Texas is known for having favorable laws for gun owners. However, the state also takes a strict stance against anyone who breaks the law. As a result, if you face a Texas gun crime, the consequences of a conviction can be severe. At the Guest and Gray, our Houston criminal defense lawyers have decades of combined experience handling all types of gun cases, including those involving allegations of violent crime and drug offenses. When “Guilty” is not an option, Guest and Gray is your natural choice.Texas Gun Laws
Texas is unique in its gun laws. Rather than implementing a broad prohibition with limited exceptions like many other states do, as a general rule, Texas law permits people to carry guns, provided they are holstered; publicly displaying an unholstered weapon is a crime. However, there are two instances where carrying a firearm can put you at risk of being arrested for a Texas gun crime. The first is possessing a gun in a prohibited place, and the second is carrying a firearm when you are not legally allowed to possess one.Where Are Weapons Prohibited in Texas?
As of September 2021, Texas law no longer requires lawful owners of firearms to have a license to carry. However, the law also provides several places where you are never allowed to carry a gun. Some of the places in which gun possession is prohibited include:
- Public and private schools,
- School busses,
- Hospitals and nursing homes,
- The secure area of an airport,
- Certain establishments that derive most of their income from the sale of alcoholic beverages,
- Jails and correctional facilities,
- High-school, college, and professional sporting events, and
- Amusement parks.
Notably, having a license to carry does not make carrying a gun in the above-listed places legal. If you are arrested for a Texas gun crime based on carrying a weapon in a prohibited place, you can be charged with either a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000, or a felony of the third degree, punishable by two to 10 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.Who Is Prohibited From Carrying a Gun in Texas?
In Texas, it is also a gun crime for certain prohibited people to carry a firearm. For example, if you were convicted of a felony, which the law defines as any crime punishably by more than one year in jail, or a domestic violence misdemeanor offense, you cannot carry a firearm for five years. This five-year period begins from the time you complete your sentence, whether that is upon your release from prison or the completion of probation. Once this five-year period has passed, convicted felons can then possess a firearm, but only in their home.
Notably, Texas law is more favorable for gun owners than federal law. Thus, it is possible that you could face a federal crime for conduct that would not put you at risk of violating Texas law.Discuss Your Case With an Experienced Texas Gun Crime Lawyer
If you were recently arrested and charged with a Texas firearms offense, it is imperative that you work with an attorney who not only understands the law but also has experience handling these challenging cases. While Texas is a gun-friendly state for the most part, that changes once you cross over onto the wrong side of the law. At the law firm of Guest and Gray, our dedicated criminal defense lawyers proudly represent clients in Dallas, Hunt, Collin, Kaufman and Rockwall Counties. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a criminal defense lawyer, give us a call at (972) 564-4644 today. You can also reach us through our online contact form.