texas 30.07, texas 30.06

Understanding Texas Handgun Signs

Texas Open Carry, or the right of an individual with a properly issued license to carry a handgun in plain view in public places, so long as it is carried in a shoulder or belt holster (see Texas Penal Code § 46.035), took effect January 1, 2016. Under current Texas law, a License to Carry (LTC) holder will typically encounter four different signs concerning their right to carry on certain premises.

Prior to January 1, 2016 and the implementation of Texas open carry laws, property owners could post a sign pursuant to Texas Penal Code § 30.06 prohibiting Concealed Handgun License holders from carrying weapons on the premises. Current law retains the 30.06 signs prohibiting LTC holders from carrying concealed weapons, and requires property owners to post a separate sign pursuant to Texas Penal Code § 30.07 to prohibit LTC holders from openly carrying their weapons.

Until January 1, 2016, the sign prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons under Texas Penal Code § 30.06 was required to read: “Pursuant to Section 30.06, Penal Code (trespass by holder of license to carry a concealed handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 441, Government Code (concealed handgun law), may not enter this property with a concealed handgun.”

As of January 1, 2016, the language of the sign prohibiting the carrying of concealed handguns has changed slightly to appropriately reflect changes to the law, and is now required to read: “Pursuant to Section 30.06, Penal Code (trespass by license holder with a concealed handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not enter this property with a concealed handgun.”

The new language for signs prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons required under § 30.06 means that a property owner displaying the old version of the 30.06 sign will technically not give appropriate notice to license holders. However, at this point it is unclear whether these outdated versions of the 30.06 sign will be considered insufficient notice for the purpose of enforcing a prohibition against the concealed carrying of weapons. For practical purposes, all license holders (CHL and LTC) should respect both old and new signs posted pursuant to § 30.06.

To ban LTC holders from openly carrying a weapon, a property owner must post a sign pursuant to Texas Penal Code § 30.07, which must read: “Pursuant to Section 30.07, Penal Code (trespass by license holder with an openly carried handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 441, Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not enter this property with a handgun that is carried openly.”

All signs posted under both § 30.06 and § 30.07 must contain the prescribed language (described above) in both English and Spanish, appear in contrasting colors in block lettering at least one inch in height, and be displayed in a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public. This means that a property owner who wishes to ban the carrying of weapons (both concealed and open) from the premises must post both the 30.06 sign in English and Spanish and the 30.07 in English and Spanish at every entrance available to the public.

In addition to the 30.06 and 30.07 signs that any property owner may post, all retailers of alcoholic beverages must post one of two signs regarding firearms. Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 11.041 and § 61.11 require establishments licensed to sell alcohol for off-premises consumption or establishments licensed to sell alcohol for on-premises consumption whose alcohol sales account for 50% or less of total gross receipts to post a sign stating that the unlicensed carrying of a weapon is prohibited.

Prior to January 1, 2016, this notice read: “The unlicensed possession of a weapon on these premises is a felony with a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $10,000.” As of January 1, 2016, this notice must read: “It is unlawful for a person to carry a weapon on this premise unless the weapon is a handgun and the person is licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 441 of the Government Code.”

Although certain alcohol retailers are required to post this sign, it does nothing more than restate the law on the licensed and unlicensed carrying of handguns. CHL and LTC holders may still carry a handgun on properties with this sign posted. Furthermore, regardless of the change to the language of the appropriate sign, the unlicensed carrying of a weapon at establishments licensed to sell alcohol for off-premises consumption or establishments licensed to sell alcohol for on-premises consumption whose alcohol sales account for 50% or less of total gross receipts is still a third degree felony with a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.

Finally, Texas Government Code § 411.204 requires establishments that fall under the “51% rule,” or those licensed to sell alcohol for on-premises consumption whose sales of alcohol constitute more that half (51%) of gross receipts, to post a sign giving notice that the possession of a firearm on the premises in any capacity is illegal, even for CHL or LTC holders. Prior to January 1, 2016, the language of this sign was required to read: “The licensed or unlicensed possession of a weapon on these premises is a felony with a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $10,000.”

As of January 1, 2016, this notice must read: “It is unlawful for a person to carry a handgun on this premise, including a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 441 of the Government Code.” This notice means that the possession of a handgun on the premises, whether licensed or not, is prohibited. Again, despite the change to the language of the appropriate sign, carrying a weapon on such premises is a third degree felony with a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.

As with the old 30.06 sign, it is unclear whether an establishment posting the pre-2016 versions of these signs would constitute sufficient notice. As a practical matter, since Texas law prohibits the carrying of a weapon at establishments whose sales of alcohol exceed 50% of their gross profits whether any sign is posted or not, it is best to respect both old and new versions of both the unlicensed carry and 51% signs.

 


Helping Texas Gun Owners

Since we opened our office, one of our primary goals was to better serve fellow gun owners and Second Amendment-supporters throughout the state of Texas.  And, it still is today.  We’re proud to say we’ve formed LLCs for Federal Firearms License (FFL) dealers, drafted estate planning documents for folks with small and significant gun collections (including NFA items), drafted NFA “Gun Trusts,” helped gun ranges with real estate issues and assess liability, and probated estates with small and large gun collections.

We’ve talked around the state regarding current gun laws, the intersection of the 4th Amendment and gun laws, civil liability of gun owners, and how to decipher provisions of the Texas Penal Code regarding gun laws.  We’ve also helped interpret new legislation (2017 was interesting), assisted churches with forming Church Security Teams, and tried to answer anything we can legally pertaining to firearms.

Basically, we’re here to be of service to the firearms community in Texas.  If you need any assistance with business formations, estate planning, NFA Trusts, real estate law, or probating an estate, our knowledgeable gun-owning attorneys would be happy to speak with you, regardless of where you are in the state.  We have several services that we offer state-wide and would be happy to speak with you about any other firearms-related matters we could assist with.

Feel free to call us at (281) 973-7255 — we keep our phones open from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM – Monday through Saturday.

You can reach us by email at [email protected] or the contact form on this page.

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