Frequently Asked Questions for Texas Gun Owners
by Donald Ray Burger
Attorney at Law
Firearms law is complicated. It is complicated because it is contained in statutes, case law and attorney general opinions. It is complicated because everything is not all in one place. It is complicated because there are regulations at the federal level, the state level and by lesser governmental entities such as cities. And it is complicated because courts have to interpret all these regulations, and sometimes the decisions contradict each other.

It is complicated.

My first piece of advice is to contact the attorney of your choice with regard to specific legal issues related to firearms. Simply reading a statute may lead one astray if there is a court case interpreting that statute. Or there may be another, more specific statute that adds restrictions not obvious on the face of the statute you are reading.

Also, some of your firearm "rights" are in the nature of defenses. That means you may be arrested even though you have a valid defense. Police officers are usually not attorneys and, just because you may ultimately win does not mean you won't have to fight for your victory. And fighting is expensive. And disruptive.

The one thing you can do to avoid many (but not all) of the above difficulties is to acquire a concealed handgun license(CHL) and use it properly. Several of the issues Texans face over handguns go away with a CHL. It is easier to buy a gun if you have a CHL. It is easier for you to sell a gun to someone who has a CHL. The whole area of guns in your car or pickup is much simplified if you have a CHL.

The other thing you can do is read Texas Gun Owner's Guide, by Alan Korwin and Georgene Lockwood. This is the book on Texas gun laws. If you take a class to obtain a concealed handgun license, this is probably the book they will use. It is a comprehensive guide to Texas laws on gun ownership. It should be read by every Texan who owns a gun, whether or not they carry concealed. If you only read one book, this is the one to read. You can usually find it at better gun stores.

Now to the FAQs.

Where is the Texas law that says I can't carry a handgun without a Concealed Handgun License (CHL)?

What are the rules on when I have to produce my CHL in Texas?

Can a felon possess a firearm in Texas?

Can a Texas peace officer take away my licensed handgun at a "scene" when I have not been charged or arrested?

Can my employer prevent me from carrying on the premises of the business even though I have a CHL?

My wallet was stolen and my CHL was in it. What do I do?

How long do I have to notify the DPS of a change of address on my CHL?

When I married, my last name changed. My CHL is issued under my former name. What do I do?

What is a 30.06 sign and how does it apply to trespass and CHLs in Texas?

How long do I have before I have to renew my CHL?

How do I renew my CHL?

Is the fact that I have a CHL public or private?

I understand that there are two categories of CHLs--one for revolvers and one for semi-automatics. Is this true?

I have a CHL for a revolver. I recently purchased a semi-automatic. Can I carry the semi-automatic?

Is there a Texas law on individuals wearing body armor?

Can a CHL take his handgun inside a US Post Office to buy stamps?

What are "zip guns" and are they legal in Texas?

Does Texas have a criminal statute on making a firearm accessible to a child?

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