Message from the Chief – LTC (formerly CHL) & Open Carry

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…

open-concealedAs of January 1, 2016, all CHL (concealed handgun license) licensees will become LTC (license to carry) licensees.

As an LTC licensee you now have options:

  • Carry your handgun concealed; or
  • Openly carry your handgun in either a shoulder or hip holster.

APPD Officers will respond much in the same way 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 those who choose to openly carry, in accordance with 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 the open carry is lawful.

Our procedure has been established for staff.  Take a look:

guns allowed
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 the fine print here:

Texas Government Code Sec. 411.209

If you choose to openly carry your handgun, pay strict attention to the rules.  You MUST 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 UNLAWFUL 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 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 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 court room 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 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:

  • intoxicated.

Read the the fine print here:

Texas Penal Code, Chapter 46

*** This list is of those situations most common.  For a complete listing or interpretation on the laws, please consult with an attorney. ***

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…

Texas Penal Code, Chapter 30

Sure, these links should be helpful…

Raw text from State Bills and updated statutes…

Get Ready, it’s a LOT!!

Killeen PD Nailed it! Great Job!!

View their Facebook video illustration…

Texas Handgun License Law

Texas Handgun License/Open Carry Law takes effect January 1.This video was produced as a public service for informational use only. It should not be considered legal advice. Those interested in learning more about the legislation are encouraged to go to conduct their own research. Laws specific to the License to Carry issue may be found in the Penal Code and Government Code.

Posted by City of Killeen, Texas – Government on Monday, December 28, 2015