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Trespass by License Holder with a Concealed Handgun

The Trespass by License Holder with a Concealed Handgun crime in the state of Texas gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you are a concealed carry license holder and that you brought your concealed handgun into a place where concealed handguns are prohibited. Learn more detailed information about the Trespass by License Holder with a Concealed Handgun offense below.

Update: The 86th Texas Legislature added affirmative defenses to prosecution of this offense, effective as of September 1, 2019. Learn more about these changes below.

Have you been charged with Trespass by License Holder with a Concealed Handgun? Call criminal lawyer Paul Saputo at (888) 239-9305 to discuss legal representation.

Trespass by License Holder with a Concealed Handgun is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 7 “Offenses Against Property”, Chapter 30 “Burglary and Criminal Trespass.”

What is the current Texas law about Trespass by License Holder with a Concealed Handgun?

The current Texas law is as follows:1

(a) A license holder commits an offense if the license holder:

(1) carries a concealed handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, on property of another without effective consent; and

(2) received notice that entry on the property by a license holder with a concealed handgun was forbidden.

One of the key elements of this offense is that you have to have received “notice” that the entry was forbidden. The law says you have received this notice if the owner of the property (or someone with apparent authority to act for the owner) provides either an oral or written communication that the concealed handgun was forbidden.2 Oral notice is not specifically defined, but written notice is defined. Written notice is either:3

(A) a card or other document on which is written language identical to the following: “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”

or

(B) a sign posted on the property that:

(i) includes the language described by Paragraph (A) in both English and Spanish;

(ii) appears in contrasting colors with block letters at least one inch in height; and

(iii) is displayed in a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public.

These are the only two ways to provide written notice.

How can I be charged with Trespass by License Holder with a Concealed Handgun?

You can be charged with Trespass by License Holder with a Concealed Handgun if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 30.06(a) as described in the section above have been met.

What is the punishment for Trespass by License Holder with a Concealed Handgun?

A conviction for Trespass by License Holder with a Concealed Handgun is punished by default as a Class C misdemeanor,4 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $200.

But if the state’s attorneys convince a jury that the license holder was given oral notice and still did not leave, then a conviction for Trespass by License Holder with a Concealed Handgun is punished as a Class A misdemeanor,5 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $4,000 and jail time of up to one year.

What are the defenses to prosecution?

An affirmative defense was created through the passage of HB 121 in the 86th Texas Legislative Session. This affirmative defense allows the license holder to avoid prosecution if he or she leaves the property promptly after being verbally told to leave.6

Another affirmative criminal defense was created through the passage of HB 302 in the 86th Texas Legislative Session. This affirmative defense allows the license holder to avoid prosecution if he or she is carrying a handgun in his or her own residence or the residence of someone else as an invited guest, or to and from such a residence and a vehicle or the license holder’s home. Storing a handgun in a vehicle at such a residence is also a defense.7


Legal References:

1 Texas Penal Code §30.06

2 Texas Penal Code §30.06(b)

3 Texas Penal Code §30.06(c)(3)

4 Texas Penal Code §30.06(d)

5 Texas Penal Code §30.06(d)

6 Texas Penal Code §30.06(g), as enacted by HB 121, 86th Texas Legislature

It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the license holder was personally given notice by oral communication described by Subsection (b) and promptly departed from the property.

7 Texas Penal Code §30.06(e-1), (e-2) and (e-3), as enacted by HB 302, 86th Texas Legislature

(e-1) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that:

(1) the license holder is:

(A) an owner of an apartment in a condominium regime governed by Chapter 81, Property Code;

(B) an owner of a condominium unit governed by Chapter 82, Property Code;

(C) a tenant or guest of an owner described by Paragraph (A) or (B); or

(D) a guest of a tenant of an owner described by Paragraph (A) or (B); and

(2) the license holder:

(A) carries or stores a handgun in the condominium apartment or unit owner’s apartment or unit;

(B) carries a handgun directly en route to or from the condominium apartment or unit owner’s apartment or unit;

(C) carries a handgun directly en route to or from the license holder’s vehicle located in a parking area provided for residents or guests of the condominium property; or

(D) carries or stores a handgun in the license holder’s vehicle located in a parking area provided for residents or guests of the condominium property.

(e-2) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that:

(1) the license holder is a tenant of a leased premises governed by Chapter 92, Property Code, or the tenant’s guest; and

(2) the license holder:

(A) carries or stores a handgun in the tenant’s rental unit;

(B) carries a handgun directly en route to or from the tenant’s rental unit;

(C) carries a handgun directly en route to or from the license holder’s vehicle located in a parking area provided for tenants or guests by the landlord of the leased premises; or

(D) carries or stores a handgun in the license holder’s vehicle located in a parking area provided for tenants or guests by the landlord of the leased premises.

(e-3) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that:

(1) the license holder is a tenant of a manufactured home lot governed by Chapter 94, Property Code, or the tenant’s guest; and

(2) the license holder:

(A) carries or stores a handgun in the tenant’s manufactured home;

(B) carries a handgun directly en route to or from the tenant’s manufactured home;

(C) carries a handgun directly en route to or from the license holder’s vehicle located in a parking area provided for tenants or tenants’ guests by the landlord of the leased premises; or

(D) carries or stores a handgun in the license holder’s vehicle located in a parking area provided for tenants or tenants’ guests by the landlord of the leased premises.

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