It is legal to carry a loaded gun in your car as long as it is hidden from plain sight. Here ia link to all Texas statutes
Here is the information you are looking for.
Sec. 46.02. UNLAWFUL CARRYING WEAPONS. (a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun, illegal knife, or club if the person is not:
(1) on the person's own premises or premises under the person's control; or
(2) inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle that is owned by the person or under the person's control.
(a-1) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun in a motor vehicle that is owned by the person or under the person's control at any time in which:
(1) the handgun is in plain view; or
(2) the person is:
(A) engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic;
(B) prohibited by law from possessing a firearm; or
(C) a member of a criminal street gang, as defined by Section 71.01.
(a-2) For purposes of this section, "premises" includes real property and a recreational vehicle that is being used as living quarters, regardless of whether that use is temporary or permanent. In this subsection, "recreational vehicle" means a motor vehicle primarily designed as temporary living quarters or a vehicle that contains temporary living quarters and is designed to be towed by a motor vehicle. The term includes a travel trailer, camping trailer, truck camper, motor home, and horse trailer with living quarters.
(b) Except as provided by Subsection (c), an offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.
(c) An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree if the offense is committed on any premises licensed or issued a permit by this state for the sale of alcoholic beverages.
As long as you are NOT doing any of the things I bolded you are good to go.
So, Killerfly; once I turn 18, I can buy a handgun to carry in my car? As long as it is hidden and out of sight? Even without a CHL? Just wanting to make sure everything I read is understood properly in my brain. Im planning on buying myself a SIG 556 this summer to keep in my house and new apartment, things around here are getting pretty hot. I would like to have the opportunity to defend myself and my family if the situation calls for it. But a handgun would definetely be more practical in my Jeep. I do understand that I cannot apply for my CHL until I turn 21 years of age. Am I correct so far?
You can't buy a handgun till you turn 21. You can't even be in possession of one till then. You CAN apply for a CHL before you are 21 only if you are in the military, otherwise you need to wait till you are 21.
As far as buying a Sig 556 when you turn 18 .... You CAN do that but I would advise not to. I would look more at a 12 gauge to keep in the car and home. Reason I say that is a better option is there is much more of a chance of putting an attacker or intruder down with one pull of the trigger when using 00 buck that you have with .223/5.56. Next reason is a low buy in with the 12 gauge, it sure would suck to have your $1300-$1500 rifle stolen from home or Jeep. Losing a $200-$250 shotgun is better than losing a rifle.
You also have to keep in mind that if you do have to use it there is a chance that it can be taken for evidence. While that isn't the greatest reason for not using top shelf equipment, it is enough to keep me from carrying anything too high dollar. I myself use a old worn out Remington 870 20" riot gun for home protection and a used Sig P229R or HK USP compact for a concealed carry gun. I could never allow myself to carry a pistol that cost me more than $500. I learned that lesson after having to jump into a pool while carrying a $1000 1911, took me hours to make sure it didn't rust and I still had to have it refinished.
In short ...
Can you buy a handgun when you turn 18 - No
Can you carry a handgun in your car at 18 - No
Can you buy a handgun when you turn 21 - Yes
Can you carry one in your Jeep when you turn 21 Without a CHL - Yes, but only if you meet the stipulations in the law I posted above ( PC 46.02 )
Can you apply for a CHL before you are 21 - No
Can you apply for a CHL the day you turn 21 - Yes
Just a quick repost of something I threw on another board.