The following is a video transcript.
School’s out, the vacation time you’ve stocked up is burning a hole in your pocket, and friends and family are making plans to enjoy the nice weather—it’s summertime in Texas. Before you head to a swimming pool, beach, lake, or park, make sure you do your homework—especially if your plans take you beyond the borders of the Lone Star State.
Remember, every state has different laws, and you don’t want to see your gun rights wiped out by a simple mistake. Now, let’s take a look at some common mistakes made by Texans when it comes to carrying a gun while having fun in the sun.
Waterparks, summer concerts, & outdoor festivals
Waterparks, summer concerts, and outdoor festivals can be a fun family getaway, but these events are usually located on private property that is lawfully entitled to prohibit firearms. If you’re given effective notice at the entrance or while you’re within one of these locations, you must leave the area and secure your firearm before returning.
Rivers, lakes, beaches, & other public locations
When it comes to public locations like rivers, lakes, or beaches, you are generally allowed to carry your handgun with your valid LTC as if you were at any other public location.
However, there is an area where gun owners can get burned if they don’t pay attention: Army Corps of Engineers restricted property is generally a prohibited place for weapons, and your Texas LTC will not afford you extra protection.
Parks & Federal property
The next area we receive questions about: parks—whether they are municipal, state, or national. All of these areas are considered public places under the law, and with a valid LTC, you may legally carry your handgun. Keep in mind, however, that you will be prohibited from carrying your firearm into national park buildings and facilities.
Moving on, what if you’re invited to a pool party? Well, if a homeowner personally tells you they are uncomfortable with your firearm, you should respect their wishes—even if you’re helping with the grill. Either cut your visit short or secure your firearm in your vehicle or your home, and upon returning to the party, make the biggest cannonball splash possible.
For any questions about carrying while having fun in the sun, call Texas LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.