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Where is the Texas law that says I can't carry a handgun without a Concealed Handgun License (CHL)?
by Donald Ray Burger
Attorney at Law

Section 46.02 of the Texas Penal Code sets out the general rule. Section 46.02(a) reads:

"A person commits an offense if he intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his person a handgun, illegal knife or club."

In the Vernon's Annotated Civil Statutes bound volume that contains this section, there are 37 pages of case summaries (averaging over 15 cases per page) on just 46.02 of the Texas Penal Code! And there are more cases in the supplement to the bound volume. As you can see, although the rule may sound simple, the legal ramifications are complex.

Section 46.02 is the general rule. An exception to 46.02 is made if one has a CHL. Section 46.15(b)(6) specifically states that the provisions of 46.02 do not apply to a person who:

"is carrying a concealed handgun and a valid license issued under Article 4413(29ee), Revised Statutes, to carry a concealed handgun of the same category as the handgun the person is carrying."

Article 4413(29ee) is now codified as Subchapter H, Chapter 411 of the Texas Government Code. Even though 46.02 does not apply to CHL holders, there are many complicated rules that do apply to such holders and there are many places CHL holders cannot go. Some, but not all, such restrictions are found at 46.035 of the Penal Code. The classroom instruction necessary to obtain a CHL should give more details.

To read 46.02 (Unlawful Carrying Weapons) of the Penal Code, click here.

To read 46.15 (Nonapplicability) of the Penal Code, click here.

Question answered 1/31/04

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