Making a Firearm Accessible to a Child

Texas has a strong gun culture, but safety is a big deal, especially when it comes to kids. You can own a gun in Texas, but the law is strict about making a firearm accessible to a child. This is a serious offense that could result in imprisonment and a hefty fine.

In this blog post, we’ll explore what happens if a child possesses a firearm in Texas. We’ll dissect the gun regulations of the state and the potential consequences of not keeping firearms out of children’s reach.

Texas Law about Making a Firearm Accessible to a Child

As per Texas Penal Code 46.13, a person may face charges for making a firearm accessible to a child when that firearm can be easily fired and the individual is found to be criminally negligent.

  • Failed to secure the firearm; or
  • Left the firearm or the child who would gain access to a firearm

Understanding its Basic Elements

  • The term “child” denotes a person younger than 17 years old.
  • A “prepared firearm” refers to a gun that is loaded, regardless of whether it contains a bullet or not.
  • “Secure” means taking measures that a reasonable person would take to prevent a child from accessing a readily dischargeable firearm. This can include actions such as locking a firearm in a secure container or temporarily making the firearm inoperable using a trigger lock or similar methods.

Penalties for Making a Firearm Accessible to a Child

In Texas, the law about making firearms accessible to a child means the police can arrest you if they think you didn’t keep your gun safe or left it where a child could easily get it, and the child actually got to it and it was ready to fire.

If you’re found guilty of letting a child get to a gun, the punishment can vary:

By default, it’s a Class C misdemeanor, and you can be fined up to $500. However, if a child manages to access a firearm and causes death or serious bodily injury, it becomes a much more serious issue. You could face a Class A misdemeanor with a significant fine of up to $4,000 and possibly a year of jail time.

However, an individual will not face legal consequences under this statute if:

  • The child’s access to the firearm was supervised by an adult aged 18 or older and was for lawful purposes such as hunting, sports, or other legitimate activities.
  • The child used the firearm for the lawful defense of people or property.
  • The incident happened during agricultural work.

Proper storage of a firearm

In Texas, there are no specific laws regarding how to store unattended firearms and no requirements for gun dealers to provide locking devices with sales. The state mandates that firearm dealers display a sign with a clear warning about unsecured firearms where children may access them.

To enhance safety, limiting access to firearms can reduce violence, self-harm, and accidental injuries. Proper gun storage is vital in this regard.

Arrested? Don’t plead; call me!

Weapons and firearm offenses in Texas encompass any breaches of state weapon law and even federal law. If you’re facing allegations related to a firearm or weapon, it’s crucial to promptly secure the services of an experienced weapons crimes attorney.

The laws governing firearms in Texas are frequently evolving. It’s essential to have a criminal defense lawyer well-versed in the most recent legal interpretations and effective defense approaches. Not seeking legal help can have serious consequences. It may lead to a criminal record, imprisonment, loss of gun ownership rights, and substantial fines.