Permitless carry in Texas set to begin on September 1

Walking around with a long rifle has been legal in Texas for several years and the open carry of a handgun for those with a state license has been legal for about six years. 

On September 1st, Texas joins more than two dozen states that do not require a state permit to carry a handgun

"I anticipate life in Texas to move forward as it always has," said Felisha Bull with Gun Owners of America.

Bull doesn't believe the passage of HB 1927, the Texas Firearm Act of 2021, means a return to the Wild West. "This is not a free for all to act inappropriately to give all gun owners a bad name," she said.

Restrictions remain on where you cannot take a gun, such as airports, schools and federal buildings. Private business owners can still prohibit guns on their property, but are required to have official warning signs. 

There are some changes with that, especially for bars and restaurants. "Every business in Texas that sells, distributes or manufactures alcohol previously had to have some form of the handgun warning sign, whether that was a red sign or what we call the blue sign, again as of September 1st, the blue sign is going away," said Chris Porter, with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

The vanishing blue sign, according to Porter, is typically used by restaurants and liquor stores and is being replaced with something much easier.

"The primary method of doing so is oral communications, to the patrons as they enter the premises, they simply can be asked to leave their handguns outside, there are also options signs that they can display that are allowed under the Texas Penal Code," said Porter.

Those signs, known as double-aught 6 and 7 for their state law designations, apply to people who still carry a state permit. But some business attorneys warn a third sign is needed to address those who claim permitless carry.

"I think what’s going to help any confusion out there is the Department of Public Safety in Texas is going to be putting a free training on their website, it’s going to go over the signage where you can and cannot carry, and that's going to be a resource for all Texans and visitors to be able to go and look at and clear up any legal questions that they have," said Bull.

The information page from DPS is not yet online. Until then, the best advice available is to speak with an attorney.

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Texans can carry handguns without a license or training starting Sept. 1
Texans could carry handguns without a permit under bill headed to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk
Moms Demand Action protesting Governor Abbott's permitless carry bill
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