Carrying Prohibited Weapon in Prohibited Places

In Texas, the right to own guns is highly valued, but it comes with important responsibilities. Texas law allows for the possession of firearms, but there are strict regulations regarding where and what types of weapons can be carried. Carrying prohibited weapons in prohibited places can lead to severe legal consequences, including criminal charges.

Texas residents must understand what’s on this list and where carrying these items is prohibited to stay compliant with the law.

What Does Prohibited Weapon Mean?

Prohibited weapons in Texas are specific types of weapons and devices that are not allowed by state laws. These rules are covered under Texas Penal Code 46 to control how people have, use, and share certain items to keep everyone safe.

Prohibited Weapons List:

  • Switchblade Knives
  • Brass Knuckles
  • Machine Guns
  • Explosive Weapons
  • Short-Barreled Firearms
  • Armor-Piercing Ammunition
  • Chemical Weapons
  • Zip Guns

The Texas Unlawful Firearms Act has a number of features that defendants may use to their advantage. For instance, if the individual is permitted to carry the weapon because they are a member of the armed forces or police enforcement, or if the firearm was registered under the National Firearms Act in another state.

Places Where Weapons Are Prohibited

Carrying prohibited weapons in places where they’re forbidden by law can lead to legal charges. The punishment depends on where you are, the type of forbidden weapon, and the situation. In Texas, taking certain illegal weapons to certain places can lead to criminal charges and other legal problems.

  • Correctional facilities, schools, or educational institutions
  • Polling Places
  • Courthouses
  • Racetracks
  • Areas of an airport
  • Executions
  • Amusement Parks
  • Location-restricted knife clubs

Penalties for Using a Weapon in a Prohibited Place

Generally, offenses under Texas Penal Code § 46.03 are felonies in the third degree. But if the prohibited weapon was location-restricted, the offense is a Class C misdemeanor.

Third-Degree Criminal Fines

  • Texas Penal Code § 12.34 lays out the punishments for a third-degree felony conviction. In Texas, a third-degree felony carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.

Class C Penalties for Misdemeanors

  • Texas Penal Code § 12.23 specifies the punishments for a Class C misdemeanor conviction. In Texas, the maximum fine for a Class C misdemeanor is $500.

Penalties for Prohibited Weapons

Having a banned weapon is a serious offense, usually a third-degree felony. If a conviction is secured, the potential consequence includes incarceration. The maximum penalty is ten years in prison and a $10,000 fine. If you have a criminal record, it could get even worse, with a possible life sentence.

Possible Legal Defenses

In a case involving the possession of prohibited weapons, the following are some typical defenses or other mitigating factors that may exist:

  • The object was owned only as a curio or antique.
  • The object was not designed to be lethal or harmful.
  • After an unauthorized detention, the item was found.
  • The object was found after an unauthorized search.
  • The only reason the object was in their possession was novelty.
  • The accused did not possess the item.

Defenses for Using a Weapon in a Prohibited Place

  • Discharge of Duties: Certain jobs, like security or military roles, allow carrying prohibited weapons in restricted areas as part of the job. This can be a defense if the person is in uniform and visibly carrying the weapon or is authorized to carry it discreetly while in uniform.
  • Lack of Knowledge: If the person carrying the weapon can demonstrate that they genuinely didn’t know it was a prohibited area, lack of knowledge might be considered a defense.
  • Duress or Necessity: If the person can show that they had no choice but to carry the weapon due to threats, coercion, or immediate danger to their safety, a defense of duress or necessity might be considered.
  • Constitutional Challenges: In some cases, constitutional challenges to the law itself may be raised, arguing that it infringes upon individual rights.

Arrested ? Don’t Plea, Call Me!

Defending against charges for possessing prohibited weapons may include claiming the item was an antique, not designed to be harmful, or found after an unauthorized search. Consult a criminal defense lawyer promptly for guidance and potential defenses, as the consequences can be severe, leading to significant fines and imprisonment.