Texas is known for its “Come and Take It” sign and having some of the most passionate gun owners around the nation. Texas gun owners enjoy a wide range of freedoms concerning their Second Amendment rights. One common question among gun owners and potential gun buyers in Texas is whether or not it is legal to carry a loaded gun in a vehicle.
The short answer is yes, it is legal to keep a firearm loaded and within reach of the driver in a vehicle under the Motorist Protection Act.
If you’ve looked online, confusion still lingers around whether driving with a firearm requires a Concealed Handgun License. You don’t! Although you don’t need a gun license, License to Carry, or other documentation to permit commuting with a gun, it’s important to review what Texas law allows before you load up your vehicle as you please. You are responsible to know and understand the gun laws in your state.
In a recent video series on Texas gun laws, Shawn McDonald from SMB Criminal Defense Lawyers educates residents on carrying guns in your vehicle. Here are the three qualifiers to lawfully carry a gun while in a vehicle in Texas.
- Your weapon must be concealed and not “in plain view.”
- You can’t be a gang member.
- You cannot be committing another crime other than the traffic offense that you were stopped for.
The tricky part of those qualifiers is: what is considered “concealed.” Gun owners typically default to the glovebox or center console to conceal their handguns. With the law up to discretionary judgment, “concealed” is a gray area, but be sure to avoid a gun being plain sight.
If you have concerns about how to conceal a weapon, contact your local attorney to educate yourself on owning firearms safely and responsibly.