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Unlawful Possession of a Firearm

Texas citizens, like every American-born person, has the right to keep and bear arms bestowed by both the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution and Section 23 of Article 1 of the Texas Constitution. However, the Texas Constitution states that the Legislature also has the power by law to regulate firearms in the State in an effort to prevent crime as the “right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.”

With that fact in mind, it’s important you understand the rules and regulations behind possessing a firearm. According to Texas laws, certain people are prohibited from possessing any weapons including any firearm in the State. In addition, possession of a firearm or other deadly weapon in specified locations could also constitute as a violation of Texas gun laws.

Texas gun laws are complicated, and with the passing of the new Open Carry policy—many are now confused on what’s considered lawful and unlawful possession. Especially now hundreds of people are able to expunge their unlawful carry convictions without hassle. To learn more about unlawful possession of a firearm in the State of Texas, contact Horak Law to speak to a qualified Houston firearm defense lawyer.

Unlawful Possession of a Firearm Attorney, Houston TX

If you have been arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm in the State of Texas, contact Horak Law. Matthew Horak and his team have spent the last 17 years garnering a reputation in Texas court rooms as an aggressive powerhouse attorney. He has spent countless hours at trial gaining valuable knowledge, experience, and has crafted a well-respected reputation among his colleagues and judges. With Attorney Horak on your side, you can rest assured no stone is uncovered with your defense and you’re receiving the best legal representation possible.

Call Horak Law today at (713) 225-8000 to set up your first consultation free of charge. Horak Law is located in The Woodlands and Houston but accepts clients throughout the State of Texas including Harris County, Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, Galveston County, Waller County, and Liberty County, Texas.

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What is Considered Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in Texas?

While the State of Texas does permit citizens the right to carry, they must abide by certain laws to do so. According to the Texas Penal Code Section 46.04, any of the following people are banned from owning a firearm or deadly weapon in any capacity. Violation of this section will result in criminal penalties including incarceration.

  • A person who has been convicted of a felony offense and possesses a firearm:
    • After conviction and before the fifth anniversary of the defendant’s release from supervision from community supervision, mandatory supervision, parole, or whichever date is later

After the period described above at any location other than the premises the defendant lives

  • A person who is a member of a criminal street gang if they knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally carry on or about their person a handgun in a motor vehicle or watercraft
  • A person who has been convicted of an offense under Section 22.01 of the Texas Penal Code (assault) punishable as a class A misdemeanor that involves a member of the defendant’s family or household. The person commits an offense if they possess a firearm before the fifth anniversary of the later of:
    • The date of their release from jail/prison following conviction of the offense
    • The date of the defendant’s release from community supervision following conviction of the misdemeanor
  • A person subject to a protective order under Section 6.504 or Chapter 85, Family Code, under Article 17.292 or Subchapter A, Chapter 7B, Code of Criminal Procedure, or by another jurisdiction provided by Chapter 88 of the Family Code. The person commits an offense if they possess a firearm after receiving a notice fo the order and before the order expires.

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What is the Penalty for Illegal Gun Possession in Texas?

Certain persons are unable to possess or use a firearm under Texas law. Violations of these laws will result in a criminal penalty according to Section 46.04. If convicted of unlawful possession, the defendant will face a class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • A fine of up to $4,000

However, if the defendant was a convicted felon who possessed a firearm before the fifth anniversary of their release, then the State will charge them with a third-degree felony. The maximum sentence a person can face for a third-degree felony includes:

  • Up to 10 years in prison
  • A fine of up to $10,000

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What Locations Are Individuals Prohibited from Carrying a Firearm?

Although HB 1927’s passage legalized Open Carry in the State of Texas, there are certain areas where citizens cannot possess a firearm. Individuals who enter these premises with a handgun or any firearm will face criminal penalties according to Section 46.035 of the Texas Penal Code.

Under Texas law, a person is guilty of the crime if they carry a firearm, either partially or wholly visible, and intentionally display the handgun in plain view at one of the following locations:

  • Premises of a higher education institution, private or independent institution of higher education
  • On a public or private driveway, sidewalk, street, walkway, parking garage, parking lot, or any other parking area of a higher education institution
  • On the premises of a business with a liquor permit or license under the Alcoholic Beverage Code if the business derives 51 percent of profits from the sale of alcoholic beverages
  • At a high school collegiate or professional sporting event or interscholastic event
  • On the premise of a correctional facility
  • On the premise of a hospital or nursing facility
  • At an amusement park
  • At a civil commitment facility
  • In a room where a meeting of a governmental entity is held and if the meeting is an open meeting subject to Chapter 551 of the Government Code
  • Carries a handgun while intoxicated

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Additional Resources

Texas Gun Rights | TXGR – Visit the official website for Texas Gun Rights which is the largest “No Compromise” gun rights group in the State of Texas. The group advocates for the full right to keep and bear arms and its mission is to empower citizens to hold their elected officials accountable when it comes to preserving their Second Amendment Rights. Access the site to look into our various resources, latest news updates, and how to take action.

Unlawful Possession Laws | Texas Statutes – Visit the official website for the Texas Penal Code to learn more about the laws and regulations behind owning and carrying a firearm. Access the site to learn more about firearm possession, admissible defenses, and who isn’t allowed to own a firearm legally under State law.

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Texas Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Felon Attorney | Houston & Harris County

Have you been arrested for allegedly possessing a firearm illegally? Seek legal counsel as soon as possible with Horak Law. Attorney Matthew Horak has over ten years of experience he can apply to your case. With his resources, skills, knowledge, and advanced team backing him—he can craft a formidable defense in order to preserve your rights and freedom.

Call Horak Law today to set up your first consultation with Horak Law in The Woodlands or Houston, TX.

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  • Texas Board of Legal Specialization | Criminal Law
  • National College for DUI Defense
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Laywers
  • Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association
  • Matt Horak has earned recognition for community leadership by Lawyer Legion