In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, gun sales have soared. In Texas, the state’s Attorney General has deemed gun stores essential, meaning they can remain open even during stay-at-home orders.
If you’re a Texas gun dealer, you’re probably experiencing an influx in sales. Still, now more than ever, there are several Texas gun laws you must keep in mind. Here’s what you need to know.
Remind Customers When They Need a Permit (Gently, of Course)
With a few exclusions, purchasing or owning a handgun in Texas is not restricted. For handguns, a person doesn’t need any type of permit, special license, or registration to buy a new one if they plan to use it on their property only.
Texans who are legally allowed to own a firearm don’t need any license to carry a long arm either. When do your customers need a permit, then?
Texas law says a permit is needed to carry a handgun, both concealed and unconcealed. Make sure they know it and let them know you’re looking out for them.
Understand How Background Checks Work in Texas
Firearms dealers are required by federal law to do a background check on anyone who wants to purchase a firearm prior to the actual sale.
Texas is not a point of contact state for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Texas does not have a law necessitating firearms dealers to do background checks preceding a sale.
That means that you as a firearms dealer must communicate with the Federal Bureau of Investigation directly on a background check. Aside from that, there is no waiting period.
When a Texan has a license to carry, no background check is required. It was done when the license was issued.
A Quick Brush Up on Texas Gun Ownership Restrictions
There are restrictions placed on gun ownership in Texas that should be strictly adhered to by sellers, even in a time of a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minors under the age of 18 cannot buy a gun without parental consent.
It is illegal for convicted felons released within the last five years to own a gun.
Although you probably won’t have any issues with this, know that any person confined to a penal institution is ineligible as well.
Remind your clients that firearms, even if a permit is legally obtained, are also not permitted to be near or on school grounds. Tell them to check local area restrictions for exceptions. A poster in your shop is an easy way to do it.
Selling a firearm to someone who doesn’t meet the proper criteria can put your business at risk.
Don’t do it.
Inform Clients About Handgun During a State of Disaster in Texas
With the governor’s declaration that Texas is a disaster zone due to the threat of COVID-19, there are some circumstances that gun buyers need to be made aware of.
Chiefly, citizens cannot be charged with a crime for not having the license to carry a handgun as they are being evacuated or returning to the area in which they live.
Disaster shelters can accommodate Texans with firearms.
Remember to Keep Your Firearms Dealers Licensing Current
Times are now uncertain and that drives many people to buy guns. Make sure you’re doing all you can to keep your business selling guns in accordance with the law.
In Texas, firearms dealers are also required to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, but no other license is required in Texas nor is there much oversight from the state to regulate dealers.
Firearms dealers are also required to post warnings regarding the safe storage of firearms under the Texas Child Access Prevention law.
When you uphold your responsibilities as a gun dealer, it makes defending our fundamental right to bear arms easier!