ASK A COP — What are Texas’ weapon-in-vehicle rules?

Published 12:08 am Tuesday, June 6, 2023

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Milissa from Nederland asks: Since we are an open carry state, can I ride in my vehicle with the weapon open carry or does it have to be hidden? Second, when I park my vehicle, do I have to take my weapon out of my vehicle or can I leave it there?

Answer: Firearms illegality in Texas is ALWAYS a hot topic and one many have misinformation regarding. First, there’s absolutely NO weapon registration of weapons in the great state of Texas. You are welcome to have weapons handed down to you or purchase them from family or friends. Your only concern should be is if the weapon is STOLEN. You don’t have to go to your local law enforcement agency because there’s absolutely nothing they can do to assist you in registration process of your weapon in Texas because it don’t exist. You can travel in your vehicle with the weapon open or concealed. If you decide to travel open carry where the weapon is in plain sight, it MUST be secured in a holster, whether on your person (openly) or laying on the seat. You can have the weapon concealed and therefore the need of a holster is eliminated. Leaving your weapon in an unattended vehicle overnight is something law enforcement agencies all over the nation would like to make a PSA (public service announcement) for …. which is DON’T LEAVE WEAPONS In VEHICLES OVERNIGHT. IF YOU DO, PLEASE LOCK YOUR DOORS! Sounds simple but in theory this has to be difficult because too many citizens do this daily, and car burglars are simply checking door handles and find many are left open and too often a firearm is found and stolen by a criminal.

Officer Rickey Antoine

Hosea from Port Arthur asks: I just have to ask this question because I don’t want to get in trouble behind my friend. Let’s say I’m driving my vehicle and my friend, who’s in the passenger seat, has a yeti cooler type of cup that you can’t see the beverage inside. If we are stopped by the police and the police determine the liquid inside of the cup is alcohol, who would get in trouble? If they were coming to my car with a can or bottle of alcoholic beverage, I would definitely stop that, but because they have poured it in the yeti type cup, I’m not to the point where I’m going to ask them what’s in the cup.

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Answer: Alcohol consumption is legal in the state of Texas but with restrictions on where it can legally be consumed.  In the state of Texas, open containers of alcohol are illegal. Whether it’s the passenger or the driver of a motor vehicle, we cannot possess an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle. No matter if it’s disguised by being poured into a cup, or still in this original container. In your case, the driver who would be you, who was not in possession of an open container but the passenger was. So the passenger would be the one who would receive the citation by the police officer. The passenger cannot be arrested because open container law is one of the two laws that you cannot be arrested for in the Transportation Code in state of Texas. So the police officer has to remove the alcoholic beverage from the vehicle and issue the PASSENGER a citation.

Shelia from Port Arthur asks: What does the law in Texas state about lights being out on your car and you are not aware the headlight is out? Can you get a ticket if you did not know a headlight is out in your car?

Answer: With the Texas Transportation Code, there’s no culpable mental state the officer has to prove the accused to be intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or was criminally negligent. With the Transportation Code in Texas, all the officer have to prove is you did it, not that you meant to do the offense. So with that said, yes, you can legally be stopped and issued a citation by a police officer if you have a headlamp or any required light that is out on your vehicle without your knowledge. It is the driver’s responsibility to make sure all inspected items are functioning correctly on said vehicle.

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!”