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Possessing a weapon, carrying a weapon, improperly discharging a firearm, or using a firearm in the commission of a crime are all serious offenses in Texas. The Texas Penal Code lays out the types of weapons you can and cannot have and circumstances under which you are allowed to use them. If you are charged with violating these laws you could be facing felony charges and severe penalties. Not only can you be charged for having or using an illegal weapon, but you can be arrested for weapons in Texas if you give or sell a weapon to someone else, or if a child gets to the weapon.
Very often, people are arrested for illegal weapons in Texas when they are confronted by the police for different reasons. It is not uncommon for someone to get stopped for a traffic violation and the police notice a weapon in the vehicle. You can be charged with possessing a weapon in Texas if you are being arrested for a different offense and the police pat you down and find a weapon or if the police get a tip that you have a weapon.
Texas criminal laws prohibit the possession of the following except in certain cases of antiques, curios, or other items licensed by the federal government:
- Explosive weapons such as grenades, bombs and rocket
- Machine guns
- Rifles with barrels less than 16 inches long
- Shotguns with barrels less than 18 inches long
- Any rifle or shotgun altered so that the entire weapon is less than 26 inches long
- Brass knuckles
- Improvised handguns, also known as “zip guns”
Under Texas criminal laws the term weapon does not necessarily mean a gun. It is also illegal to possess or carry things such as clubs, certain knives, chemical sprays and various other items. Possessing brass knuckles can be a Class A misdemeanor while possessing any of the others can be a third-degree felony. Both are punishable by jail time and fines.
If you are a convicted felon or have been convicted of domestic assault, it is illegal for you to have any kind of firearm. If you give or sell a firearm to someone who is not allowed to have one or you leave a loaded firearm unsecured and a child gets it you can be charged as well.
Concealed Carry in Texas
Unless you have obtained a Concealed Handgun License in Texas, it is illegal for you to carry a weapon, with the exception of a few situations. You can carry a weapon to your car or at your home or place you control. If you the weapon is in your car it must be out of view. In regards to the concealed carry laws, the Texas Penal Code defines as a weapon clubs (such as nightsticks and blackjacks), illegal knives (such as knives with blades more than 5 inches long, Bowie knives, swords and spears), and firearms. It is also illegal to carry a weapon in Texas to certain businesses such as schools, polling places, court, and several others.
Penalties for Weapons
A weapons charge in Texas has many facets. Whether you were simply carrying the weapon or you used it to commit another crime, if you have been previously convicted, and many other details can determine whether you are facing a misdemeanor or felony and, more importantly whether you are facing jail time or not. Because there are many defenses and many opportunities to aggressively defend a weapons charge in Texas, it is very important that you contact our law firm immediately. We have been representing people arrested for illegal weapons for more than 25 years and our law firm has attorneys who were trained to prosecute these types of crimes from across the state. We know what it takes to defend a Texas weapons charge correctly.
Award Winning Criminal Defense Attorneys
Explosive Weapons · Machine Guns · Rifles · Shotguns · Brass Knuckles · Zip Guns · Illegal Knives
Just because you’ve been charged with a weapons crime doesn’t mean you’re guilty. Call the criminal attorneys at Dunham & Jones today for help.