Almost every Texan is allowed to keep a firearm in their home or personal vehicle. However, bringing a weapon to the wrong place or possessing a weapon that is illegal can land you behind bars. Some of these offenses can even be felony weapon charges.
If you are convicted of a weapons crime in Texas, you will lose your right to bear arms. You may also end up with a felony conviction on your record that has the potential to affect your life long after fines have been paid and your time has been served.
The Gonzalez Law Group works diligently on every case that comes through our door. Yours is no exception. Most people who commit a weapons offense do so unknowingly. Now you are facing criminal charges and you don’t know whom to turn to for legal help.
Turn to The Gonzalez Law Group. We will listen to your story and formulate a plan that is in your best interest. Don’t delay. The sooner you contact legal representation, the better your chances of a more favorable outcome in the courtroom.
To schedule a free case consultation, call (832) 530-4070 or submit your information in the online contact form. We represent clients accused of weapons crimes in all areas of Harris County. Some of these areas include Webster, Nassau Bay, League City, Pasadena, and many more.
- Unlawful Carry
- Where are Weapons Prohibited in Texas?
- Unlawful Possession of a Firearm
- What Weapons are Illegal in Texas?
- Additional Resources
Texas may have some of the country’s most lenient weapons laws, but there are still situations where it’s illegal to carry a weapon. It doesn’t matter if the weapon is a handgun, club, or knife; you can still be charged with the offense if you are caught with the weapon in the wrong place.
According to section 46.02 of the Texas Penal Code, it’s against the law to carry a weapon unless you are on your property or you’re inside of, or on the way to your vehicle. It’s also against the law to have a handgun in plain view inside the vehicle. The only time the gun can be in plain sight is if you are licensed to carry it, and it’s being carried in a shoulder or belt holster
You face Class A misdemeanor charges if you are convicted under this section of the Penal Code. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by no more than a year in jail, a fine that can cost up to $4,000, or both.
If you are caught unlawfully carrying a handgun in a place that is licensed or permitted to sell alcohol, your charges could be elevated to a third-degree felony. If convicted, you will be facing no less than two years but not more than 10 in prison, and a fine that can cost up to $10,000.
Where are Weapons Prohibited in Texas?
To ensure the safety of others, there are places where you are prohibited from carrying a weapon. Section 46.03 of the Texas Penal Code makes it illegal to carry a weapon in the following locations:
- A school or educational institution
- Polling place
- Government court or office
- Secured areas of an airport
- Places of execution
If you are caught carrying a handgun in any of the aforementioned locations, you will be facing a third-degree felony. It’s irrelevant to the court if you are licensed to carry a handgun in Texas.
There are also places where knives are restricted. These knives are called “location-restricted knives” and they have a blade that is over five and a half inches long. It’s against the law to carry a location-restricted knife in the following locations:
- A business that earns 51% or more of its earnings from the sale of alcohol
- Anywhere that a high school, college, or professional sporting event or interscholastic event is taking place.
- A correctional facility
- Hospital or nursing facility
- Mental health facility
- Amusement park
- Places of religious worship
Possessing a location-restricted knife in any of the locations mentioned in this section is a Class C misdemeanor. You could face a fine of up to $500 if convicted. If the knife was in your possession while you were at a school or educational institution, you will be charged with a third-degree felony.
Unlawful Possession of a Firearm
Certain individuals are prohibited from owning firearms in Texas. Section 46.04 of the Penal Code makes it illegal for convicted felons to possess a gun within five years of being released from confinement, parole, or community supervision.
If you are a convicted felon and you are found in possession of a firearm, you will face a third-degree felony charge. After five years have passed since being released, convicted felons can possess a firearm in their home.
It’s also illegal to possess a firearm within five years of being released from confinement or community supervision for a conviction of assault against a family member. Possession of a weapon is a Class A misdemeanor that can land you in jail for a year and a fine of $4,000.
What Weapons Are Illegal in Texas?
Texas is a place that takes pride in honoring the right to keep and bear arms, but they still place a limitation on the type of firearms and other weapons its citizens are allowed to keep and bear. There are only a handful of weapons the state makes illegal to own, and they are listed under section 46.05 of the Texas Penal Code.
How you are charged for possessing an illegal weapon depends on the weapon. Listed below are weapons that are illegal to own in Texas and the charges you could face if they are found in your possession.
- An explosive weapon- Third-degree felony
- Machine gun- Third-degree felony
- Short-barrel firearms- Third-degree felony
- Firearm silencer- Third-degree felony
- Brass knuckles- Class A misdemeanor
- Armor-piercing ammunition-Third-degree felony
- Chemical dispensing device – Third-degree felony
- Homemade guns (zip guns)- Third-degree felony
- A tire deflation devise- State jail felony
- Improvised explosive device-Third-degree felony
Some of these weapons can be legally owned if they are registered with the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, or if they are classified as a curio or relic by the United States Department of Justice.
Additional Resources for Weapons Crimes
Weapons | Texas Penal Code– Follow this link to read the complete text of the statute that governs weapons crimes in Texas. You can read the precise legal definition of each offense mentioned on this page and learn about other weapons crimes. The statute can be read on the Texas Constitution and Statutes website.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tabaco, Firearms and Explosives- Houston Division– Visit the official website for the ATF- Houston division. You can gain access to fact sheets about explosives and guns and reward notices for local criminals. The ATF is a law enforcement agency within the U.S Department of Justice that protects communities from the illegal use and trafficking of guns.
Weapons Crime Lawyer in Houston, TX
By viewing this page, you already understand the seriousness of the charges against you. Depending on the crime, you could end up being a convicted felon. A felony charge has the potential to affect you long after your sentence has been served. Texas’ gun laws can be confusing to navigate. That is why The Gonzalez Law Group is here to help. We will formulate a defense strategy that is catered to your case. Schedule a time to speak with us. Call (832) 530-4070 or submit your information in the online contact form. The Gonzalez Law Group proudly defends clients accused of weapons crimes in all areas of Harris County. Some of these areas include South Park, Golf Crest, Southeast Houston, Brookside Village, and many more.