TEXAS CARRY LAWS
Although the 2021 Legislature approved Constitutional carry of handguns, your right to carry is not unlimited. There are four different statutes in Chapter 46 (the weapons chapter) of the Texas Penal Code that deal with the unlawful possession of a firearm.
If you are charged with one of the following crimes, you may face serious repercussions. The following categories outline the major offenses you can be charged with if unlawfully carrying or possessing.
UNLAWFULLY CARRY A WEAPON
Under Texas Penal Code 46.02, this offense occurs when a person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries a handgun on or about his person while under the age of 21, while 21 or older and prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law, has a previous conviction in the last 5 years for assault-bodily injury, deadly conduct, terroristic threat, or disorderly conduct-displaying/discharging a firearm, displays the firearm in plain view in a public place unless the handgun was carried in a holster, or carries it while intoxicated.
Unlawful Carrying a Weapon is a Class A misdemeanor with punishment of up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $4,000. Defenses against unlawful carrying include carrying the firearm concealed or in a holster, engaging in lawful hunting or fishing, traveling directly between the hunting or fishing location and your residence or motor vehicle. It is not against the law to possess a firearm in an automobile or watercraft if the weapon is in a holster or concealed.
PLACES WEAPONS ARE PROHIBITED
Texas Penal Code 46.03, this offense occurs when a person possesses or goes with a firearm on the following premises:
High school, collegiate, professional or interscholastic event (but a licensed person can carry there unless signage is posted)
Civil commitment facility
Hospital or nursing home (but a licensed person can carry there unless signage is posted)
Amusement park (but a licensed person can carry there unless signage is posted)
Meeting room of a governmental entity during a scheduled open meeting unless the person has a license to carry
School or educational institution
Polling place: on the day of an election or while early voting was in progress
Courts and offices utilized by a court
Airport: into the secured premises of an airport
Place of execution: within 1000 feet of a place of execution
Alcohol licensed (51%) premises (but a licensed person can carry there unless signage is posted)
Carrying Where Weapons are Prohibited, depending on the location, is either a third degree felony with punishment up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 or a Class A Misdemeanor with punishment of up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $4,000.
Justin was my lawyer for a case I had with Tarrant County. He was very responsive, professional, and helped us sooo much! I ended up having everything dismissed. Definitely highly recommend!
- Payton R.
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- Alana B.
UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF FIREARM
Texas Penal code 46.04 makes it illegal to possess a firearm at home or elsewhere within five years of release from felony community supervision, felony parole or felony confinement. This is a third degree felony with punishment of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. After five years, possession of a firearm remains illegal unless it is possessed at a residence address.
It is also illegal to possess a firearm at home or elsewhere within five years of release from community supervision or confinement for a conviction for assault-family violence. In this instance, unlawful possession of a firearm is a Class A misdemeanor with punishment of up to one year in jail and a fine of $4,000.
Unlawful Possession of a Firearm can either result in a third degree felony or a Class A misdemeanor, depending on circumstances and past record.
According to Texas Penal Code 46.05, it is illegal to possess, manufacture, transport, repair or sell an explosive weapon, machine gun, short-barrel firearm, or an improvised explosive device.
A short-barrel firearm is defined as a rifle with a barrel less than 16 inches, a shotgun with a barrel of less than 18 inches, or a rifle or shotgun with an overall length of less than 26 inches. Possession anywhere is illegal; it does not have to be on or about your person.
Possessing a Prohibited Weapon is a third degree felony with punishment of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Hire the Right Firearms Attorney
Having a DFW defense attorney who is experienced with firearm cases and Texas weapons laws can make a huge difference in your case’s outcome. Justin has handled numerous firearms cases throughout his defense career, including securing the first not guilty verdict in a Plano court since its opening in 2007 for a client in a firearms case (read more about the case here).
CHARGED WITH UNLAWFUL POSSESSION? CALL SPARKS LAW FIRM
You need a gun lawyer that can defend you when the you are facing a violation of your right to carry and use a firearm. Call the Sparks Law Firm, a Fort Worth based private practice serving Dallas/Fort Worth citizens and defending your rights.