Weapon Crimes


Criminal Defense Attorney Tristan LeGrande will defend your 2nd Amendment Rights!

Illegal Weapons Guns - Houston criminal defense attorney

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.

Since the advent of the Constitutional Carry laws in Texas, a permit is no longer required to possess a handgun in Texas, subect to certain limitations (as explained further below).

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
  • Felon in possession of a Weapon (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 police is crucial.  Houston Weapon Attorney Tristan LeGrande may be able to suppress the evidence that was seized as the result of an unlawful stop of your vehicle or search of your property or person.  Houston gun crimes attorney Tristan LeGrande has experience handling a variety of weapons charges.


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281-684-3500 

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TEXAS WEAPONS LAWS 

ATTENTION: Weapon Laws in TX changed September 1, 2021. Please read and understand weapon laws before choosing to carry a weapon. The full text of Section 46 of the Texas Penal Code can be found here.

Sec. 46.02. UNLAWFUL CARRYING WEAPONS.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person:

(1) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his person a handgun;

(2) at the time of the offense:

(A) is younger than 21 years of age; or

(B) has been convicted of an offense under Section 22.01(a)(1), 22.05, 22.07, or 42.01(a)(7) or (8) in the five-year period preceding the date the instant offense was committed; and

(3) is not:

(A) on the person’s own premises or premises under the person’s control; or

(B) 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, unless the person is 21 years of age or older or is licensed to carry a handgun under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, and the handgun is carried in a holster; 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; or

(B) prohibited by law from possessing a firearm.

(a-2) For purposes of this section, “premises” includes real property and a recreational vehicle that is being used as living quarters, regardless of whether that use is temporary or permanent. In this subsection, “recreational vehicle” means a motor vehicle primarily designed as temporary living quarters or a vehicle that contains temporary living quarters and is designed to be towed by a motor vehicle. The term includes a travel trailer, camping trailer, truck camper, motor home, and horse trailer with living quarters.

(a-3) For purposes of this section, “watercraft” means any boat, motorboat, vessel, or personal watercraft, other than a seaplane on water, used or capable of being used for transportation on water.

(a-4) A person commits an offense if the person:

(1) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a location-restricted knife;

(2) is younger than 18 years of age at the time of the offense; and

(3) is not:

(A) on the person’s own premises or premises under the person’s control;

(B) inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle or watercraft that is owned by the person or under the person’s control; or

(C) under the direct supervision of a parent or legal guardian of the person.

(a-5) A person commits an offense if the person carries a handgun and intentionally displays the handgun in plain view of another person in a public place. It is an exception to the application of this subsection that the handgun was partially or wholly visible but was carried in a holster.

(a-6) A person commits an offense if the person:

(1) carries a handgun while the person is intoxicated; and

(2) is not:

(A) on the person’s own property or property under the person’s control or on private property with the consent of the owner of the property; or

(B) inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle or watercraft:

(i) that is owned by the person or under the person’s control; or

(ii) with the consent of the owner or operator of the vehicle or watercraft.

(a-7) A person commits an offense if the person:

(1) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun;

(2) is not:

(A) on the person’s own premises or premises under the person’s control; or

(B) inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle or watercraft that is owned by the person or under the person’s control; and

(3) at the time of the offense, was prohibited from possessing a firearm under Section 46.04(a), (b), or (c).

(a-8) If conduct constituting an offense under Subsection (a-7) constitutes an offense under another provision of law, the actor may be prosecuted under Subsection (a-7) or under both provisions.

(b) Except as provided by Subsection (d) or (e), an offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

(c) Repealed by Acts 2021, 87th Leg., R.S., Ch. 809 (H.B. 1927), Sec. 26(8), eff. September 1, 2021.

(d) An offense under Subsection (a-4) is a Class C misdemeanor.

(e) An offense under Subsection (a-7) is:

(1) a felony of the second degree with a minimum term of imprisonment of five years, if the actor was prohibited from possessing a firearm under Section 46.04(a); or

(2) a felony of the third degree, if the actor was prohibited from possessing a firearm under Section 46.04(b) or (c).

* 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.

Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Felon

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.

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) any of the following items, unless the item is registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record maintained by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives or otherwise not subject to that registration requirement or unless the item is classified as a curio or relic by the United States Department of Justice:

(A) an explosive weapon;

(B) a machine gun;

(C) a short-barrel firearm;

(2) armor-piercing ammunition;

(3) a chemical dispensing device;

(4) a zip gun; or

(5) a tire deflation device.

(6) an improvised explosive 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 the Theft statute.

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 – Firearm Silencers / Suppressors

In 2021, the Texas Legislature gave gun enthusiasts a gift – they ended the State prohibition against firearm suppressors / silencers. Effectively, this LEGALIZED silencers in Texas (but they remain illegal under Federal law…more on that later). The following is the recently enacted law relating to firearm sound surpressors:

(a) A firearm suppressor that is manufactured in this state and remains in this state is not subject to federal law or federal regulation, including registration, under the authority of the United States Congress to regulate interstate commerce.
(b) A basic material from which a firearm suppressor is manufactured in this state, including unmachined steel, is not a firearm suppressor and is not subject to federal regulation under the authority of the United States Congress to regulate interstate commerce as if it actually were a firearm suppressor.
Texas Government Code Section 2.052
Please keep in mind, firearm sound suppressors (silencers) remain illegal under Federal law. This is similar to how marijuana remains Federally illegal, but many states have laws permitting the use or sale of marijuana. Texas set up laws that went into effect in 2021 that not only legalized sound suppressing devices under Texas law, but laws were enacted to prevent Federal enforcement of laws against firearm sound suppressing devices (or as the Feds call them “firearm mufflers”).

Texas Weapons Laws – License to Carry a Firearm 

Formerly known as a concealed handgun license (prior to 2015), A license to carry permit allows Texas residents over the age of 21 to carry a handgun, provided they apply for a license and meet certain requirements.

You may be disqualified from obtaining a license to carry a firearm 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 defense to prosecution under Subsection (b)(1) if not given effective notice under Section 411.204.

aaaILLEGAL-GUNS

Charged with…

Unlawful Carry of a Weapon?

Felon in Possession of a Weapon?

Possession of a Stolen Firearm?

Experienced Houston Criminal Defense Attorney For Weapon Crimes

Facing an approaching court appearance with the possibility of jail time and fines, on your own, isn’t a good predicament to be in.

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.

Call Houston criminal defense attorney Tristan LeGrande to schedule a consultation at 281-684-3500, or click here to get in touch.

Weapons Charges | Houston Criminal Defense Attorney

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