Places off-limits when carrying concealed:
1. School Premises – You can’t carry on the physical “premise” of a school – This does not include the parking lot, street, etc. or even the sidewalk going right up to the school building. It includes the physical premises of public and private schools, colleges and universities. See below for definition of “Premises”. You also can’t carry on school vehicles or on the grounds where school-sponsored activities are taking place.
2. Polling Places – the physical premises on the day of election, but you can keep it in your car whiel you vote.
3. Courts – Physical premises* of any court… local, state, or federal.
4. Offices used by the Court – This is the tricky one because an office used by the court can be located in any government building from Dept. of Motor Vehicles to a Police Station, etc. It will usually be posted but call ahead to find out. Keep the handgun in your vehicle in the parking lot while you go in.
5. Racetracks – Physical premises* of racetracks (this is where pari-mutuel betting takes place. Not NASCAR which is considered a Sporting Event….see below for this). Just keep it in your car in the parking lot.
6. Secured Areas of Airports – This area is usually defined as the TSA Security Checkpoint leading to the gates (where you take shoes off and get your carry on bags scanned). You can legally take it in to be checked. Or just keep it in your car in the parking lot.
7. 1,000 feet of an execution Correctional Facility on the day of execution. Physical premises* of correctional facilities; includes state/federal prisons, city and county jails. Also includes any secured areas of these facilities. Just keep it in your car in the parking lot.
8. Bars – (51% Sign) – This is a bar. Not just a restaurant with a small bar inside of it, but a place where people go to drink. A 51% sign should be conspicuously posted. Just keep it in your car in the parking lot while you go in. BUT be careful about driving drunk afterward with a gun in your vehicle….bad news.
9. Sporting Events – High school, college, professional sporting or interscholastic events. Just keep it in your car in the parking lot.
10. Federal Property – Most Federal Property is off limits. Do not carry in post offices, IRS Federal offices, etc. As of this printing, national parks are not off limits (you are allowed to carry while walking around outdoors), BUT the buildings in a National Park (gift shop, bathrooms, offices, etc) ARE off limits. Just keep it in your car in the parking lot while you shop or get your camping permit, or use the restroom.
*Per 46.03 and 46.036, the term “physical premises” is defined as a building or portion of a building, and DOES NOT INCLUDE streets, sidewalks, walkways, parking lots or garages.
**46.035 creates an exception to the private property
requirement of Section 30.06. For example, government meetings on
government property and government hospitals may post 30.06 signs.
***The definition of “premises” allows a CHL holder to leave the handgun locked
in their car in the school parking lot.
Places NOT off-limits, but commonly mistaken for off-limits:
Banks – With the exception of the Federal Reserve and the few banks posting 30.06, banks are not specifically off limits. I carry in mine all the time.
Churches – Perfectly OK as long as they don’t have a 30.06 sign.
Liquor Stores – Since you are not allowed to drink in a liquor store, this does NOT qualify as a 51% bar. They are just a store that sells a product….no different than a store that sells shoes or gasoline. You can carry here unless it’s posted with a 30.06 sign.
Government Property – The general term “government property” is often misused. Texas Penal Code specifically prohibits carry in courtrooms, offices of courts, secured areas of police stations (if posted and a secure storage area provided), government meetings (30.06 notice required), physical premises of public schools, and a few others. Federal property is nearly always off limits.
Within 1000 feet of school property – This is wrong. In 1990, a federal “gun free school zone” law was passed, making it a criminal offense to posses a firearm within 1000 feet of school grounds. It was overturned in 1995 (United States v. Lopez) when the SCOTUS ruled that the Congress lacks the authority to pass such a law. They then passed a new version that basically said “Oh yes we do!” CHL holders are an exception to this law, unless you’re engaged in illegal activity. Texas Penal Code includes a statute that elevates a CRIMINAL offense to the next higher level if an offense is committed within 300 feet of school grounds with a firearm. You can carry in a school zone. You can walk right up the school side walk with your CHL. Just don’t go in or on the steps of the school building.
Effective Notice under Section 30.06
On private property, where the license holder has been given effective notice (oral or written) stating he cannot enter or remain on the property with a concealed handgun:
30.06 Sign – a card or other document on which is written language identical to the following: “Pursuant to Section 30.06, Penal Code (trespass by holder of license to carry a concealed handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (concealed handgun law), may not enter this property with a concealed handgun.”
Signs must be posted conspicuously in both English and Spanish, minimum one inch block lettering in contrasting colors. Written notice may also be in the form of a card or document, and in this case the verbiage must be exact, but the size, color and English/Spanish requirements do not apply.
Hospitals, Amusement Parks, Places of Worship, government meetings are only off limits if the license holder has been given effective notice under Section 30.06.
—————The information contained in this guide is intended for reference only, and isn’t intended as legal advice. Please refer to Texas Penal Codes for
complete and detailed information on concealed carry. If you believe any of this information to be in error, please email me with citations to support your opinion. We strive to provide the most accurate and current information possible.