As of September 1st, 2021, HB 1927 removed the requirement to have a “license to carry” in order to carry a handgun in Texas. However, private properties such as restaurants and businesses can still prohibit the carry of firearms on the property if they choose.
If property owners want to ban guns, they generally must give proper "notice" to people at the property. This notice can be given orally (by speaking to visitors) or by using written communication. If property owners use written communication, they must follow specific instructions that are set out in the law.
Some types of private property are always considered "prohibited places" where firearms are not allowed. These are listed in Sec. 46.03 of the Texas Penal Code.
Businesses and other private property owners can ban guns on their property using several types of signs.
Certain businesses and other places that are considered "prohibited places" for firearms under Penal Code Sec. 46.03 have different rules for signage than what is listed below (for example, hospitals, racetracks, and amusement parks).
Note Librarians at the State Law Library cannot suggest which signs are appropriate for your property. Property owners should consult an attorney for advice on the proper signage for their situation.
As of September 1st, 2021, Section 30.05 of the Texas Penal Code has an option for private property owners to post a sign that prohibits the carry of firearms (handguns and long guns) on the property.
(c) A person may provide notice that firearms are prohibited on the property by posting a sign at each entrance to the property that:
(1) includes language that is identical to or substantially similar to the following:
'Pursuant to Section 30.05, Penal Code (criminal trespass), a person may not enter this property with a firearm';
(2) includes the language described by Subdivision (1) in both English and Spanish;
(3) appears in contrasting colors with block letters at least one inch in height; and
(4) is displayed in a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public.
Note Because of the way the law is written, it is a "defense to prosecution" under Section 30.05 if the person who is charged with a crime was carrying a handgun with a license to carry and certain other criteria were met. It's possible that a private property owner would need to post multiple signs in order to ban both unlicensed carry and licensed carry. Property owners should consult an attorney for advice on the proper signage for their situation.
Property owners should consult an attorney for advice on the proper signage for their situation.
Texas law restricts the carry of firearms at places that sell alcohol.
Bars that make more than half of their sales from alcohol have different rules than other places that sell alcohol. According to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC):
Alcoholic beverage retailers that derive 51% or more of its income from the sale of alcoholic beverages for on-premise consumption must post the red sign. The red sign has 51% in large red letters superimposed over a warning that says possession of a handgun on the premises is unlawful.
You can see a sample red sign [PDF] on the TABC's website.
In 2019, a new law was passed that restricted the ability of landlords to ban guns on residential property.
According to the Texas Manufactured Housing Association, the 2019 law says that:
tenants of a residential unit (apartment, condominium, and manufactured housing) have the right to lawfully possess firearms and ammunition in those locations, and to transport them directly en route between their residential units and their vehicles.
Although a new law in 2021 removed the requirement to have a license to carry a handgun, employers may still be able to restrict the carry of handguns by their employees at work.
According to an article in the National Law Review,
On the employment front, [HB 1927 from 2021] does not substantively amend Section 52.062(b) of the Texas Labor Code, which allows employers to prohibit an employee from possessing a firearm on their "premises."