Is It Legal to Have a Loaded Gun In The Car?

hand opening glove box

In Austin, TX, the answer to whether it is legal to have a loaded gun in the car is nuanced. Generally speaking, it is legal to possess a loaded gun in your vehicle in Texas, but some specific requirements and restrictions must be followed to stay within the bounds of the law.

State Law

The Texas Penal Code states that possessing a handgun in a motor vehicle or watercraft is legal as long as the person is not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm. However, the gun must be concealed, and it must be in a shoulder or belt holster. Additionally, it must be in the person's possession or the vehicle or watercraft.


Some exceptions to the law allow for a loaded gun to be in a car without being concealed. For example, if a person is engaged in certain hunting activities, they may possess a loaded gun in the vehicle without it being concealed. Additionally, a person may possess a loaded gun in a car if they are going to or from a shooting range, a gun show, or a hunting area, as long as the firearm is unloaded while the vehicle is in motion.


In addition to the general requirements for possessing a loaded gun in a vehicle, certain restrictions must be followed. For example, owning a loaded gun in a car in a school zone is illegal. Additionally, it is illegal to possess a loaded gun in a vehicle if the person is intoxicated or if the person is engaged in criminal activity.


If a person violates the laws regarding possessing a loaded gun in a vehicle, they can face serious consequences. Depending on the circumstances, the person may be charged with a felony or a misdemeanor. If convicted, the person may face jail time, fines, and the loss of their right to possess a firearm.

Weapons Charges Attorney in Austin, TX

At Smith & Vinson, we understand the complexities of the law surrounding the possession of a loaded gun in a vehicle. Our experienced attorneys have the knowledge and expertise to help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights. If you have been charged with a crime related to possessing a loaded gun in a vehicle, contact us today at (512) 359-3743 to discuss your case.