Places Weapons Prohibited

Penal Code Section 46.03

Places Weapons Prohibited

(a)A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possesses or goes with a firearm, location-restricted knife, club, or prohibited weapon listed in Section 46.05 (Prohibited Weapons)(a):

(1)on the premises of a school or postsecondary educational institution, on any grounds or building owned by and under the control of a school or postsecondary educational institution and on which an activity sponsored by the school or institution is being conducted, or in a passenger transportation vehicle of a school or postsecondary educational institution, whether the school or postsecondary educational institution is public or private, unless:

(A)pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the school or institution; or

(B)the person possesses or goes with a concealed handgun that the person is licensed to carry under Subchapter H (Definitions), Chapter 411 (Department of Public Safety of the State of Texas), Government Code, and no other weapon to which this section applies, on the premises of a postsecondary educational institution, on any grounds or building owned by and under the control of the institution and on which an activity sponsored by the institution is being conducted, or in a passenger transportation vehicle of the institution;

(2)on the premises of a polling place on the day of an election or while early voting is in progress;

(3)on the premises of any government court or offices utilized by the court, unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the court;

(4)on the premises of a racetrack;

(5)in or into a secured area of an airport;

(6)within 1,000 feet of premises the location of which is designated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as a place of execution under Article 43.19 (Place of Execution), Code of Criminal Procedure, on a day that a sentence of death is set to be imposed on the designated premises and the person received notice that:

(A)going within 1,000 feet of the premises with a weapon listed under this subsection was prohibited; or

(B)possessing a weapon listed under this subsection within 1,000 feet of the premises was prohibited;

(7)on the premises of a business that has a permit or license issued under Chapter 25 (Wine and Malt Beverage Retailer’s Permit), 28 (Mixed Beverage Permit), 32 (Private Club Registration Permit), 69 (Retail Dealer’s On-premise License), or 74 (Brewpub License), Alcoholic Beverage Code, if the business derives 51 percent or more of its income from the sale or service of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption, as determined by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission under Section 104.06 (Monitoring of Gross Receipts), Alcoholic Beverage Code;

(8)on the premises where a high school, collegiate, or professional sporting event or interscholastic event is taking place, unless the person is a participant in the event and a firearm, location-restricted knife, club, or prohibited weapon listed in Section 46.05 (Prohibited Weapons)(a) is used in the event;

(9)on the premises of a correctional facility;

(10)on the premises of a civil commitment facility;

(11)on the premises of a hospital licensed under Chapter 241 (Hospitals), Health and Safety Code, or on the premises of a nursing facility licensed under Chapter 242 (Convalescent and Nursing Facilities and Related Institutions), Health and Safety Code, unless the person has written authorization of the hospital or nursing facility administration, as appropriate;

(12)on the premises of a mental hospital, as defined by Section 571.003 (Definitions), Health and Safety Code, unless the person has written authorization of the mental hospital administration;

(13)in an amusement park; or

(14)in the room or rooms where a meeting of a governmental entity is held, if the meeting is an open meeting subject to Chapter 551 (Open Meetings), Government Code, and if the entity provided notice as required by that chapter.

(a-1)Repealed by Acts 2021, 87th Leg., R.S., Ch. 809 (H.B. 1927), Sec. 26(9), eff. September 1, 2021.

(a-2)Notwithstanding Section 46.02 (Unlawful Carrying Weapons)(a-5), a license holder commits an offense if the license holder carries a partially or wholly visible handgun, regardless of whether the handgun is holstered, on or about the license holder’s person under the authority of Subchapter H (Definitions), Chapter 411 (Department of Public Safety of the State of Texas), Government Code, and intentionally or knowingly displays the handgun in plain view of another person:

(1)on the premises of an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education; or

(2)on any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area of an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education.

(a-3)Notwithstanding Subsection (a) or Section 46.02 (Unlawful Carrying Weapons)(a-5), a license holder commits an offense if the license holder carries a handgun on the campus of a private or independent institution of higher education in this state that has established rules, regulations, or other provisions prohibiting license holders from carrying handguns pursuant to Section 411.2031 (Carrying of Handguns by License Holders on Certain Campuses)(e), Government Code, or on the grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by such an institution is being conducted, or in a passenger transportation vehicle of such an institution, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed, provided the institution gives effective notice under Section 30.06 (Trespass by License Holder with a Concealed Handgun).

(a-4)Notwithstanding Subsection (a) or Section 46.02 (Unlawful Carrying Weapons)(a-5), a license holder commits an offense if the license holder intentionally carries a concealed handgun on a portion of a premises located on the campus of an institution of higher education in this state on which the carrying of a concealed handgun is prohibited by rules, regulations, or other provisions established under Section 411.2031 (Carrying of Handguns by License Holders on Certain Campuses)(d-1), Government Code, provided the institution gives effective notice under Section 30.06 (Trespass by License Holder with a Concealed Handgun) with respect to that portion.

