THE TEXAS OPEN CARRY LAW FOR CONCEALED HANDGUN HOLDERS
The Open Carry Law for Concealed Handgun Holders (“Open Carry Law”) becomes effective January 1, 2016. This law authorizes an individual who possesses a concealed handgun license issued by the state of Texas or by a state that Texas recognizes to carry the handgun in plain view in a public place as long as the handgun is carried in a shoulder or belt holster.
Property owners may prohibit the entrance onto their property by a person licensed to openly carry a handgun by providing verbal or written communication of the prohibition. The written communication may be a card, document or sign posted on the premises of the owner. The sign would be required to: (1) include in English and Spanish the statutory warning prescribed in the Texas Penal Code, (2) have contrasting colors with block letters at least one inch in height, and (3) be displayed in a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public at each entrance to the property.
Examples of signs which meet the statutory requirements for prohibiting both concealed and openly carried handguns are shown below. Signs can be purchased on line or can be “homemade” as long as they meet the statutory requirements.
Believing that the open carry of handguns on church property is inconsistent with an atmosphere of prayer and worship, it is the recommendation of the Conference Chancellors that oral and/or written notice be given in accordance with the statute prohibiting the “Open Carry” of handguns in churches of the Conference. We make no recommendation regarding the prohibition of concealed handguns on church property and suggest that this be left up to individual congregations. It is our further recommendation that, in addition to whatever normal security churches provide during worship services and other activities occurring on church campuses, trained personnel, whether ushers or others, be designated as persons to assist in the event of a disturbance or an apparent violation of the notices the churches have posted with regard to the presence of guns on the property.
Mary A. Daffin
Frank G. Jones
TEXAS ANNUAL CONFERENCE CO- CHANCELLORS