Gun Owners’ Rights
The Second Amendment guarantees all citizens the right to bear arms. However, over time, courts have allowed the state and federal governments to impose certain restrictions on the right to firearm ownership. While many other states have enacted strict laws controlling gun owners’ rights, for the most part, Texans' rights remain intact. However, aside from prohibiting people from carrying guns in certain places, Texas law removes an individual’s ability to own a gun if they are convicted of certain crimes. At the criminal defense firm of Guest and Gray, our attorneys fight hard for our clients’ freedom, as well as their right to own firearms.Who Can Legally Own a Gun in Texas?
Texas law permits anyone over the age of 21 to purchase a gun. Generally, Texas doesn’t impose any age restrictions on minors owning a firearm. However, the exception to this is that adults under 21 years of age cannot carry a handgun outside of their home or vehicle. Additionally, it is a crime for a person to sell or transfer a gun to a minor unless they have the written consent of the minor’s parent or guardian.
While anyone can own a gun in Texas, gun owners’ rights can be removed if they are convicted of certain crimes.What Convictions Affect Gun Owners’ Rights?
In September 2021, Texas lawmakers abolished the requirement that gun owners needed to have a license to carry. However, this only applies to those who can legally possess a firearm. Under Texas law, certain criminal convictions will result in your inability to own a gun. More specifically, a conviction for any of the following will result in you being ineligible to own a gun:A Felony Offense
Those who are convicted of a felony, defined as a crime punishable by one year or more in jail, cannot carry a firearm for five years from the time they complete their sentence. Common felony offenses include:
- Drug offenses,
- Sex crimes,
- Theft crimes involving items valued at more than $1,500,
- Identity theft, and
Once five years have elapsed, a person who suffered a felony conviction can possess a firearm, but only within their own home.Family Violence Misdemeanors
Those who are convicted of a family violence misdemeanor face the same five-year prohibition on gun ownership as convicted felons. However, the difference is that after the five years are up, these individuals can carry a gun outside their homes. Family violence misdemeanors involve an assault committed against a spouse, romantic partner, sibling, roommate, as well as former spouses, romantic partners and roommates.Family Violence Protective Orders
If someone obtained a family violence protective order against you, you will not be permitted to own or carry a gun while the order is in effect. Generally, family violence protective orders last for two years; however, they can last for life in certain cases.
While gun owners’ rights in Texas are strong, certain accusations can call your rights into question. Those who face criminal charges and are concerned about their ability to own a firearm in the future should reach out to an experienced Houston criminal defense attorney for immediate assistance.Is Your Right to Carry on the Line?
If you’ve been charged with a felony or family violence offense, your right to carry a gun is on the line. At the law firm of Guest and Gray, our dedicated criminal defense attorney can help you defend against the allegations—protecting both your freedom and your constitutional right to carry a gun. Our lawyers proudly represent clients facing all types of felonies and misdemeanors throughout 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.