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CHL (Concealed Handgun License) Specific Law

Many Parts of Chapter 46 are Omitted on this Page to Highlight CHL Specific Law

This website is not meant to be legal counsel. We are not lawyers.

Sec. 46.01. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:

(1) “Club” means an instrument that is specially designed,
made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death
by striking a person with the instrument, and includes but is not limited to
the following:

(A) blackjack;

(B) nightstick;

(C) mace;

(D) tomahawk.

(2) “Explosive weapon” means any explosive or incendiary
bomb, grenade, rocket, or mine, that is designed, made, or adapted for the purpose
of inflicting serious bodily injury, death, or substantial property damage,
or for the principal purpose of causing such a loud report as to cause undue
public alarm or terror, and includes a device designed, made, or adapted for
delivery or shooting an explosive weapon.

(3) “Firearm” means any device designed, made, or adapted
to expel a projectile through a barrel by using the energy generated by an explosion
or burning substance or any device readily convertible to that use. Firearm
does not include a firearm that may have, as an integral part, a folding knife
blade or other characteristics of weapons made illegal by this chapter and that
is:

(A) an antique or curio firearm manufactured before 1899;
or

(B) a replica of an antique or curio firearm manufactured
before 1899, but only if the replica does not use rim fire or center fire ammunition.

(4) “Firearm silencer” means any device designed, made,
or adapted to muffle the report of a firearm.

(5) “Handgun” means any firearm that is designed, made,
or adapted to be fired with one hand.

(6) “Illegal knife” means a:

(A) knife with a blade over five and one-half inches;

(B) hand instrument designed to cut or stab another by being
thrown;

(C) dagger, including but not limited to a dirk, stiletto,
and poniard;

(D) bowie knife;

(E) sword; or

(F) spear.

(7) “Knife” means any bladed hand instrument that is
capable of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by cutting or stabbing
a person with the instrument.

(8) “Knuckles” means any instrument that consists of
finger rings or guards made of a hard substance and that is designed, made,
or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by striking
a person with a fist enclosed in the knuckles.

(9) “Machine gun” means any firearm that is capable
of shooting more than two shots automatically, without manual reloading, by
a single function of the trigger.

(10) “Short-barrel firearm” means a rifle with a barrel
length of less than 16 inches or a shotgun with a barrel length of less than
18 inches, or any weapon made from a shotgun or rifle if, as altered, it has
an overall length of less than 26 inches.

(11) “Switchblade knife” means any knife that has a
blade that folds, closes, or retracts into the handle or sheath and that opens
automatically by pressure applied to a button or other device located on the
handle or opens or releases a blade from the handle or sheath by the force of
gravity or by the application of centrifugal force. The term does not include
a knife that has a spring, detent, or other mechanism designed to create a bias
toward closure and that requires exertion applied to the blade by hand, wrist,
or arm to overcome the bias toward closure and open the knife.

(12) “Armor-piercing ammunition” means handgun ammunition
that is designed primarily for the purpose of penetrating metal or body armor
and to be used principally in pistols and revolvers.

(13) “Hoax bomb” means a device that:

(A) reasonably appears to be an explosive or incendiary device;
or

(B) by its design causes alarm or reaction of any type by
an official of a public safety agency or a volunteer agency organized to deal
with emergencies.

(14) “Chemical dispensing device” means a device, other
than a small chemical dispenser sold commercially for personal protection, that
is designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of dispensing a substance capable
of causing an adverse psychological or physiological effect on a human being.

(15) “Racetrack” has the meaning assigned that term
by the Texas Racing Act (Article 179e, Vernon’s Texas Civil Statutes).

(16) “Zip gun” means a device or combination of devices
that was not originally a firearm and is adapted to expel a projectile through
a smooth-bore or rifled-bore barrel by using the energy generated by an explosion
or burning substance.

Sec. 46.02. UNLAWFUL CARRYING WEAPONS.

(a)
A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly
carries on or about his or her person a handgun, illegal knife, or club if the
person is not:

(1) on the person’s own premises or premises under the person’s
control; or

(2) inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle that is
owned by the person or under the person’s control.

(a-1) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally,
knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun in
a motor vehicle that is owned by the person or under the person’s control at
any time in which:

(1) the handgun is in plain view; or

(2) the person is:

(A) engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor
that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic;

(B) prohibited by law from possessing a firearm; or

(C) a member of a criminal street gang, as defined by Section
71.01.

(a-2) For purposes of this section, “premises” includes
real property and a recreational vehicle that is being used as living quarters,
regardless of whether that use is temporary or permanent. In this subsection,
“recreational vehicle” means a motor vehicle primarily designed as
temporary living quarters or a vehicle that contains temporary living quarters
and is designed to be towed by a motor vehicle. The term includes a travel trailer,
camping trailer, truck camper, motor home, and horse trailer with living quarters.

(b) Except as provided by Subsection (c), an offense under this
section is a Class A misdemeanor.

(c) An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree
if the offense is committed on any premises licensed or issued a permit by this
state for the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Sec. 46.03. PLACES WEAPONS PROHIBITED.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly
possesses or goes with a firearm, illegal knife, club, or prohibited weapon
listed in Section 46.05(a):

(1) on the physical premises of a school or educational institution,
any grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by a school or educational
institution is being conducted, or a passenger transportation vehicle of a school
or educational institution, whether the school or educational institution is
public or private, unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization
of the institution;

(2) on the premises of a polling place on the day of an election
or while early voting is in progress;

(3) on the premises of any government court or offices utilized
by the court, unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization
of the court;

(4) on the premises of a racetrack;

(5) in or into a secured area of an airport; or

(6) within 1,000 feet of premises the location of which is designated
by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as a place of execution under Article
43.19, Code of Criminal Procedure, on a day that a sentence of death is set
to be imposed on the designated premises and the person received notice that:

(A) going within 1,000 feet of the premises with a weapon
listed under this subsection was prohibited; or

(B) possessing a weapon listed under this subsection within
1,000 feet of the premises was prohibited.

