Charged with a weapons crime? Unlawful Carry of a Weapon?
Charged with Felon in Possession of a Weapon? Possession of a Stolen Firearm?
Hire a Houston Criminal Defense Attorney to Defend Your 2nd Amendment Rights!
Houston Criminal Defense Attorney
For Weapon & Firearm Cases
In Texas anyone over the age of 18 may possess a firearm if they have no felony convictions.
A rifle, shotgun, or other long-barreled firearm may be carried openly, however a concealed carry permit is required for handguns (issued only to those 21 and older), and they must be concealed.
Our Criminal Defense Law Firm handles many weapons offenses, including:
- Possession of an illegal firearm (automatic weapon, sawed off shotgun, etc.)
- Possession of a Prohibited Weapon
- Unlawfully carrying a weapon
- Possession of stolen or unregistered weapons
- Convicted felon in possession of a firearm
- Conceal and carry license violations (Unlawful Carry of Weapon by License Holder)
- Brandishing discharging a weapon (Deadly Conduct, Disorderly Conduct with a Firearm)
How weapons were discovered by law enforcement is always crucial. Attorney Tristan LeGrande may be able to suppress the evidence (the firearms you are charged of being in unlawful possession of) with the help of a tough and experienced criminal defense attorney. Houston gun crimes attorney Tristan LeGrande has experience handling a variety of weapons charges. The potential punishments for weapons charges are serious – call LeGrande Law today for a free consultation.
Weapons Laws In Texas
Chapter 46 of the Texas Penal Code governs weapons laws violations. Below are the most common weapons violations under the Penal Code.
Sec. 46.02. UNLAWFUL CARRYING WEAPONS.
(a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his person a handgun, illegal knife, or club if the person is not:
(1) on the person’s own premises or premises under the person’s control; or
(2) inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle or watercraft that is owned by the person or under the person’s control.
(a-1) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun in a motor vehicle or watercraft that is owned by the person or under the person’s control at any time in which:
(1) the handgun is in plain view; or
(2) the person is:
(A) engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic or boating;
(B) prohibited by law from possessing a firearm; or
(C) a member of a criminal street gang, as defined by Section 71.01 of the Texas Penal Code.
* Note: You can be charged with unlawful carry of a weapon, even if you have a concealed carry weapons permit, if you are also charged with any crime a Class B Misdemeanor or higher.
*Note: If the weapon is not in “Plain view,” you can legally possess a loaded handgun in your vehicle in the state of Texas.
Unlawful Possession of a Firearm: Possession of a Firearm by a Felon
There are also weapons laws that prohibit certain persons from owning firearms or body armor.
Sec. 46.04. UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF FIREARM.
(a) A person who has been convicted of a felony commits an offense if he possesses a firearm:
(1) after conviction and before the fifth anniversary of the person’s release from confinement following conviction of the felony or the person’s release from supervision under community supervision, parole, or mandatory supervision, whichever date is later; or
(2) after the period described by Subdivision (1), at any location other than the premises at which the person lives.
(b) A person who has been convicted of an offense under Section 22.01, punishable as a Class A misdemeanor and involving a member of the person’s family or household, commits an offense if the person possesses a firearm before the fifth anniversary of the later of:
(1) the date of the person’s release from confinement following conviction of the misdemeanor; or
(2) the date of the person’s release from community supervision following conviction of the misdemeanor.
(c) A person, other than a peace officer, as defined by Section 1.07, actively engaged in employment as a sworn, full-time paid employee of a state agency or political subdivision, who is subject to an order issued under Section 6.504 or Chapter 85, Family Code, under Article 17.292 or Chapter 7A, Code of Criminal Procedure, or by another jurisdiction as provided by Chapter 88, Family Code, commits an offense if the person possesses a firearm after receiving notice of the order and before expiration of the order.
(d) In this section, “family,” “household,” and “member of a household” have the meanings assigned by Chapter 71, Family Code.
(e) An offense under Subsection (a) is a felony of the third degree. An offense under Subsection (b) or (c) is a Class A misdemeanor.
(f) For the purposes of this section, an offense under the laws of this state, another state, or the United States is, except as provided by Subsection (g), a felony if, at the time it is committed, the offense:
(1) is designated by a law of this state as a felony;
(2) contains all the elements of an offense designated by a law of this state as a felony; or
(3) is punishable by confinement for one year or more in a penitentiary.
(g) An offense is not considered a felony for purposes of Subsection (f) if, at the time the person possesses a firearm, the offense:
(1) is not designated by a law of this state as a felony; and
(2) does not contain all the elements of any offense designated by a law of this state as a felony.
Sec. 46.041. UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF METAL OR BODY ARMOR BY FELON.
(a) In this section, “metal or body armor” means any body covering manifestly designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of protecting a person against gunfire.
(b) A person who has been convicted of a felony commits an offense if after the conviction the person possesses metal or body armor.
(c) An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree.
Possession of a Prohibited Weapon
Sec. 46.05. PROHIBITED WEAPONS.
