What are ghost guns, and are they legal in Texas?

In general, the United States has always been “pro-firearms,” starting back to its foundation when citizens were formally granted the right to keep and bear arms 

However, “ghost guns” have emerged as a significant concern for both law enforcement and the public at large. Understanding more about this issue can help you avoid making a serious mistake that could lead to criminal charges.

Ghost guns have undergone some complex status changes

Ghost guns are firearms that are purchased in kits or pieces  – and because they are created as unfinished receivers or frames, they aren’t classified as firearms until they’re actually assembled and complete. 

This allows them to be sold without a serial number, making them largely untraceable by law enforcement. They can also be purchased and created without a background check, which bypasses a lot of firearm regulations. 

In 2022, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, FIrearms and Explosives implemented new rules that required serialization of ghost gun parts and background checks for weapons kits to try to reassert control – and Texas promptly stepped into the fray. After a challenge by a couple of Texas-based ghost gun manufacturers, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in Texas declared that regulation invalid, and overturned it.

Naturally, that’s not the end of the story. The U.S. Supreme Court has put an injunction, or hold, on the ruling until more lawsuits over the issue play out. Recently, it was announced that the issue of whether ghost guns must be regulated like any other firearm will be addressed by the Supreme Court during its next term in 2024.

What does this all mean for you if you have or want a ghost gun in Texas? You need to be cautious. Law enforcement officers don’t like these firearms, and that could ultimately lead to some form of weapons charges if there are any mistakes on your part or “gray areas” that the authorities think they can charge you under. If you do end up facing charges over a ghost gun, the wisest move you can make is to seek experienced legal guidance.


RSS Feed

FindLaw Network