Do You Need a Gun Permit to Shoot at a Gun Range in Texas?

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Texas is also known as the Lone Star State and is famous for many things. As the biggest and most populous state in the US, it also has numerous gun ranges catering to all firearm enthusiasts. It is a very gun-friendly state, and many residents visit gun ranges frequently.

Do You Need a Gun Permit to Shoot at a Gun Range in Texas?

Yes, you need a gun permit to shoot at a gun range in Texas because the law requires that you carry a handgun openly or concealed only when licensed by the state after meeting basic requirements. The law also states that a handgun must be carried in a holster or shoulder. No license is required to carry long guns.

Requirements for Texas License to Carry Permit

To qualify for a carry license, you must complete a gun safety course and show proficiency in handling a gun. Other requirements include:

  • Be above 21 or 18 for active military
  • A background check
  • Be a Texas resident
  • Must not be a delinquent in tax payments or child support
  • Must not be suffering from psychiatric conditions
Man checking his gun and needing a gun permit to shoot at a gun range in Texas

Federal Restrictions on Gun Possession

Eligibility under federal law and state law is a requirement to get a handgun carry license. Federal restrictions are imposed on persons convicted of a felony or domestic violence misdemeanor, who were dishonorably discharged from the military, or who have used drugs illegally.

Individuals who have fled to avoid arrest, are subject to a restraining order, or are in the country illegally also do not qualify for a license under federal law.

What Guns Can Be Owned in Texas?

Aspiring gun owners can choose from a wide selection of firearms allowed by the state, including military-style weapons. However, the federal law forbids individuals younger than 18 years to possess a handgun except during self-defense or hunting instances. Licensed dealers are allowed to sell shotguns to persons over 21 years.

For some weapons, ownership is only allowed upon registration with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and after paying a tax of $200 tax. They include machine guns, silencers, rifles, and shotguns with a barrel length of less than 16 and 18 inches, respectively.

Where Can Guns Be Carried?

A license is a requirement to carry a firearm openly. Being a ‘shall issue’ state, permits are issued to all applicants who qualify. All applications are done online, where you submit fingerprints and proof of up to six hours of training. The concealed handgun permit costs $40.

Pistol with an empty cylinder

Open carry must be on a concealed bag or hip holster. It is unlawful to display a gun in public except when defending yourself. You also risk arrest if you carry a handgun while drunk. Instances where open carry is allowed include:

  • When traveling
  • When engaged in or going to or from legal hunting activities or fishing, or other sporting activity with a gun purposely used for that activity
  • Law enforcement or other authorized persons allowed to carry a handgun

Texas carry law allows possession of handguns in campus buildings and dorms.

Illegal Places to Carry

It is considered a felony if you carry a firearm in locations such as: 

  • Learning institutions, school buses, and anywhere school activities are taking place
  • Polling stations on election days
  • Court buildings or offices
  • Racetracks during athletic events

Final Thoughts

Texas is a very gun-friendly state, and you should not worry about running into problems with the law if you have met all the requirements for owning a gun and carrying a firearm. Use this comprehensive guide to understand gun laws in Texas for a seamless experience at the gun ranges in Texas.

James Forrester is a lifelong gun and firearms owner, and an even bigger advocate for gun safety. He created with the purpose of sharing helpful tips and educating others on how to keep guns and weapons safe and secure.