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January 15, 2016

Frequently Asked Questions About the New Texas Open Carry Law

As of January 1, 2016, individuals can carry a handgun openly or concealed subject to statutory restrictions as long as they possess a License to Carry (LTC) a handgun issued by Texas or a similar license issued by a state that Texas has accepted. By law, a handgun carried openly must be carried in a shoulder or belt holster.

Now that the law is in effect, the City of Houston wants residents to know how the law applies to City facilities.  All firearms are prohibited in the Herbert W. Gee Municipal Courthouse at 1400 Lubbock as well as the municipal annex courtrooms located throughout the City.  On the other hand, licensed handgun carriers can carry in most other municipal buildings except for the secured, nonpublic areas of Houston Police Department facilities and at a meeting of a governmental body that is subject to the Open Meetings Act, such as Houston City Council or the City Planning Commission, if signs are posted outside.

All City of Houston employees, except those who are required to do so in the performance of their official duties, are prohibited from possessing weapons while on duty, in a city vehicle, or while on city property.  City employees are not prohibited from transporting or storing a firearm or ammunition in a locked, privately owned motor vehicle in accordance with state law.

Answers to all frequently asked questions about the new law can be found here:

In addition, Houston Police, Chief Charles A. McClelland, Jr., hosted two citywide informational meetings on the Texas Open Carry Law, which are available on HPD's YouTube channel at

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