DHTML Tree Menu skip to content




contentHouston Police Department > News Releases

Houston Police To Enforce Unlawful Carrying of Weapons

September 1, 2005 -- Generally, Texas law prohibits a person from carrying a weapon in a motor vehicle unless that person is "traveling," complying with another defense under the law, or is a concealed handgun license holder.

While the penal code does not specifically define "traveling," Texas case law provides guidance regarding this matter. House Bill 823 creates a presumption in Section 2.05 of the Texas Penal Code that a person is "traveling" in certain circumstances. A person is presumed to be traveling if he or she is:

* In a private vehicle
* Not otherwise engaged in criminal activity other than a traffic offense
* Not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing a firearm, being a felon
* Not a member of a criminal street gang
* Not carrying a handgun in plain view

This change does not prevent law enforcement officers from arresting a person who is in a motor vehicle for carrying a handgun under Section 46.02 of the Texas Penal Code if the person is not "traveling."

A Houston police officer will speak with a motorist and conduct a thorough investigation to determine if the motorist was in the course of "traveling," should a weapon be located in a vehicle. Officers will then contact the Harris County District Attorney's office to determine if the charge of unlawfully carrying a weapon is appropriate.


For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.