(b)It is a defense to prosecution under Subsections (a)(1)-(4) that the actor possessed a firearm while in the actual discharge of his official duties as a member of the armed forces or national guard or a guard employed by a penal institution, or an officer of the court.

(c)In this section:

(1)“Amusement park” means a permanent indoor or outdoor facility or park where amusement rides are available for use by the public that is located in a county with a population of more than one million, encompasses at least 75 acres in surface area, is enclosed with access only through controlled entries, is open for operation more than 120 days in each calendar year, and has security guards on the premises at all times. The term does not include any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area.

(2)“Institution of higher education” and “private or independent institution of higher education” have the meanings assigned by Section 61.003 (Definitions), Education Code.

(3)“License holder” means a person licensed to carry a handgun under Subchapter H (Definitions), Chapter 411 (Department of Public Safety of the State of Texas), Government Code.

(3-a)“Postsecondary educational institution” means an institution of higher education or a private or independent institution of higher education.

(4)“Premises” means a building or a portion of a building. The term does not include any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area.

(4-a)“School” means an accredited primary or secondary school.

(5)“Secured area” means an area of an airport terminal building to which access is controlled by the inspection of persons and property under federal law, or an aircraft parking area that is used by common carriers in air transportation but not by general aviation and to which access is controlled under federal law. The term does not include a baggage claim area, a motor vehicle parking area used by passengers, employees, or persons awaiting an arrival, or an area used by the public to pick up or drop off passengers or employees.

(d)It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(5) that the actor possessed a firearm or club while traveling to or from the actor’s place of assignment or in the actual discharge of duties as:

(1)a member of the armed forces or national guard;

(2)a guard employed by a penal institution; or

(3)a security officer commissioned by the Texas Private Security Board if:

(A)the actor is wearing a distinctive uniform; and

(B)the firearm or club is in plain view; or

(4)a security officer who holds a personal protection authorization under Chapter 1702 (Private Security), Occupations Code, provided that the officer is either:

(A)wearing the uniform of a security officer, including any uniform or apparel described by Section 1702.323 (Security Department of Private Business)(d), Occupations Code, and carrying the officer’s firearm in plain view; or

(B)not wearing the uniform of a security officer and carrying the officer’s firearm in a concealed manner.

(e)It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(5) that the actor:

(1)checked all firearms as baggage in accordance with federal or state law or regulations before entering a secured area; or

(2)was authorized by a federal agency or the airport operator to possess a firearm in a secured area.

(e-1)It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(5) that the actor:

(1)possessed, at the screening checkpoint for the secured area, a handgun that the actor was licensed to carry under Subchapter H (Definitions), Chapter 411 (Department of Public Safety of the State of Texas), Government Code; and

(2)exited the screening checkpoint for the secured area immediately upon completion of the required screening processes and notification that the actor possessed the handgun.

(e-2)A peace officer investigating conduct that may constitute an offense under Subsection (a)(5) and that consists only of an actor’s possession of a handgun that the actor is licensed to carry under Subchapter H (Definitions), Chapter 411 (Department of Public Safety of the State of Texas), Government Code, may not arrest the actor for the offense unless:

(1)the officer advises the actor of the defense available under Subsection (e-1) and gives the actor an opportunity to exit the screening checkpoint for the secured area; and

(2)the actor does not immediately exit the checkpoint upon completion of the required screening processes.

(f)Except as provided by Subsection (e-1), it is not a defense to prosecution under this section that the actor possessed a handgun and was licensed to carry a handgun under Subchapter H (Definitions), Chapter 411 (Department of Public Safety of the State of Texas), Government Code.

(g)Except as provided by Subsections (g-1) and (g-2), an offense under this section is a felony of the third degree.

(g-1)If the weapon that is the subject of the offense is a location-restricted knife, an offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor, except that the offense is a felony of the third degree if the offense is committed under Subsection (a)(1).

(g-2)An offense committed under Subsection (a)(8), (a)(10), (a)(11), (a)(13), (a-2), (a-3), or (a-4) is a Class A misdemeanor.

(h)It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(4) that the actor possessed a firearm or club while traveling to or from the actor’s place of assignment or in the actual discharge of duties as a security officer commissioned by the Texas Board of Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies, if:

(1)the actor is wearing a distinctive uniform; and

(2)the firearm or club is in plain view.

(i)It is an exception to the application of Subsection (a)(6) that the actor possessed a firearm or club:

(1)while in a vehicle being driven on a public road; or

(2)at the actor’s residence or place of employment.