Can a DWI Affect Gun Ownership in Texas
In Texas, a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) conviction can affect a person’s ability to own or possess firearms.
Under federal gun law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence to own or possess firearms. In Texas, a first-time DWI offense is usually classified as a misdemeanor. However, a DWI can be enhanced to a felony if the driver causes serious bodily injury or death while driving under the influence.
If a person is convicted of a DWI and it is classified as a misdemeanor, it may not affect their ability to own or possess firearms, as long as they have not been convicted of any other offenses. However, if the DWI is enhanced to a felony or if the person has been convicted of other offenses, such as domestic violence or certain drug offenses, they may be prohibited from owning or possessing firearms.
Additionally, a gun owner who is currently on probation for a DWI offense may also be restricted from owning or possessing firearms as a condition of their probation.
It’s important to note that laws related to firearms and criminal convictions can be complex, and can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case. If you have questions about how a DWI conviction may affect your ability to own or possess firearms in Texas, it’s a good idea to consult with an experienced attorney.
Texas Gun Ownership Law
Texas has a reputation for being a state with relatively lenient gun laws, and while there are some restrictions on gun ownership and use, the state generally allows its residents the right to bear arms and to own and carry firearms.
Here are some key points about Texas’ gun ownership law:
- Permitless carry: Starting September 1, 2021, most Texans who are at least 21 years of age and possess a valid id and legally allowed to own a firearm can carry a handgun in public without a license or permit.
- Background checks: Texas law requires licensed gun dealers to conduct a criminal background check system on potential buyers before selling them a firearm. However, private sales between individuals are not subject to background checks.
- Waiting periods: Texas does not have a waiting period for purchasing a firearm.
- Open carry: It is legal to openly carry a handgun in Texas as long as the carrier is licensed to do so.
- Concealed carry: A person with a license to carry a handgun may conceal it on their person or in their vehicle. Applicants for a concealed carry permit must be at least 21 years old (18 if in the military) and meet certain requirements.
- Prohibited persons: Certain people are prohibited from owning firearms under Texas law, including convicted felons, those with a history of mental illness or substance abuse, and anyone subject to a protective order.
- Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground: Texas has a “castle doctrine” law that allows individuals to use deadly force to defend themselves or their property in their home, vehicle, or workplace. The state also has a “stand your ground” law that allows people to use deadly force in self-defense in public places, without a duty to retreat.
Driving Drunk with a Handgun
It is possible to lose your concealed carry license in Texas if you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a handgun in your vehicle.
Under Texas law, a person who holds a license to carry a concealed handgun can lose that license if they are convicted of certain crimes, including driving while intoxicated. If you are convicted of a DWI while in possession of a handgun, your concealed carry license may be suspended or revoked.
In addition to the legal consequences, it’s important to remember that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be incredibly dangerous and can put yourself and others at risk.
Who are The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
ATF is a federal law enforcement agency within the United States Department of Justice. The ATF has a field office in Houston, Texas, and is responsible for enforcing federal laws related to alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives.
In Texas, the ATF works to prevent and investigate the illegal trafficking of firearms and explosives, including the possession, use, and sale of illegal firearms and explosives. They also investigate cases related to the illegal manufacture and distribution of alcohol and tobacco products, as well as the illegal possession and distribution of stolen firearms.
Additionally, the ATF works closely with state and local law enforcement agencies in Texas to provide training and support related to firearms and explosives investigations. They also collaborate with other federal agencies, such as the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, to investigate and prosecute crimes related to alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives.
Arrested? Don’t Plea, Call Me
If you find yourself with a DUI conviction and gun charges in Texas, you will need an experienced defense attorney to protect your legal rights. You need our skilled and seasoned attorneys at Texas Criminal Defense Group.
If you live in Lubbock County, Potter County, Randall County, Dallas County, Denton County, Midland County or Tarrant County, Contact our attorneys at Texas Criminal Defense Group for a legal review of your case.