What Is Considered A Handgun By Texas Law?

Daren Brown
By Daren Brown | March 19, 2019

handgun-revolver-bulletsA handgun is a weapon that is intended to be fired while held in either one or both hands. While most people opt to brace a handgun with a second hand, all handguns have the capacity to be fired with a single hand. Handguns are deemed to be in a separate group of firearms than long guns, such as shotguns and rifles — most of which are best fired when braced against the body. The two major subtypes of handguns are the revolver and the pistol, which includes machine pistols, semi-automatic pistols, and single-spot pistols.

Who Can Sell Handguns?

The United States has more lenient handgun regulations than most other countries. You must be 21 years old or older to purchase a handgun or handgun ammunition from a dealer with a Federal Firearms License. Anyone who is selling handguns out of a retail location must possess a Federal Firearms License and must adhere to any local requirements pertaining to the sale of guns. With the exception of applicants with criminal records, most states don't have any restrictions on who may purchase handguns and don't have any waiting periods after purchase.

Where Can You Openly Carry A Handgun In Texas?

Starting Jan. 1, 2016, the new laws for the Handgun Licensing Program in Texas that were passed in the 84th Regular Legislative Session will go into effect. These laws allow individuals who obtain a license to carry their handguns openly in the same places that are permitted for concealed handgun carry. Please note that regardless of the holstering of the handgun, open carry is not permitted on private or independent higher education institutions, including streets, driveways, sidewalks, parking lots, and parking garages.

The new Texas open carry laws state that individuals must carry their unconcealed handguns in a shoulder or belt holster. The handguns may be loaded or unloaded. There is no separate license or additional fee required to open carry. If you are currently licensed for concealed carry, you do not have to attend any additional training. As of Jan. 1, the new training curriculum will be implemented in all carry classes. The new training includes use of restraint holsters and methods that guarantee safe carrying of handguns.

If you have questions about this law, Stockard, Johnston, Brown & Netardus, P.C. in Amarillo, Texas, can help. Download a free infographic of FAQs on the new carry laws in Texas.


Topics: Law