Texas Gun Laws: An Analysis From a Fort Worth Criminal Defense Perspective
Texas law allows the open or concealed carrying of firearms in many public places, but a conviction for a violent or nonviolent felony causes you to lose the right to possess firearms.
The media stereotype about Texas is that, in the old days, gunfights outside saloons were a regular occurrence and that Texans today are still as enthusiastic about guns as they were in the Wild West. Texas has one of the highest rates of firearm ownership in the country, and compared to many other states, it imposes few restrictions on the carrying of firearms in public places. In Texas, as in other states, it is against the law to point a gun at someone or to shoot someone unless you are acting in self-defense. You can get criminal charges just for threatening someone with a gun, even if no one gets hurt. There are some instances in Texas where merely having a firearm in your possession under certain circumstances is a crime. If you are facing criminal charges for gun crimes even though you did not shoot anyone, contact a Fort Worth violent crimes defense attorney.
Where is it Illegal to Carry a Gun in Texas?
Texas law makes it easy for anyone aged 18 or older to buy a handgun or a long gun, and it does not impose any restrictions on National Firearms Act (NFA weapons), such as assault weapons and grenades, beyond the restrictions imposed by federal law. It also has fewer “gun-free zones” than many other states do; state law does not allow local governments in Texas to place additional restrictions on the carrying of firearms.
It is against the law to bring a gun to the following places in Texas:
- Federal buildings
- Public sporting events
- Amusement parks
- Businesses that get at least 51 percent of their revenue from the sale of alcohol, such as bars and nightclubs
- Jails and prisons
- Court buildings
- Election polling places
Furthermore, it is against the law to carry a firearm if you are under the influence of alcohol.
Loss of Firearm Rights After a Felony Conviction
Texas, like other states, takes away your right to carry a gun if you get a felony conviction, regardless of whether the conviction was for a violent crime or a nonviolent one. It is easier to restore your gun rights to a limited degree in Texas, though. Specifically, if five years have passed since you completed your sentence, you may possess a gun in your house for purposes of self-defense. You may not carry the gun anywhere outside your house, though.
Why You Should Hire a Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer
It is easy to get guns in Texas and also easy to lose the right to possess them. A criminal defense attorney can help you avoid losing the right to possess a firearm if you are facing criminal charges for a nonviolent felony offense. Contact the Law Office of Kyle Whitaker in Fort Worth, Texas, to discuss your case.