a private establishment asks a CHL Holder to leave the premises, they must comply or be faced with possible trespassing charges.

An additional restriction on concealed handguns prohibits carrying into an establishment that derives more than 51% of its revenue from the sale of alcohol. Signs in these establishments will display this text along with a large 51% image.

Open Carry


Texas House Bill 910 was first introduced in January of 2015 and was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott on June 13, 2015. This bill changes the nomenclature to a License to Carry rather than a Concealed Handgun License. It allows license holders to carry a handgun unconcealed in a belt or shoulder holster and doesn’t require additional fees, training or paperwork to those with existing Concealed Handgun Licenses.


By the text of the law, the holster used for open carry must be a shoulder or belt holster; specifics are not given and don’t include things like retention or attachment method. It’s likely that any holster that attaches to a belt or the shoulder would fit the criteria, so holsters like drop legs should be allowed as long as they attach to the belt in some manner.


No updates have been made to the restriction on prohibited places for carrying a handgun with the passing of open carry. High School, College and Professional sporting events, courtrooms, polling places and secured areas of airports are still off limits, just like they were before with a concealed license.

Section 30.07

As with Concealed Carry, establishments wishing to ban open carry on their premises must display a specific sign, the newly created 30.07 sign. Both the 30.06 and 30.07 must be displayed together in a conspicuous place in order for an establishment to legally bar those with a license from carrying inside.

Our Take

Many opponents to the new legislation feared blood in the streets when House Bill 910 went into effect on the 1st, but their fears seem unwarranted as many Police Departments report having no issues or calls related to open carry.

Though it’s definitely a great step forward in Texas Resident’s Second Amendment rights, we do caution those who choose to carry openly to use a holster with some sort of retention and/or get some weapon retention training. With a holster without retention, it could be easier for someone to take your firearm from you. Many who take a weapon retention class for the first time are surprised at just how easy it can be.

Personally, we feel like open carry draws a large amount of unwanted attention from those around you. We believe in exercising our rights and that rights which aren’t exercised can be lost, but we also advocate being discreet when out and about; it’s a little difficult to do that while open carrying.

What are your thoughts on the recent changes to the law in Texas? Will you be open carrying your handgun? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • bullitt4686

    I am glad that it now exists, but I will never open carry.  Some will argue that oh this now allows for that accidental exposure (that already existed) or, some will say they won’t open carry because “they will be the first ones shot during an active shooter event,” which is also ludicrous, but I will never open carry because I’m busy.  I don’t want to have to stop and have someone check me out, disarm me (or whatever) and I just don’t want the hassle.  Our department hasn’t had any issues.  It has been civil and decent, just as the law intended.  None of those jackwagons looking for their 10 min. of youtube fame about being harassed and cuffed and just being a jerk to LEO’s just doing their job.  Our Sheriff has made it clear for our officers to know the laws and be able to recite them, because when you run out of cool stuff to say during one of THOSE moments, you WILL make it to youtube.  $0.02

  • Aim West

    I live in Wyoming, and a lot of people here choose to open carry.  I do not personally open carry often, as my job (I work in retail) prevents it.  However, when I do see others open carrying, I have a sense of security knowing that there are others around who can defend us.  Being discreet certainly has its advantages, but allowing others to see that you are equipped and trained to handle a situation has its merits, as well.

    • bullitt4686

      Aim West In my experience, 90% of those you speak of do not have any formal training.  Don’t assume because they are open carrying that they know what they are doing.  Only you will take care of you.

    • Aim West

      bullitt4686 Aim West This is true, but when I am unable to carry due to my work, I like seeing others open carrying. My thought is, a bad guy (around here, anyway) is probably going to think twice with someone around legally displaying a gun.

  • Garth Phillips

    A country gone Absolutely Crazy:( how sad

    • JoeFreedom

      Crazy how?  Exercising constitutional rights?  You should move to china where you would feel more at home.

  • Thomas Zirkle

    I haven’t seen a single person open carry yet…

  • dbass

    I support open carry not because I plan nor will I open carry but because too many time someone is arrested because accidental exposure of their gun. In Florida a officer had a man raise his hand high in the air, his shirt raised just above the holster then the officer arrested him. It was all on dash cam and obvious the officer was trying to force the open display of the fire arm. Latter charges were dropped but the arrest record will follow this man for life. He also had to fork out bail, and attorney fees. This is all damage to this man’s life because some officers don’t like the 2nd amendment.

    • bullitt4686

      dbass Not all officers feel that way.  There are more good officers out there than bad, and those good officers hate the bad ones just as you do.  We just seem to hear about the bad officers 10 fold to those good ones.  Good officer helping a lady change a tire or good officer talked an HT down for 10 hours without incident, or good officer had an uneventful shift just don’t make the headlines.

    • dbass

      bullitt4686 dbass I agree with you… but the open carry would have prevented this. I’m in no way suggesting all or most police officers are bad, but when someone comes across one they can only hope the laws are on there side. In Florida the law is far too vague on accidental open display of a fire arm. Open carry would prevent/remove the vague issue with the law, preventing this issue. Most officers I have ran into have been very cool with CCW, even trusting that someone with a CCW would be the first to come to there defense if needed. I respect trust our officers, the vague law is the problem.

  • Gen.Anesthesia

    I do not plan on open-carrying and will continue to carry concealed when in Texas. I fully support the right and think it’s a large step forward in 2nd amendment recognition. I’m not wanting to call attention to a person that is a threat but at least I won’t worry as much if my gun prints through my shirt.

  • Bryan Watts

    I assume you’re referring to your own country of Australia?

  • jimsjeep

    I just saw my first person carrying open. I saw no problem and no one else seemed to care either. 
    Personally I won’t be carrying in the open due to personal preference. I feel the need to carry is real these days…for a slew of reasons….but the reality of it convinces me that the concealment method is the best strategy.
    Carrying open certainly would be a bit of fun among friends etc….
    I guess the only thing I will seem to benefit from will be needing to be totally concealed…Now that is not so important…

  • Lee Guiliani

    If gun owners don’t train the mind and use of firearms they don’t need to own any firearms collector or not, dumb people do dumb things.
    owning a firearm is not just a Right It’s a responsibility having no training is irresponsible.

    a hunting safety course on line in my opinion is not Training.

    • dbass

      @Lee Guiliani I must disagree with you on one point, owning a fire arm is a RIGHT with which comes great responsibility, remember the 2nd.

    • William Addington

      The hunting saftey course online is for HUNTING only. Can not carry a handgun with that. The Concealed course can not be taken online. Furthermore, it is likely that no amount of training would satify your criteria.

  • dbass

    I support the rights of those that want to carry openly, allowing limits on how one carries opens doors for bans on carry.

  • JasonDouglas1

    Open carry is for wannabes.

    • William Addington

      “for wannabes”. What does that even mean?

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