5 Illegal Ways to Carry a Gun in Texas
In the heart of the Lone Star State, Texas residents take pride in their rights and freedoms, including the right to bear arms. However, it’s crucial to understand that with great freedom comes great responsibility. While lawful gun ownership is a cornerstone of Texas culture, it’s equally vital to be aware of the legal boundaries that surround it.
Carrying a Concealed Handgun Without a License
One of the most straightforward ways to get in trouble with Texas gun laws is by carrying a concealed handgun without a valid license, also known as a Concealed Handgun License (CHL) or License to Carry (LTC). According to the Texas Penal Code, Section 46.02, gun owners must meet specific requirements and obtain a license to legally carry a concealed handgun in the state.
The Texas Penal Code, Section 46.02 clearly outlines permitless carry. Typically, it occurs when an individual deliberately, knowingly, or recklessly carries a concealed handgun on or about their person without the necessary license.
Possession of a Firearm in Prohibited Locations
Texas state laws clearly designates certain locations where the possession of firearms is strictly prohibited. Understanding these prohibited areas is crucial to avoid breaking the law and facing serious legal responsibilities.
The Texas Penal Code, under Section 46.03, explicitly lists the locations where firearm possession is illegal. These locations include, but are not limited to:
- Government Buildings
- Hospitals and Nursing Homes
- Amusement Parks
Carrying a Firearm While Drunk
The Texas Penal Code, under Section 46.035, outlines that it is illegal to carry a firearm while drunk in a public place. Intoxication is legally defined as having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher, which results to not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties. It can also be from controlled substances, drugs, or a combination of these substances.
Carrying a Firearm During the Commission of a Crime
Carrying a firearm in Texas during the commission of a crime escalates the severity of the offense and can lead to severe legal consequences.
In Texas, if someone uses a gun while committing a crime, they will face more serious charges and punishments. This is detailed in the Texas Penal Code, particularly Section 46.02, and may involve crimes such as robbery, assault, burglary, or drug-related offenses.
Carrying a Firearm Illegally as a Convicted Felon
Under the Texas Penal Code, specifically Section 46.04, carrying a firearm while being a convicted felon is a serious offense. The law prohibits individuals with certain felony convictions from owning, possessing, or transporting firearms. Violating this statute can lead to dire legal consequences.
Legal Penalties and Consequences
Carrying a Concealed Handgun Without a License:
Charge: Class A misdemeanor.
- Offenders may face fines of up to $4,000 and a jail sentence of up to one year.
Possession of a Firearm in Prohibited Locations:
Charge: Violation of Section 46.03 of the Texas Penal Code, considered a third-degree felony.
- The court may order offenders to pay fines of up to $10,000 and imprisonment ranging from 2 to 10 years.
Carrying a Firearm While Intoxicated:
Charge: Violation of Section 46.035 of the Texas Penal Code.
- The consequences for this charge are fines of up to $4,000 and a jail sentence of up to one year.
Carrying a Firearm During the Commission of a Crime:
Charge: An aggravating factor that can elevate charges to aggravated offenses, such as aggravated robbery or aggravated assault.
The person charged can face substantial fines and longer prison sentences compared to the crime without a firearm. The court may also deem the person unqualified for parole, serving longer sentences without the possibility of parole. It also includes a felony conviction, leading to a permanent criminal record.
Carrying a Firearm Illegally as a Convicted Felon:
Charge: Violation of Section 46.04 of the Texas Penal Code, typically a felony.
- Felony charges, adding another serious offense to the felon’s criminal record.
- Substantial fines and prison sentences, the length of which depends on the nature of the prior felony conviction and court orders.
- Permanent loss of firearm rights, particularly for certain types of felony convictions.
Please note that these are general guidelines, and the specific penalties and consequences can vary based on a number of factors. It’s essential to consult with an attorney for precise legal advice in a particular case.
Arrested? Don’t Plea, Call Me!
Having a good criminal defense lawyer can greatly change how your case goes if you are charged with unlawful gun carry. Texas Criminal Defense Group comprehends the seriousness of your situation and commits to offering robust legal assistance. Our skilled lawyers will handle your case carefully and with expertise, ensuring the best outcome for your future.
Navigating the complexities of the legal system can be daunting, especially when confronted with the possibility of imprisonment. A good lawyer not only aims to win but also puts in effort to provide you with the best defense possible. They utilize their knowledge to fight the accusations against you.
Our skilled attorney will fight for your rights, negotiate deals, present evidence, challenge procedures, and work to minimize consequences.