Texas law supports citizens’ rights to bear arms in many circumstances, but there are restrictions. Violating one of the state’s gun laws could result in fines, prison time, and limits on your rights to own or carry a weapon for years in the future.

The gun laws in the state are complex, and there is a lot at stake. If you have been charged with a crime related to firearms use or possession, contact a McKinney gun lawyer at Barbieri Law Firm, PLLC as soon as possible. A dedicated criminal defense attorney can help you resolve the charge without losing your right to bear arms.

Texas Gun Laws Explained

Laws in the state generally support the right to own and carry guns. Anyone 18 or older may purchase and possess a long gun, and anyone 21 or older may purchase and possess a handgun. There is no need to apply for a permit or register a weapon.

However, the law contains some restrictions that gun owners must be aware of. Despite the state’s relatively liberal gun laws, violators could be subject to severe penalties. A knowledgeable gun crimes lawyer in McKinney can answer questions related to the local gun laws in more detail during an initial meeting.

Gun Ownership Prohibited for Some

Texas Penal Code §46.04 prohibits certain people from legally possessing a firearm. Anyone convicted of a felony may not possess firearms for five years after their release from confinement or the end of any probation or supervision period, whichever date is later. A similar restriction applies to people convicted of any domestic violence offense, even a misdemeanor. A person who is otherwise entitled to possess a firearm may not do so when they are intoxicated.

Open Carry Laws

People legally permitted to possess a gun under Texas and federal law may carry a handgun or long gun in public without a permit. Handguns may be concealed completely or carried in a shoulder or belt holster. However, no one except a peace officer may carry a firearm in certain areas, including:

  • Schools
  • Polling places on election days
  • Courthouses
  • Sporting events
  • Amusement parks
  • Hospitals and nursing homes
  • Airports
  • Businesses that post signs stating that firearms are not permitted on the premises

Bringing a firearm onto a property where firearms are prohibited is a crime. Even if a property does not have signs prohibiting firearms on the premises, if a person in apparent authority asks an armed person to leave the property, failing to leave as requested violates the law.

Transporting a Firearm

Individuals entitled to possess firearms may transport a handgun in their vehicles if they are in a holster and in plain view. There are no limits on persons legally entitled to own firearms transporting long guns. However, if a person operates a motor vehicle or watercraft while intoxicated and a gun is present, the person could face additional charges related to illegal weapons possession.

Common Gun Violations Our Attorneys Handle

A McKinney gun defense attorney at our firm represents individuals who have been charged with crimes related to the possession, transfer, or use of firearms. Prosecutors usually charge firearms violations as high-level misdemeanors or low-level felonies. In many cases, a capable legal professional can convince a prosecutor to dismiss a charge if the violation was unintentional. In other cases, they can arrange a plea to a lower-level offense that preserves the individual’s right to carry firearms.

Knowingly selling, renting, giving, or loaning a handgun to someone legally disqualified from possessing a firearm is a crime. It is usually a Class A misdemeanor, but if the recipient is a child, prosecutors could charge a felony.

It is a third-degree felony for a convicted felon to possess a firearm. According to Texas Penal Code §22.05, it is also a third-degree felony to knowingly discharge a weapon toward a person, building, or vehicle, whether or not the building or vehicle is occupied at the time. Intentionally pointing a firearm at a person, building, or vehicle is also a third-degree felony, whether the firearm is loaded or not.

Work With a McKinney Gun Attorney to Defend Your Rights

If you have been arrested on gun charges, you need an aggressive defender who understands the state’s firearms laws. A capable legal professional at Barbieri Law Firm, PLLC can resolve a case without endangering the accused’s future right to bear arms.

Too much is at stake to contest firearms charges without the assistance of a McKinney gun lawyer. Schedule a consultation as soon as you are cited or arrested for a gun law violation.

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