Is showing someone a firearm disorderly conduct?

Gun laws can certainly get to be complex, and one reason is that the specific way in which an event takes place can determine how it is viewed by the law. For instance, you may have heard that you can get disorderly conduct charges for displaying a firearm. But what does this really mean in a practical sense?

After all, you know that it doesn’t simply mean allowing someone to see that you have a gun. You can open carry a handgun, for instance, with the right license. You do not even need a license to carry a long gun, so you can simply carry it as you see fit. People are going to notice that you have the gun, but you have not yet breached the law. 

What the Texas criminal code says is that it becomes disorderly conduct if the way that you display the gun is done “in a manner calculated to alarm” and if it happens in a public place. Essentially, this just helps to draw the line between peaceful, legal carrying for a firearm and trying to use that firearm to intimidate or influence someone. 

But that line can become blurry. What if you’re just pulling out a handgun to show someone else what type of new gun you bought? Nearby is someone else who does not have much experience with guns, though, and they get frightened by the mere sight of it. They call the police. Will you get arrested for disorderly conduct? 

If you do, it is crucial to know about all of the defense options that you have. moving forward. An experienced defense attorney can help you review the charges against you and explore those options.


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