Texas is one of the most pro-gun states in the U.S. However, this does not mean that every Texan can be in possession of a firearm. The state’s Penal Code imposes certain restrictions when it comes to weapon ownership and possession, especially in public places.
Penalty for unlawful firearm possession in Texas
According to Texas Penal Code, unlawful possession of a firearm is generally considered a Class A misdemeanor. The penalty for this can be up to 12 months in jail and a fine of $4,000. That said, unlawful possession of a firearm can also be considered as a third-degree felony under certain circumstances. For this, the punishment can be up to 10 years behind bars and a fine of up to $10,000.
So when can you be charged with unlawful possession of a firearm in Texas?
- When you are a convicted felon
According to the state’s Penal Code, a convicted felon may not be in possession of a gun for at least 5 years after their conviction. Upon elapse of the 5-year period, the felon may possess a gun as long as they are within the confines of their property.
- When you have been convicted of domestic violence
Individuals are prohibited from owning firearms within five years of release from confinement or community supervision following a conviction with a Class A domestic violence offense.
- When there is a protective or restraining order against you
Any Texan who is presently under a restrictive order, either due to ongoing criminal or family law proceedings, is prohibited from possessing a firearm for the entire duration of the order.
Facing an unlawful possession of a firearm in Texas can have serious consequences. Besides a potential prison term and a fine, you also risk losing your right to own a firearm in the future if you are successfully convicted. Talking to an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney who understands guns and weapons charges can increase your chances of getting a favorable outcome if you are facing firearm charges.