(a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly possesses, manufactures, transports, repairs, or sells:
(1) an explosive weapon;
(2) a machine gun;
(3) a short-barrel firearm;
(4) a firearm silencer;
(6) armor-piercing ammunition;
(7) a chemical dispensing device;
(8) a zip gun; or
(9) a tire deflation device.
Theft of a Firearm & Possession of a Stolen Firearm
Under Texas Penal Code 31.03(e)(4), theft of a firearm or possession of a stolen firearm is punishable as a State Jail Felony; the relevant Texas Penal code provision is
Sec. 31.03. THEFT.
(a) A person commits an offense if he unlawfully appropriates property with intent to deprive the owner of property.
… … …
(e)(4)(C) An offense under this section is a state jail felony if the property stolen is a firearm,
Texas Weapons Laws and Concealed Carry Permits
A Concealed carry permit allows Texas residents over the age of 21 to carry a concealed handgun, provided they apply for a license and meet certain requirements.
You may be disqualified from obtaining a concealed handgun permit if you have been convicted of a felony or some misdemeanors, including charges that resulted in probation or deferred adjudication, pending criminal charges, chemical or alcohol dependency, certain types of psychological diagnoses, protective or restraining orders, or defaults on taxes, governmental fees, student loans or child support.
Even if you are a license holder, there are situations where you can be charged with unlawfully carrying a firearm.
Sec. 46.035. UNLAWFUL CARRYING OF HANDGUN BY LICENSE HOLDER.
(a) A license holder commits an offense if the license holder carries a handgun on or about the license holder’s person under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, and intentionally displays the handgun in plain view of another person in a public place.
(b) A license holder commits an offense if the license holder intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed, on or about the license holder’s person:
(1) on the premises of a business that has a permit or license issued under Chapter 25, 28, 32, 69, or 74, Alcoholic Beverage Code, if the business derives 51 percent or more of its income from the sale or service of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption, as determined by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission under Section 104.06, Alcoholic Beverage Code;
(2) on the premises where a high school, collegiate, or professional sporting event or interscholastic event is taking place, unless the license holder is a participant in the event and a handgun is used in the event;
(3) on the premises of a correctional facility;
(4) on the premises of a hospital licensed under Chapter 241, Health and Safety Code, or on the premises of a nursing home licensed under Chapter 242, Health and Safety Code, unless the license holder has written authorization of the hospital or nursing home administration, as appropriate;
(5) in an amusement park; or
(6) on the premises of a church, synagogue, or other established place of religious worship.
(c) A license holder commits an offense if the license holder intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed, at any meeting of a governmental entity.
(d) A license holder commits an offense if, while intoxicated, the license holder carries a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed.
(e) A license holder who is licensed as a security officer under Chapter 1702, Occupations Code, and employed as a security officer commits an offense if, while in the course and scope of the security officer’s employment, the security officer violates a provision of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code.
(f) In this section:
(1) “Amusement park” means a permanent indoor or outdoor facility or park where amusement rides are available for use by the public that is located in a county with a population of more than one million, encompasses at least 75 acres in surface area, is enclosed with access only through controlled entries, is open for operation more than 120 days in each calendar year, and has security guards on the premises at all times. The term does not include any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area.
(2) “License holder” means a person licensed to carry a handgun under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code.
(3) “Premises” means a building or a portion of a building. The term does not include any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area.
(g) An offense under Subsection (a), (b), (c), (d), or (e) is a Class A misdemeanor, unless the offense is committed under Subsection (b)(1) or (b)(3), in which event the offense is a felony of the third degree.
(h) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a) that the actor, at the time of the commission of the offense, displayed the handgun under circumstances in which the actor would have been justified in the use of force or deadly force under Chapter 9.
(h-1) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsections (b)(1), (2), and (4)-(6), and (c) that at the time of the commission of the offense, the actor was:
(1) a judge or justice of a federal court;
(2) an active judicial officer, as defined by Section 411.201, Government Code; or
(3) a district attorney, assistant district attorney, criminal district attorney, assistant criminal district attorney, county attorney, or assistant county attorney.
(i) Subsections (b)(4), (b)(5), (b)(6), and (c) do not apply if the actor was not given effective notice under Section 30.06.
(j) Subsections (a) and (b)(1) do not apply to a historical reenactment performed in compliance with the rules of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
(k) A efense to prosecution under Subsection (b)(1) if not given effective notice under Section 411.204.
Tristan LeGrande: An Experienced Houston Criminal Defense Attorney For Weapon Crimes
The Constitution protects people from unreasonable search and seizure. The “Exclusionary Rule” states that any evidence, including weapons, found by an illegal search or seizure may not be used at trial.
Facing an approaching court appearance with the possibility of jail time and fines, on your own, isn’t a good predicament to settle into. If you are looking at a criminal case involving firearms charges then you are up against the judge, the police, public opinion, and the jury.
Having an aggressive, smart lawyer on your side, who is ready to go to trial on your behalf, if need be, can make all the difference necessary to have you leaving the Harris County courthouse with a smile on your face, instead of handcuffs on your wrists.
Weapons Charges | Houston Criminal Defense Attorney
A Houston Criminal Defense Attorney For Firearm & Weapon Offenses