Concealed Handgun vs License to Carry Licenses: What Do the New Laws Mean?

When people carry concealed and loaded handguns in public, there’s always the risk of accidental or even intentional shootings. The mere presence of a concealed gun on a person means that there is a chance that an argument could escalate into a full-blown shootout. This can happen in places where disagreements or fights can occur, such as inside bars, traffic, sporting events, and inside homes.

Permissive concealed carry laws violate the feeling of safety, especially in public places that are supposed to be safe from guns and gun violence, and to make sure that people exercise the responsible use of carrying a concealed handgun, the laws that surround them have been changed.

So What’s New?

Effective as of January 1, 2016:

  • Individuals can get a license to openly carry a handgun in places that allow the licensed carrying of a concealed handgun. However, there are exceptions to this.
  • The people who currently hold a valid Concealed Handgun License (CHL) can continue to carry with a valid existing license.
  • Getting a separate license won’t be required to open carry, and there are no additional fees required.
  • The criteria to be eligible to carry a license has not changed.
  • Unconcealed handguns, loaded or not, must be carried in a shoulder or a belt holster.
  • If you’re currently licensed, you don’t have to attend any additional training.
  • New applicants will have to attend an updated training curriculum that includes the secure carrying of openly carried handguns. It’ll be required for all classes starting January 1, 2016.

The bottom line is this: As long as you hold a valid CHL, you can continue to carry with a valid existing license without having to apply for a separate license.

It’s important to note that the Department of Public Safety (DPS) won’t replace your CHL with the new Texas License to Carry a Handgun. You can submit a duplicate or a change of address form if you want to receive the newly-designed license.

The Exceptions

The places where you aren’t allowed to open carry as a license holder, whether the handgun is holstered or not:

  • In schools and universities, whether public or private
  • On streets, walkways, parking garages, or parking lots
  • By someone acting as a personal protection officer and is not wearing a uniform

It’s important to practice safe and responsible handling of your handgun, concealed or not. Owning a firearm is a huge responsibility in itself. Once you have your license, and would like the best handguns or firearms available for your hunting or self-defense purposes, be sure you contact Gunco Arms. You can give us a call at 940-341-2501 and we'll be more than happy to answer all of your questions and concerns.