Open Carry Law took effect January 1, 2016. Citizens with a license to carry may legally carry a handgun openly or concealed. With the enactment of the Open Carry Law, it may become common to see individuals exercising their right to carry a handgun openly. Citizens should not necessarily be alarmed at the sight of an armed individual. For a handgun to be openly carried, the following conditions must be met:
The individual must possess a valid license to carry.
The handgun must be in a belt or shoulder holster.
Individuals carrying a handgun must present their license to carry to a peace officer in the event they are stopped or detained. Persons carrying openly should be prepared for the possibility of an officer to stop and verify they have a valid license to carry. Police officers also have the authority to temporarily disarm a person who is carrying a handgun.
Carrying of a gun while intoxicated is unlawful.
Prohibited Locations to Carry a Handgun
There are specific locations where carrying a handgun is prohibited even when properly carried with a valid license. Those locations include:
A business with a TABC license that derives 51% or more of its income from the sale of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption
A room where a governmental entity subject to the Open Meeting Act is conducting a meeting if notice has been given that handguns are not allowed (Killeen City Council allows open and concealed carry at its meetings)
A high school, college or professional sporting event
Hospital or nursing home
Physical premises of a school and grounds, school bus or any place where a school function is being conducted
Polling or early voting location, while voting is in progress
Premises of any government court or court office
Secured area of an airport
On the premises of a correctional facility
On the premises of a civil commitment facility
Businesses and property owners may prohibit concealed and/or open carry on their premises. Those businesses may post notice at the entrance to the property that prohibits carry. They may also give verbal notice that open or concealed carry is prohibited. It is unlawful to disregard either of the notices posted.