Texas Permitless Carry

On June 16, 2021, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law a permit less carry bill. HB
removes the mandate that one must first obtain a License To Carry (LTC) to possess a firearm outside of their home. From the final bill text, we have:

“AN ACT relating to provisions governing the carrying of a firearm by a person who is 21 years of age or older and not otherwise prohibited by state or federal
law from possessing the firearm and to other provisions related to the carrying, possessing, transporting, or storing of a firearm or other weapon; creating criminal offenses.”

The law is scheduled to come into effect on September 1, 2021. At that time, a permit to carry will no longer be necessary to bear arms in public. There are some exceptions and provisions of the law that are important to know, from the text:

“(3) persons who are currently prohibited from possessing firearms under state and federal law will not gain the right to possess or carry a firearm under this legislation; and (4) persons who are currently prohibited from possessing a firearm include: persons convicted of a felony as described by the provisions of Section 46.04, Penal
Code, persons convicted of certain assault offenses under Section 22.01, Penal Code, punishable as a Class A misdemeanor and involving a member of the person’s
family or household, certain persons who are the subject of a protective order under Section 46.04(c), Penal Code, and persons meeting any of the criteria listed in 18 U.S.C. Section 922(g), including persons adjudicated to be mentally incompetent.”

In short, the law will do nothing to change who is or is not a prohibited person. Suppose someone is prohibited from getting a carry permit, purchasing a firearm, or possessing one under federal and Texas law. In that case, the permit less carry law will not allow them to carry.

Other subtleties of language were changed to strike “shoulder or belt” from the holster description. This clarification was necessary to clarify any possible confusion for those with a holster that does not fit that narrow description. The law will also not change places that one is prohibited from carrying a firearm by allowing people to carry in areas they previously were not allowed to carry a gun.

With the passage of this law and coming into effect on September 1, something that does need to be discussed is training. There may or may not be an influx of more concealed carriers. Some of the people that previously never carried may not have obtained a permit out of laziness or not wanting to go through the process. If you or someone you know will embark on practicing the lawful carrying of a firearm and have not gotten structured training, you really should and advocate to others to do the same.

Permit less carry is a big step to righting many wrongs that have been done to gun owners over the years. The removal of statutory regulations that keep people from exercising said right is a good thing. Besides our legal responsibilities, we also have moral ones.

Seek training that gives you the basics. If you’re an experienced firearm user but have not gotten any training lately, it’s an excellent time to brush up and take a class. After that, build on the basics with practice and more training. Enhancing our skills through both training and practice should be embraced. A good rule of thumb is to get structured training once a year and practice sessions at least once a month with live fire.

This year is an exciting time in Texas and American history. The country keeps adding to the list of permit less carry states, and this is a good thing. Let us not get swept away by our newly reclaimed freedoms and forget to train.


Stay safe out there and think before you do!

John Petrolino is a US Merchant Marine Officer, writer,
author of “Decoding
Firearms: An Easy to Read Guide on General Gun Safety & Use”
USCCA certified instructor, NRA certified pistol, rifle, and shotgun instructor
living under and working to change New Jersey’s draconian and unconstitutional
gun laws. You can find him on the web at www.johnpetrolino.com
on Twitter at @johnpetrolino
and on Instagram @jpetrolinoiii