Message from the Chief – LTC (formerly CHL) & Open Carry – January 1st, 2016 is just over a day away, and that’s big news for those interested in openly carrying a handgun. Additionally, there are changes in the current LTC laws that will affect all LTC licensees. As you’ll see, many of them are favorable for LTC Licensees.
In this message, I will attempt to simplify some of these law changes and how my department plans to respond to them
Common Questions, Asked & Answered…
- How’s the Law Work?
- How will APPD respond to seeing someone openly carrying a firearm
- Can LTC privileges be exercised inside government buildings?
- So, where can’t I go?
- How do I prohibit carrying on my properties?
- Anything else…?
As of January 1, 2016, all CHL (concealed handgun license) licensees will become LTC (license to carry) licensees.
As an LTC licensee, you now have the following options:
- Carry your handgun concealed; or
- Openly carry your handgun in either a shoulder or hip holster.
APPD Officers will respond much like we do when observing a motorist operating a vehicle. In Texas, there are roughly 15.5 million licensed drivers on the road. It would be impractically unreasonable to believe a motorist, without other identifiable factors, was driving without a license.
You can apply the same principle to those who choose to carry openly, following this law. Considering that there are over 825,957 (2014, DPS Website), it would be highly improbable to assume that those observed openly carrying a firearm are doing so unlawfully. Therefore, without other contributing factors, it’s best we presume that open carry is lawful.
Our procedure has been established for staff. Take a look:
Absolutely! In fact, as of September 1, 2015, it is unlawful for government entities to prohibit LTC licensees from exercising their carrying privileges while on government premises. The only exclusions are rooms where active public meetings are being held, courtrooms and offices used for court activities, and correctional facilities (more on these exclusions shortly).
Read the fine print here: https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/GV/htm/GV.411.htm#411.209
If you choose to carry your handgun openly, pay strict attention to the rules. You [highlight]MUST[/highlight] have your handgun properly holstered in either a shoulder holster or belt (hip) holster.
In other words, don’t go commando with your pistol! Openly carrying in any other fashion is unlawful and could result in criminal charges.
Now, onto those places and times when it is [highlight]UNLAWFUL[/highlight] to carry your handgun, openly or concealed, under the LTC law.
When carrying onto:
- An institution of higher education, including private institutions of high education. This includes the parking areas, sidewalks, driveways, etc. of the institution (This one will change again in August 2016, but that’s when it gets messy, and I am not about to get into that. Check with respective law enforcement or campus security for those details);
- the physical premises of a school or educational institution to include grounds or buildings on which an activity sponsored by a school or educational institution is being conducted, or a passenger transportation vehicle of a school or educational institution (may be waived by the institution and must be done in writing);
- the premises of the high school, collegiate, or professional sporting event or interscholastic event is taking place unless the LTC holder is a participant in the event and a handgun is used in the event;
- the premises of a government courtroom or offices used by the court;
- the secured area of an airport;
- the premises of a hospital, religious worship place (church or synagogue), and amusement park, but ONLY WHEN these establishments properly provide notice in accordance with the requirements of Penal Code 30.06 and/or 30.07;
- the premises of the correctional facility;
- licensed establishments which sell alcoholic beverages which properly display 51% signage;
- the premises of an open government meeting where proper notice has been given to LTC licensees and while an open meeting is underway.
Or while the LTC licensee is:
Sections 30.06 and 30.07 of the Texas Penal Code regulate this activity. Currently, Whataburger and HEB plan to ban LTC licensees from carrying openly within their establishments. When notice isn’t delivered orally by someone with authority to do so, it must be properly displayed and contain the statutorily prescribed verbiage.
Prevent LTC folks from CARRYING CONCEALED on your premises:
“Pursuant to Section 30.06, Penal Code (trespass by license holder with a concealed handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not enter this property with a concealed handgun”
Prevent LTC folks from OPEN CARRY on your premises:
“Pursuant to Section 30.07, Penal Code (trespass by license holder with an openly carried handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not enter this property with a handgun that is carried openly”
In both instances, the signage must be laid out as follows:
- Must be displayed in both English and Spanish;
- Contrasting colors (black & white);
- Letters must be in block format and at least 1″ in height;
- Conspicuously displayed, clearly visible to the public (Make is obvious).
Read the fine text: https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.30.htm#30.06
Sure, these links should be helpful…
- What the licenses will look like: PDF Document
- Applying for a CHL and FAQs therein related: TxDPS FAQ Page
- Reciprocity agreements with other states: Reciprocity Map
Raw text from State Bills and updated statutes: https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/84R/billtext/html/HB00910F.HTM
Killeen PD Nailed it! Great Job!!
View their Facebook video illustration…