ASK A COP — Information needed for correct concealed, open carry handgun license use

Published 12:54 pm Monday, May 8, 2023

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York from West Orange asks: I need your help about concealed handgun license (CHL). I have many questions, like is the concealed license void now or do we say Open Carry? Where do I go to change my license? How long do I have to get it changed over? How much does it cost? Do the qualifications change to open carry from concealed carry? Please help me.

Answer: Sir, you bring up a vast amount of legitimate questions that are still hanging unanswered in the minds of Texas citizens. Here’s a review. The open carry law in Texas went into effect in January 2016. As you are a witness, there are still some misconceptions about the open carry law. I believe I have some information that’s going to fulfill your questions. As long as you currently have a concealed handgun license in Texas as of January 2016, it automatically turned into an Open Carry license. There’s no additional action needed on your part. Just maintain possession of your license, which reads concealed handgun, but it’s actually an open carry license. You are also afforded the option to have your weapon open carry, concealed or not at all. Even if you don’t have your weapon on your person and are encountered by any law enforcement officer, you need to present your concealed/open carry license without being prompted to by the law enforcement officer. As of September 2021, Texans are allowed to open/conceal carry without a license as long as you are not prohibited from carrying a weapon in Texas.

Officer Rickey Antoine

Mae from Port Arthur asks: My sister tells me if a traffic signal won’t change, moving your vehicle beyond the stripped white line at the intersection will make the signal light change. Is this true? Thanks in advance! Hopefully you can help us with this question!

Answer: My answer to your question is not concrete, because I’m not certain if moving beyond the solid white line will prompt the light to change. I do know moving beyond the solid white line at an intersection while the light is still RED is a violation of the Texas Transportation Code. The monitor at the intersections are set by our city and state engineers to detect motion, so there is no need to go beyond the solid white line to try and coerce the signal light to change. Keep in mind, the white lines are there for a reason. It is our responsibility to stay behind them until the signal changes. So tell your sister her theory sounds good but it sure isn’t legal!

Jessica from Port Arthur asks: I recently adopted a 5-year-oold girl/daughter. She is tall for her age. At what age can she sit in the front seat of my car?

Answer: First I’d like to congratulate you on the new addition of a lovely young girl to your family! I’m asked this question constantly because apparently someone started the rumor that someone has to be a certain age to ride in a particular seat position in a motor vehicle. You can sit your child in ANY seat other than the driver seat as long as you have the child in the correct child restraint system. This is NOT recommended but you can sit a newborn in the front seat as long as you have them in the correct seat, facing backwards with the air bag deactivated. I wouldn’t personally advise sitting children in the front seat, but it’s not ILLEGAL in Texas to do so. Your daughter will need a booster seat until she is 8 years of age or 4’9″ tall, whichever one comes first.

Join Me, Officer Antoine and the CREW Stephen “Buzzard Boots” Mosley, Lelo “mouth of Hwy 69/73” I Washington & Tejas “Lil Man” Morning Star for Ask A Cop live on KSAP 96.9 FM The Breeze every Tuesday from 1 to 3 p.m. and beyond. Call in questions at 409-982-0247. You can also email questions to or leave a voicemail at 409-983-8673. Mail them to Ofc. Rickey Antoine, 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public, you can always “Ask A Cop!”