COVID-19, Facemasks, and Legally Carrying a Weapon in Texas


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COVID-19, Facemasks, and Legally Carrying a Weapon in Texas

COVID-19 has altered our lives in so many ways, and one such change is facemasks. Before the pandemic, most of us outside of the medical profession had never donned a facemask, but now, very few of us have not worn one at least a time or two. Opinions about these face coverings range considerably, but as the virus continues to slam the State of Texas and the nation at large, Governor Abbott has done an about-face in his decision to reverse an April statewide order that stopped local officials from requiring facemasks.

The Order

As of July 3, everyone in those Texas counties with more than 20 COVID-19 cases must wear a facemask that covers the nose and mouth while they are in buildings and businesses that are open to the public and while they are in outdoor areas where the space requirements associated with social distancing are not easily accomplished. There are, however, exemptions, and they include:

  • Children who are not yet 10 years old

  • People who have certain medical conditions that make wearing a mask dangerous

  • Those who are eating, drinking, or exercising outdoors

First-time offenders can expect a warning while repeat offenders may face up to a $250 fine.

What about Carrying a Weapon?

Many people erroneously believe that it is illegal to wear a facemask while carrying a weapon (that is otherwise legal) in Texas. In reality, Texas gun laws do not preclude you from wearing a mask while legally carrying a firearm (either open or concealed). The only law related to wearing a mask while carrying a gun was repealed in 1974, and there are no anti-mask laws currently on the books.

When You Are Legally Prohibited from Carrying a Gun

There are, however, instances when it is always illegal to carry a gun in the state of Texas, and these include:

  • When you do not have a license to carry, you are prohibited from carrying a gun anywhere other than on your own property.

  • You are prohibited from carrying a gun on school property, including on any property in which a school activity is taking place and on school buses.

  • It is illegal to carry a gun in a court building or office.

  • While it is illegal to carry a gun in certain establishments such as sports arenas, bars, and hospitals, you cannot be prosecuted unless the establishment in question has posted clearly visible signs prohibiting guns.

Discuss Your Gun-Related Concerns with an Experienced Killeen Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Gun-related charges are serious charges that require the professional legal counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney like Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas. Mr. Pritchard is committed to bringing your strongest defense in support of a case resolution that is favorable to you. We are on your side, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.

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