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Gun Laws

This legal research guide provides information on Texas and federal gun laws, including concealed handgun licenses and local regulation of firearms and shooting ranges.

Resources at the State Law Library

Below are some of the library resources that can provide further guidance on this topic. The Texas State Law Library has many other resources in addition to the highlights we present below. Please call us at (512) 463-1722 if you have any questions about these materials.

Introduction to Gun Laws

State and federal laws and rules regulate many aspects of gun ownership, use, sales, and manufacturing. Understanding this area of the law can be challenging because firearm possession and discharge come up in a variety of contexts. For example, the Texas Penal Code stipulates where one may possess a firearm, the Texas Local Government Code authorizes municipalities to establish further restrictions, and federal law may impose additional restrictions. As this guide is intended to be a starting point in research, it is always wise to pose specific legal questions on this topic to an attorney.

Texas Law

Below you will find references to areas of the Texas law that govern use of firearms and issues related to firearms sales. If you find these statutes difficult to understand, you may want to look at the “Plain English” resources on this page or speak to an attorney.

Federal Law

Explained in "Plain English"

Because Texas and federal law may not be easy to understand, below you'll find a collection of resources that help to explain the law in “Plain English.”


Felons & firearms:

Where are guns prohibited?

Open Carry & Campus Carry

In 2015, the Texas Legislature enacted new laws related to “open carry” and “campus carry” for holders of handgun licenses (formerly called concealed handgun licenses or CHLs).

2015 Legislation:

Explanations of open carry & campus carry laws:

Licenses to Carry Handguns

Local Regulation of Firearms and Shooting Ranges

Who Can I Contact?

Legal Research Guides from the Texas State Law Library

The Texas State Law Library reference librarians have compiled legal research guides for specific areas of the law. These guides contain resources that can help you research a legal issue. The American Association of Law Libraries has a guide for Non-Lawyers on How to Research a Legal Problem [PDF]. If you have any questions, please contact us at (512) 463-1722 or at


The information provided on this page has been prepared for general information purposes only and should not be construed as, nor substituted for, legal advice. It is strongly recommended that you contact an attorney for advice specific to your fact situation. Your local bar association or the State Bar of Texas Lawyer Referral Information Service (1-800-252-9690) can assist you with locating an attorney.

Some of the electronic resources we refer to in this guide may be in PDF format. Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view PDFs.

Ask a Librarian

If you need help with a reference question, you may ask a librarian...

  (844) 829-2843 (toll-free) or (512) 463-1722
  Visit us at 205 W. 14th St in Austin
  PO Box 12367, Austin TX, 78711-2367