(c) In this section:

(1) “Premises” has the meaning assigned by Section 46.035.

(2) “Secured area” means an area of an airport terminal
building to which access is controlled by the inspection of persons and property
under federal law.

(e) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(5) that
the actor checked all firearms as baggage in accordance with federal or state
law or regulations before entering a secured area.

(g) An offense under this section is a third degree felony.

Sec. 46.035. UNLAWFUL CARRYING OF HANDGUN BY LICENSE
HOLDER.

(a) A license holder commits an offense if the license holder
carries a handgun on or about the license holder’s person under the authority
of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, and intentionally fails to conceal
the handgun.

(b) A license holder commits an offense if the license holder
intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries a handgun under the authority
of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, regardless of whether the handgun
is concealed, on or about the license holder’s person:

(1) on the premises of a business that has a permit or license
issued under Chapter 25, 28, 32, 69, or 74, Alcoholic Beverage Code, if the
business derives 51 percent or more of its income from the sale or service of
alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption, as determined by the Texas
Alcoholic Beverage Commission under Section 104.06, Alcoholic Beverage Code;

(2) on the premises where a high school, collegiate, or professional
sporting event or interscholastic event is taking place, unless the license
holder is a participant in the event and a handgun is used in the event;

(3) on the premises of a correctional facility;

(4) on the premises of a hospital licensed under Chapter 241,
Health and Safety Code, or on the premises of a nursing home licensed under
Chapter 242, Health and Safety Code, unless the license holder has written authorization
of the hospital or nursing home administration, as appropriate;

(5) in an amusement park; or

(6) on the premises of a church, synagogue, or other established
place of religious worship.

(c) A license holder commits an offense if the license holder
intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries a handgun under the authority
of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, regardless of whether the handgun
is concealed, at any meeting of a governmental entity.

(d) A license holder commits an offense if, while intoxicated,
the license holder carries a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter
411, Government Code, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed.

(e) A license holder who is licensed as a security officer under
Chapter 1702, Occupations Code, and employed as a security officer commits an
offense if, while in the course and scope of the security officer’s employment,
the security officer violates a provision of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government
Code.

(f) In this section:

(1) “Amusement park” means a permanent indoor or outdoor
facility or park where amusement rides are available for use by the public that
is located in a county with a population of more than one million, encompasses
at least 75 acres in surface area, is enclosed with access only through controlled
entries, is open for operation more than 120 days in each calendar year, and
has security guards on the premises at all times. The term does not include
any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking
garage, or other parking area.

(2) “License holder” means a person licensed to carry
a handgun under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code.

(3) “Premises” means a building or a portion of a building.
The term does not include any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or
walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area.

(g) An offense under Subsection (a), (b), (c), (d), or (e) is
a Class A misdemeanor, unless the offense is committed under Subsection (b)(1)
or (b)(3), in which event the offense is a felony of the third degree.

(h) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a) that
the actor, at the time of the commission of the offense, displayed the handgun
under circumstances in which the actor would have been justified in the use
of deadly force under Chapter 9.

(i) Subsections (b)(4), (b)(5), (b)(6), and (c) do not apply
if the actor was not given effective notice under Section 30.06.

(j) Subsections (a) and (b)(1) do not apply to a historical reenactment
performed in compliance with the rules of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

(k) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (b)(1) that
the actor was not given effective notice under Section 411.204, Government Code.

Sec. 46.11. PENALTY IF OFFENSE COMMITTED WITHIN WEAPON-FREE
SCHOOL ZONE

(a) Except as provided by Subsection
(b), the punishment prescribed for an offense under this chapter is increased
to the punishment prescribed for the next highest category of offense if it
is shown beyond a reasonable doubt on the trial of the offense that the actor
committed the offense in a place that the actor knew was:

(1) within 300 feet of the premises of a school; or

(2) on premises where:

(A) an official school function is taking place; or

(B) an event sponsored or sanctioned by the University Interscholastic
League is taking place.

(b) This section does not apply to an offense under Section 46.03(a)(1).

(c) In this section:

(1) “Institution of higher education” and “premises”
have the meanings assigned by Section 481.134, Health and Safety Code.

(2) “School” means a private or public elementary or
secondary school.

Sec. 46.12. MAPS AS EVIDENCE OF LOCATION OR AREA

(a) In a prosecution of an offense for which punishment
is increased under Section 46.11, a map produced or reproduced by a municipal
or county engineer for the purpose of showing the location and boundaries of
weapon-free zones is admissible in evidence and is prima facie evidence of the
location or boundaries of those areas if the governing body of the municipality
or county adopts a resolution or ordinance approving the map as an official
finding and record of the location or boundaries of those areas.

(b) A municipal or county engineer may, on request of the governing
body of the municipality or county, revise a map that has been approved by the
governing body of the municipality or county as provided by Subsection (a).

(c) A municipal or county engineer shall file the original or
a copy of every approved or revised map approved as provided by Subsection (a)
with the county clerk of each county in which the area is located.

(d) This section does not prevent the prosecution from:

(1) introducing or relying on any other evidence or testimony
to establish any element of an offense for which punishment is increased under
Section 46.11; or

(2) using or introducing any other map or diagram otherwise admissible
under the Texas Rules of Evidence.

Sec. 46.15. NONAPPLICABILITY.

(a) Sections 46.02 and 46.03 do not apply to:

(b) Section 46.02 does not apply to a person who:

(6) is carrying a concealed handgun and a valid license issued
under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, to carry a concealed handgun
of the same category as the handgun the person is carrying;

GZP