Weapon/Firearm Offenses

Americans have the right to protect themselves under the Second Amendment. However, the same weapon or firearm can also lead to criminal charges. Texas takes weapon and firearm offenses incredibly seriously with stringent possession laws and certain weapon prohibitions for felony offenders.

A weapon or firearm offense can result in severe penalties, including incarceration. It can also end in a lifetime ban from owning any firearms in the future. It’s important you take these charges seriously, even if no one was hurt from the crime. If you or someone you know has been charged with a firearm or weapon offense, then it’s crucial you gain trusted legal counsel.

Attorney for Weapon Crimes in Houston, Texas

Owning a weapon can protect you, but it can sometimes lead to criminal charges. If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime involving a weapon, it’s imperative you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. You will need legal representation to protect your rights in a court of law.

Call Tyler Flood & Associates, Inc. to speak to a criminal defense attorney today. Our team has practiced for years with success. We can provide you a sturdy defense with our extensive resources. Contact us now at (713) 224-5529 to schedule a free case consultation today.

Tyler Flood & Associates, Inc. accepts clients throughout the greater Harris County area including West University Place, Bellaire, Tomball and Houston.

Overview of Firearm and Weapon Offenses in Texas

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Examples of a Deadly Weapon in Texas

Many crimes could have their penalties enhanced if a deadly weapon was used or exhibited. Texas Penal Code § 1.07 defines “deadly weapon” as:

  • A firearm or anything designed solely for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or causing death to another person; or
  • Anything that in the manner of its use or intended use can cause serious bodily injury or is capable of killing another person

The statute gives a pretty vague description as to what a deadly weapon is. Some examples of things that have been considered a deadly weapon in court include, but are not limited to:

  • Knives;
  • Axes;
  • Switchblade knives;
  • Swords;
  • Clubs;
  • Nightsticks;
  • Explosives;
  • Handguns;
  • Mace;
  • Machine guns;
  • Rifles;
  • Zip guns; and
  • Motor vehicles

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Common Firearm and Weapon Crimes in Texas

A deadly weapon has the power to inflict serious bodily injury or even death to another person. This is why Texas has implemented strict firearm and weapon laws to protect the safety of the general public. It’s important you’re aware of the penalties of these crimes so you’re prepared in a court of law.

Unlawful Possession of a Firearm

Texas is home for many responsible gun-owners, but not everyone is careful with their firearms. Because of this, Texas has imposed laws on where a firearm can be stored and who is barred from owning one. Texas Penal Code §46.02 states you could be charged with unlawfully carrying a firearm if:

  • It’s in plain view;
  • You’re engaged in some sort of criminal activity;
  • You were court ordered to not possess a firearm; or
  • You’re a member of a criminal street gang

Unlawful carrying of a firearm is a class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by:

  • Up to 12 months in jail; and
  • A possible fine of up to $4,000

If you unlawfully carried in a premise selling alcoholic beverages such as a bar, then your crime will be a third-degree felony. The penalties for a third-degree felony include:

  • Up to 10 years in prison; and
  • A possible fine of up to $10,000

You can also be charged with a third-degree felony if you possess, manufacture, or sell any of the following weapons:

  • Machine guns;
  • Short-barrel firearms;
  • A firearm silencer;
  • Knuckles;
  • A zip gun;
  • A chemical dispensing device;
  • A tire deflation device;
  • Armor-piercing ammunition; or
  • An explosive

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Criminal Possession of a Firearm

Texas law doesn’t allow everyone to own a firearm. People who have been deemed dangerous to the pubic are barred from owning deadly weapons or firearms. Texas Penal Code §46.04 states you’ll be charged with unlawful possession of a firearm if you:

  • Were served with a protective order and owned a firearm;
  • Were convicted of a felony offense and possessed a firearm;
    • After conviction and before the 5th anniversary after release from incarceration, probation or parole; or
    • At another location other than where you live after the fifth anniversary from your release from incarceration, probation or parole
  • Were convicted of domestic assault and possessed a firearm before the fifth anniversary of either:
    • Your release from jail after your conviction; or
    • Your release from community supervision after conviction

You’ll be charged with a class A misdemeanor if you unlawfully possessed a firearm during a protective order or after a conviction of domestic assault. The penalties of a class A misdemeanor include:

  • Up to 12 months in jail; and
  • A possible fine of up to $4,000

Your charges will be reclassified to a third-degree felony if you unlawfully possessed a firearm after a felony conviction. A third-degree felony is punishable by:

  • Up to 10 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $10,000

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Unlawfully Transferring a Weapon

You may not be court-ordered to disown your firearms. However, if you loan or give a weapon to someone who is you could face criminal charges. It’s illegal in Texas to transfer a weapon to a person who could cause serious damage.

Texas Penal Code § 46.06 states you’ll be charged with unlawfully transferring a weapon if you:

  • Provide a firearm to someone with the knowledge they will use it for criminal activity;
  • Give or offer a minor a firearm, club, or knife with a blade longer than 5.5 inches;
  • Sell guns or ammo to a person convicted of a felony within five years of their release;
  • Sell guns or ammo to an inebriated person; or
  • Provide a firearm to someone under a protective order

Unlawfully transferring a weapon is a class A misdemeanor, which can result in a fine of up to $4,000 and 12 months in jail. Your crime could be enhanced to state jail felony if the weapon provided was a handgun. The penalties for a state jail felony include:

  • Up to 24 months in state jail; and
  • A possible fine of up to $10,000

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Additional Resources

Handgun Licensing – Visit the official website of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to learn more about their handgun licensing program. Access the site to find a certified instructor, how to apply, what requirements are needed and applications for law enforcement.

National Rifle Association – Visit the official website for the National Rifle Association (NRA), the national organization which supports the Second Amendment of the Constitution. Access the site to learn how to join, where you can renew, benefits of being a member and current news about firearm policies.

Lawyer for Firearm and Weapon Crimes in Harris County, Texas

If you or someone you know has been charged with a weapon or firearm crime, it’s vital you gain skilled legal representation. A deadly weapon or firearm usually can exacerbate a crime’s penalties even further. In addition, you could lose the ability to own firearms if you’re convicted of a weapons offense.

Find help with the attorneys at Tyler Flood & Associates, Inc.. We can assess your charges to formulate a strong defense. With Tyler Flood & Associates, Inc., you can rest assured that a team of legal professionals will be working round-the-clock on your case. Call us now at (713) 224-5529 to schedule a case consultation.

Tyler Flood & Associates, Inc. accepts clients throughout the Houston metropolitan area including Uptown, Greenspoint and Magnolia Park.

This article was last updated on March 8th, 2019.


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