Trespass by License Holder with an Openly Carried Handgun text with flags background

Trespass by License Holder with an Openly Carried Handgun

The Trespass by License Holder with an Openly Carried 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 openly brought your handgun into a place where openly carrying handguns is forbidden. Learn more detailed information about the Trespass by License Holder with an Openly Carried Handgun offense below.

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

Have you been charged with Trespass by License Holder with an Openly Carried Handgun? Call criminal lawyer Paul Saputo at (888) 239-9305.

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

What is the law in Texas about Trespass by License Holder with an Openly Carried Handgun?

The offense is described in Section 30.07 of the Texas Penal Code.

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

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

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

Notice is given “if the owner of the property or someone with apparent authority to act for the owner provides notice to the person by oral or written communication.”1 Written communication is also described specifically in the statute as:2

(3) “Written communication” means:

(A) a card or other document on which is written language identical to the following: “Pursuant to Section 30.07, Penal Code (trespass by license holder with an openly carried handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not enter this property with a handgun that is carried openly”; 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 at each entrance to the property.

How can I be charged with Trespass by License Holder with an Openly Carried Handgun?

You can be charged with Trespass by License Holder with an Openly Carried Handgun if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 30.07(a) as described in the section above have been met.

What is the punishment for Trespass by License Holder with an Openly Carried Handgun?

A conviction for Trespass by License Holder with an Openly Carried Handgun is punished by default as a Class C misdemeanor, except that the offense is a Class A misdemeanor if it is shown on the trial of the offense that, after entering the property, the license holder was personally given the notice by oral communication described by Subsection (b) and subsequently failed to depart.1 Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors

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.4

Another affirmative 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.5


Legal References:

1Texas Penal Code Section 30.07(b)

2Texas Penal Code Section 30.07(c)(3)

3Texas Penal Code Section 30.07(d)

4 Texas Penal Code Section 30.07(h), 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.

5 Texas Penal Code Section 30.07(e-1), (e-2) and (e-3), as enacted by HB 302, 86th Texas Legislature, effective September 1, 2019 –

(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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