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Texas Criminal Possession Versus Unlawful Possession of a Firearm


texas firearm attorney

Texas is known for its pro-gun laws and is home to the largest number of gun owners in the country. It does not, however, mean that everyone in Texas can own a firearm. The state’s firearm possession laws impose certain restrictions on owning firearms and carrying firearms in public places. 

Generally speaking, you are allowed to have a firearm with you if you are:

  • In your own home
  • On premises which are under your control
  • In a motorhome, camping trailer, or any other vehicle that you live in
  • In your car, truck, boat, or any other vehicle
  • In a car, truck, boat, or any other vehicle which is under your control
  • En route to your car, truck, boat, or any other vehicle
  • En route to a car, truck, boat, or any other vehicle which is under your control

Now, let us take a look at the circumstances under which you are prohibited to carry a firearm with you. 

 

Texas Unlawful Possession of a Firearm

According to Section 46.02 of Texas Penal Code, the charge of unlawful carry of a firearm can be applied against you under the following circumstances. 

  • texas unlawful possession of a firearmIf your firearm is in plain view
  • If you commit a crime while carrying a firearm
  • If you carry a firearm with you despite a court order prohibiting you from doing so
  • If you are associated or affiliated with a criminal gang

Unlawful possession of a firearm in Texas is generally considered a Class A misdemeanor, the punishment for which can be up to a year in jail and a penalty of $4,000. 

Under certain circumstances, unlawful possession of a firearm is considered a third-degree felony, the punishment for which can be up to 10 years in prison and a penalty of up to $10,000.

For example, if you have a firearm with you while you are in a bar or in any other place that sells alcoholic beverages, you can be charged with a third-degree felony. 

 

Texas Criminal Possession of a Firearm 

This is a more serious charge than unlawful possession of a firearm, despite the fact that the wording is quite similar. According to Section 46.04 of Texas Penal Code, the charge of criminal possession of a firearm can be applied against you under the following circumstances. 

  • If you own or carry a firearm after being served with a restraining order
  • If you were convicted of domestic assault and if you own or carry a firearm within five years from the date your sentence was discharged
  • If you were convicted of a felony and if you own or carry a firearm within five years from the date your sentence was discharged
  • If you were convicted of a felony and if you own or carry a firearm at a different location – other than your residence – irrespective of how long it has been after your sentence was discharged

texas criminal possession of a firearmIf you own or carry a firearm after being served with a restraining order or after a domestic violence conviction, you will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. 

If you, on the other hand, own or carry a firearm after a felony conviction, you will be charged with a third-degree felony. 

 

Contact a Texas Firearm Attorney 

Being charged with unlawful or criminal possession of a firearm can have serious consequences. Aside from the prison term and the penalty, you also risk losing your right to own a firearm in the event of a weapons offense conviction. So, you need an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney by your side to increase your chances of getting a favorable outcome in such cases. 

An arrest doesn’t mean you’re guilty. Your case can be fought, and it can be won. Flood, Lewis & Associates is a team of dedicated firearm crime defense attorneys that will fight tooth and nail for victory on your behalf. Call our team 24/7, 365 at (713) 224-5529 for a free case review or contact us online to request a free consultation with one of our attorneys.

 

 

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