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What does concealed mean when you carry a firearm?

You don’t need a special license to purchase a gun in Texas, nor do you need a license to carry a gun in your vehicle after you purchase it. But if you are traveling with a firearm in your vehicle, it must be “concealed” or out of plain sight. The word “concealed” can leave gun owners scratching their heads and unclear on how to abide by state standards.

How would you know if your gun is “concealed” to lawful standards or not?

The truth is, according to attorney Shawn McDonald in SugarLand, TX, it is a gray area where both the gun owner and law enforcement could have an argument. If you leave the gun or ammunition exposed on a seat or floorboard, that’s clearly in plain sight. If you leave your gun in the glovebox, it is safely concealed. If you have it between the driver seat and center console, it could technically be considered concealed. In that scenario, an officer might be able to spot it by peering through the driver side window. That’s where the gray area leaves room for discretionary opinion.

As you are deciding where to place in your firearm in your vehicle, approach that decision from the mindset of function and safety. You have the gun in your car for a purpose, which is to protect yourself or property should there be a threat. Ideally, the firearm needs to be in close proximity for ease of access. On the reverse, consider how you can safely conceal the firearm for yourself, those traveling with you, and law enforcement. You wouldn’t want an officer to feel threatened by your weapon.

If you need a quick resource to learn more about gun laws in Texas or another state, you can visit www.gunlawsbystate.com or consult Shawn McDonald and his defense attorneys at SMB Criminal Lawyers.