Texas does not require a person to have a License to Carry or other documentation in order to carry a loaded handgun in a vehicle if the vehicle is owned by the person or under the person’s control. The said gun must be “concealed” or out of plain sight to be lawfully carried. Many gun owners carry firearms in a vehicle as a means of protection, but interpretations of the law can become confusing when you introduce extenuating circumstances, such as minors.
SMB Defense Lawyer, Shawn McDonald walks through some scenarios on vehicle gun safety and minors to explain what legal responsibility you have as a gun-owning parent in the state of Texas.
For instance, what liability do you have if a minor accesses a firearm in your parked vehicle and harms someone with it? If a child garners access to your firearms, they cannot be violating any law to obtain the firearm, such as breaking into your car or committing a left. Texas law provides gun owners protection against the above example.
Here’s another scenario. What if you are traveling with a minor (your child or someone else’s) in your vehicle and that minor accesses your gun and injures himself or someone else? McDonald comments that even if that minor does not injure another party, you could be charged if someone calls law enforcement. At that point, you would made a “readily dis-chargeable firearm” available to a minor without implementing a safeguard in place to prevent accessibility.
Under Texas law, parents must safely secure firearms from minors, and it’s a serious offense if you are inattentive or unintentionally reckless. As the parent and the gun owner, you must prevent firearms “access” to minors by all means necessary to reduce your liability. Not only for your liability but for the safety of others. You should be mindful of human life by maintaining strict safeguards for your firearms.