A Heavy Load: Carrying a Long Gun in Texas

The following is a video transcript.

I often get the question: “Am I allowed to carry my AR-15 openly?” In the State of Texas, the answer is generally yes; you may carry a long gun, including rifles and shotguns, openly or concealed, even without a license.

However, this right is not without restrictions. To legally carry a long gun, you must do so in a manner that you know is not likely to frighten an ordinary person.

As outlined under the Texas Penal Code, if you intentionally or knowingly display a firearm in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm, you could be arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.

While most of us are comfortable around guns and don’t consider a rifle on a shoulder strap, pointed at the ground to be alarming, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (our supreme court for criminal cases) recently decided that calculated to alarm means in a manner that is objectively likely to frighten an ordinary, reasonable person. Considering the general public’s current attitude towards guns, before you openly carry your rifle ask yourself “Will the average, ordinary person in the location I am carrying be frightened by the sight of me carrying a rifle?” If the answer might be yes, you should take appropriate precautions.

For more information about carrying long guns in Texas, call Texas LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.

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