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Gun Laws

This guide provides information on Texas and federal gun laws including: background checks, open carry, concealed carry, handgun licenses, restrictions for felons, and local regulation of firearms and shooting ranges.

Background Checks

Texas Laws & Federal Regulations

Texas Laws

Federal Regulations

Understanding the Law

See other pages of this guide for more information on buying and transferring firearms, restrictions on felons, and licenses to carry firearms.

When is a background check required? What laws govern background checks?

National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)

Failed Background Checks

There are many reasons a person might fail a background check or otherwise be barred from purchasing or possessing a firearm. Below is information about some possible reasons. For information about restrictions on convicted felons, see the felons and firearms page of this guide.

Why might a person fail a background check?

Appeals Process

Delayed Background Checks Due to COVID-19

Gun purchasers may experience delays in federal background checks processed through the NICS due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Medical Marijuana and Gun Rights

Under the restrictions of the federal Gun Control Act, it is illegal for a person "who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance" to possess, receive, or transport firearms or ammunition.  This has raised concerns that participating in a medical marijuana program may cost patients their rights to possess firearms. However, the Texas Department of Public Safety has stated in an FAQ that they do not believe participation in the state's CUP program disqualifies a person from possessing a firearm or obtaining a Texas License to Carry, although it's possible that a patient's underlying condition may disqualify them.

The following links provide more information and context but do not yet address how Second Amendment rights may be affected by the use of CBD or hemp-derived products as that is still a developing area of law.