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Gun Barrel City, Texas
Location of Gun Barrel City, Texas
Location of Gun Barrel City, Texas
Henderson County GunBarrelCity.svg
Country United States
State Texas
County Henderson
 • Total 5.2 sq mi (13.5 km2)
 • Land 5.1 sq mi (13.3 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.1 km2)
351 ft (107 m)
 • Total 5,672
 • Density 1,112.2/sq mi (426.5/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 430, 903
FIPS code 48-31592
GNIS feature ID 1337131

Gun Barrel City is a city in Henderson County, Texas, United States. The population was 5,672 at the 2010 Census.

The town began as an unincorporated community known as the "Old Bethel Community" in the 1960s after completion of Cedar Creek Reservoir. It was incorporated in the late 1960s so it could legally sell beer and wine. The city takes its name from a former road, Gun Barrel Lane (which is now State Highway 198), as well as its motto, "We Shoot Straight with You", and its symbol - a rifle with two crossed antique pistols. Gun Barrel Lane got its name during the 1920s and 1930s when outlaws frequented the area. It was considered a safe backwoods place during Prohibition when the likes of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker hung out in the area. A local resident, Mr. C. L. Wait, lived along the road and was known for sitting at the window of his house with a shotgun sticking out the window. It was his way of deterring those he deemed unwelcome on this back country road.


Despite having a name that evokes images of the Texas frontier, Gun Barrel City is only 50 years old. Not long after Cedar Creek Lake (a reservoir for the Tarrant Regional Water District) completed construction, the fledgling community that sat on its banks took steps to officially become a city.

Gun Barrel City was incorporated on May 26, 1969. Since that time, it has grown into a main hub and access point for the waters of Cedar Creek Lake. This has led visitors from around the region to use Gun Barrel City as the gateway into the lake. In addition to the high amount of tourism that the community witnesses (particularly during the summer boating season), Gun Barrel City and the surrounding communities have experienced a residential building boom over the past several years. This growth has largely been led by the relocation of wealthy retirees from throughout the Dallas region, building large lake homes to take advantage of Gun Barrel City's lake access.

In May 2000, Gun Barrel City voters elected their 13th mayor, 21-year-old entrepreneur and newspaper publisher, Randal Tye Thomas, who became a media and political celebrity in the Dallas metropolitan area. After a very successful year as mayor, marked by widespread community support, he resigned suddenly in May 2001 following a grand jury indictment for one count of misdemeanor perjury. All criminal charges were eventually dismissed.

In 2008, Gun Barrel City received the coveted Certified Retirement Community recognition from the Texas Department of Agriculture's Go Texan program. The community has also received recognition from the governor's office, receiving second place on two separate occasions in the governor's Community Achievement Awards.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1970 327
1980 2,118 547.7%
1990 3,526 66.5%
2000 5,145 45.9%
2010 5,672 10.2%
2015 (est.) 5,985 5.5%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, 5,145 people, 2,163 households, and 1,498 families resided in the city. The population density was 1,000.5 people per square mile (386.5/km²). The 2,736 housing units averaged 532.0 per square mile (205.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 94.23% White, 1.11% African American, 0.76% Native American, 0.76% Asian, 1.32% from other races, and 1.83% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latino of any race were 3.60% of the population.

Of the 2,163 households, 24.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.5% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.7% were not families, 78 were unmarried partner households; 26.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.82.

In the city, the population was distributed as 21.8% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 23.7% from 25 to 44, 25.0% from 45 to 64, and 22.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $30,075, and for a family was $34,321. Males had a median income of $33,872 versus $21,563 for females. The per capita income for the town was $21,046. About 13.1% of families and 14.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.6% of those under age 18 and 9.7% of those age 65 or over.

Economic development


The Gun Barrel City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is a community team made up of resident executives and business owners, responsible for attracting new investment and helping expand existing businesses within the city. With a seven-member board and one staff person, the Gun Barrel City EDC is funded by a $.0025 sales tax.

Business assistance

The Gun Barrel City EDC provides business assistance to qualifying companies. They evaluate incentives for businesses to locate or expand in the Gun Barrel City area and base their findings on taxes assessed and paid, the number of jobs created or retained, wages paid, local purchases of products and services, indirect employment gains, and the general benefit of furthering the mission of the Gun Barrel City EDC.

They primarily seek businesses in manufacturing, production, medical/health, hospitality, and distribution. Funds may be used in land lease/purchase, building lease/purchase, rehabilitation or construction, capital equipment purchase, infrastructure improvements or employee training. Funds may not be used for venture or equity capital, working capital/inventories, or personal loans. Forms of business assistance include loans/loan guarantees, SBA 504, SBA 7(A) guaranteed and direct loans, and the rural economic development fund.

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