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As of 2021, Texas law no longer requires people to have a license to carry (LTC) in order to carry a handgun in most public places. See our Carry of Firearms page for more info on this new law. However, Texans are still able to get a license to carry after the new law takes effect.
People with a handgun license may be able to take their guns to some places where unlicensed people can't. For example, there are different rules for unlicensed carry and licensed carry near schools and at colleges. Also, businesses and other private property owners can usually choose whether to prohibit unlicensed carry, open carry by license holders, concealed carry by license holders, or some combination of those options.
Additionally, Texans may need a Texas LTC if they want to carry their handgun in another state that requires a handgun license and has a reciprocity agreement with Texas.
Normally, Texans must be at least 21 years old in order to get a license to carry a handgun (LTC). However, in 2021, HB 918 gave Texans aged 18-20 the ability to get an LTC if they are protected under certain types of protective orders or magistrate's emergency protective orders.
As the bill analysis for the law explains,
H.B. 918 amends the Government Code to make a person who is at least 18 years of age but not yet 21 years of age eligible for a handgun license if the person meets all other license requirements except the minimum age under federal law to purchase a handgun and is protected under an active protective order or magistrate's order for emergency protection [...].
Victims can apply for an LTC if they are covered by a protective order for the following:
Section 411.205 of the Texas Government Code is sometimes called the "duty to inform" law. The law says that if a person with a license to carry a handgun (LTC) is carrying a handgun and is asked by a peace officer to show ID, they must show both:
Also, if the person's handgun license has a "protective order designation" (see above for details), they must also display:
Traveling to another state and wondering if you can take your gun? These resources explain Texas's handgun license reciprocity agreements with other states.