Case Law


CHL in Texas

Second Amendment

Gun Groups



Some Statutes of Interest
to Texas Gun Owners
by Donald Ray Burger
Attorney at Law

Warning. I had second thoughts about ever putting this section on the web. The main reason is because it is easy to be misled by what is in a statute. You can read a statute and think you have the right to do something and only find out later that you were wrong. The law is sometimes referred to as a seamless web. That means many things, but one of them is that nothing exists in isolation. Everything must be understood in "context." In understanding a statute, one must consider the common law, case law, legislative history, other statutes, rules of interpretation, and the political climate (among other things) before one can even begin to understand the effect of a statute. That means that a lay person is apt to go astray if he relies on the literal language of a statute. And when firearms matters are at issue, both your liberty and property are at stake. So use this section as only the most basic introduction--as a place for your research to start. Specific questions should be directed to the lawyer of your choice. Please do not take this warning lightly.

Statutes are the actual laws passed by the legislature. Many Texas laws are found in "Codes," such as the Government Code, the Penal Code or the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. Every law library will have a set of these statutes. If you go to a law library (most courthouses have law libraries) ask for the Black Statutes. The "black" refers to the color of the book bindings. The books are also referred to as Vernon's Annotated Statutes.

These statutes are also available on the web. The advantage of reading the law in the Black Statutes is that they will contain what lawyers call "squibs." Squibs are one paragraph summaries of cases that discuss the Act itself. However, squibs are not law. They cannot be cited to a court. The summaries are not written by courts, and they can sometimes be less than complete. What they are great for is telling you which cases you should read in their entirety.

Also, the regulations dealing with firearms are not centrally located. They are scattered throughout the Black Statutes. Just because you find something on point in one statute does not mean it won't be modified by another statute. If the matter is of any importance to you, contact the lawyer of your choice.

For a copy of the Texas Constitution's Bill of Right on the right to keep and bear arms,
(Article 1, Section 23), click here.

Some of the sections of the Government Code dealing with concealed handgun license include:
411.171 (definitions)
411.172 (eligibility)
411.173 (nonresident license)
411.174 (application)
411.175 (request for application materials)
411.176 (review of application materials)
411.177 (issuance or denial of license)
411.178 (notice to local law enforcement)
411.179 (form of license)
411.180 (notification of denial, revocation or suspension of license; review)
411.181 (notice of change of address or name)
411.182 (notice)
411.183 (expiration)
411.184 (modification)
411.185 (renewal)
411.186 (revocation)
411.187 (suspension of license)
411.188 (handgun proficiency requirement)
411.189 (handgun proficiency certificate)
411.190 (qualified handgun instructors)
411.191 (review of denial, revocation, or suspension of certification as qualified handgun instructor)
411.192 (confidentiality of records)
411.193 (statistical report)
411.194 (reduction of fees due to indigency)
411.195 (reduction of fees for senior citizens)
411.196 (method of payment)
411.197 (rules)
411.198 (law enforcement officer alias handgun license)
411.199 (honorably retired peace officers)
411.1991 (active peace officers)
411.200 (application for licensed security officers)
411.201 (active and retired judicial officers)
411.202 (license a benefit)
411.203 (rights of employers)
411.204 (notice required on certain premises)
411.205 (displaying license; penalty)
For a copy of the Government Code, click here.

Some of the sections of the Penal Code dealing with firearms include:
1.08 (preemption)
9.22 (necessity)
9.31 (self defense)
9.32 (deadly force)
22.05 (deadly conduct)
30.05 (criminal trespass)
30.06 (trespass by CHLs)
42.01 (disorderly conduct)
42.12 (discharge of firearm in certain municipalities)
46.01 (definitions)
46.02 (unlawful carrying of weapon)
46.03 (places weapons prohibited)
46.035 (unlawful carrying by CHL)
46.04 (unlawful possession of firearm)
46.05 (prohibited weapons)
46.06 (unlawful transfer of certain weapons)
46.07 (interstate purchases)
46.10 (deadly weapon in penal institute)
46.11 (penalties and weapon-free schools)
46.13 (making firearm accessible to child)
46.15 (nonapplicability to certain individuals)

For a copy of the Penal Code, click here.

Some of the sections of the Local Government Code dealing with firearms include:
118.0217 (fee for Mental Health Background Check for CHL)
229.001 (municipalities and firearm regulations)
235.022 (counties and firearm regulations)
235.023 (prohibited regulations by counties)
235.025 (criminal penalties)
250.001 (restrictions on regulation of shooting ranges)
For a copy of the Local Government Code, click here.

Some of the sections of the Education Code dealing with firearms include:
37.125 (exhibition of firearms)
For a copy of the Education Code, click here.

Some of the sections of the Occupation Code dealing with firearms include:
1701.603 (firearms accidental prevention program)
For a copy of the Occupation Code, click here.

Some of the sections of the Health & Safety Code dealing with firearms include:
161.041 (mandatory reporting of gunshot wounds)
247.065(b)(9) (right of assisted living providers to maintain environment free of weapons)
756.041 (definition of outdoor shooting range)
756.0411 (applicability of 756 to certain counties)
756.042 (construction standards for outdoor shooting ranges)
756.043 (civil penalties and outdoor shooting ranges)
756.044 (criminal penalties and outdoor shooting ranges)
756.045 (insurance required for outdoor shooting ranges)
For a copy of the Health & Safety Code, click here.

Some of the sections of the Parks & Wildlife Code dealing with firearms include:
13.201 (authorization for firearms prohibition)
13,202 (limitation of authority)
62.081 (prohibitions as to Lower Colorado River Authority)
62.081 (rifle and archery ranges and Lower Colorado River Authority)
130.013 (firearms regulations and Lake Baird in Callahan County)
143.023 (firearms regulations and Lake Lavon in Collin County)
202.031 (firearms regulations and Lake Caddo in Harrison County)
216.021 (hunting & fishing regs for Sabine River in Hunt County)
223.021 (regulations on Lake Sabine within Port Arthur)
246.012 (firearms regulation and Trinity River and Wallisville Reservoir in Liberty County)
258.011 (pistol regulations and Lake Caddo in Marion County)
283.022 (strong firearms regulations and Murvaul Lake in Panola County)
For a copy of the Parks & Wildlife Code, click here.

Last Revised 1/15/04

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