Open Carry Becomes Law on January 1, 2016
For the first time in more than a century, licensed Texans will be free to walk the streets, or travel the state, openly wearing their holstered handguns.
Beginning on January 1, 2016, it will be legal for people in Texas to carry openly displayed handguns in public. If you are the owner or manager of private property, you still have the right to keep guns out of your business and provide your customers with a comfortable, safe environment. But you must post a sign stating that you do not allow open carry.
A sign must be posted in a conspicuous place at each entrance to your property, it will be illegal for people to bring openly carried handguns onto the property. The sign is known as a “30.07 sign” after the section number of the law creating it, will legally prohibit people from carrying handguns openly at your establishment.
Post the sign at each entrance to the business, in a place that is clearly visible to the public. If you find that the prescribed sign is too large or burdensome to post, you have other options.
That’s why Texas Democrats are focused on taking sensible steps to improve the safety of our families and communities -- even if it is something as simple as offering No Open Carry signs to businesses who need them.
Click here to purchase a No Open Carry sign for your business: http://act.txdemocrats.org/NoOpenCarry
You can post a smaller sign of your own design stating that openly carried guns (or, if you wish, guns in general) are prohibited. This sort of sign will not legally prohibit people from bringing handguns into your establishment—but it will convey your preferred policy to responsible gun owners.
If someone ignores your sign and carries an openly displayed gun into your establishment, you can tell them that you do not allow guns in your establishment, at which point they will be legally obligated to leave.
What if you are a customer? As a customer, you have the right to shop without being worried about guns. Most customers just want to be able to buy a burger or run in and get milk and diapers without having to see guns everywhere. Normal customers have no need to carry heat to buy a loaf of bread, but they do risk becoming victims of irresponsible, paranoid gun owners who are afraid of their own shadow and with license to kill.
So what happens if you see someone openly carrying while you're out and about after January 1, 2016. Should you call 911? Should you drop everything and leave?
As a customer, you have the right to shop where you feel safe. Voice your concern about open carry. Tell businesses that you will no longer shop there until they prohibit open carry. After all, it's your money. Only after customers speak up and voice their concerns will businesses prohibit open carry in restaurants, shops and stores. Make your pocketbook speak for you!
The Round Rock Police Department has created a public service announcement video to educate people on what they might see when open carry of firearms in Texas becomes legal on January 1.
The video points out that licensed citizens are legally allowed to carry firearms in a belt or shoulder holster.
The PSA also urges citizens to ask questions like "is the gun out of its holster?" and "is the person acting reckless, threatening, or a danger to the public?" before calling 911.
The public service announcement put out by the Round Rock Police Department can be seen here:
We must take common-sense steps to make our communities safer. Gun violence has taken a heartbreaking toll on too many communities across the country.
Thousands of Texas businesses, like HEB, Whataburger, and Alamo Drafthouse Theaters, are protecting their customers by posting these signs in a place that is clearly visible at each entrance of their business.