The Texas weapons law is very straightforward. However, the interplay of the federal law and the laws of other jurisdictions can get confusing. Because we are a mobile society, one must contemplate several issues in weapons cases including, but not limited to, the effects of crossing state borders, and the possession of weapons in federal buildings, such as post offices and other institutions.
Sifting through all the permentations of a weapons charge is very confusing. The more recent laws concerning concealed handgun permits, and the myriad of places and things you can and cannot do with a weapon on your person, cause even more confusion.
Because weapons regulations are so extensive, we are not able to list all of the statues here. However, please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about weapons law or if you need a weapons possession lawyer.
The most common weapons charge is the unlawful carrying of a weapon. Often, this charge is levied because the accused carries, on their person, a handgun, illegal knife, or a club. Those convicted of gun or weapon crimes face possible jail time, fines or other harsh penalties.
Certain weapons are permissible to be carried without a permit, and others may be carried if you obtain the proper permits. In September 2007, the weapons law changed a bit, allowing a person to carry a weapon at their place of work if it is under their control (not any employee can do this), to and from their vehicle, and inside the vehicle out of plain view. However, the law is very specific about what is a premises and a vehicle, as well as, what is to and from. The law seems simple but is, in fact, very complex.
There is also a long list of places where weapons are prohibited. If you take a gun into certain prohibited places, even if the weapon does not require a permit to be carried, you may get arrested.
The State of Texas provides citizens with the ability to acquire a Concealed Handgun Carry Permit. This piece of law is extensive. However, the gist is that if you have a pistol, take a class on how to use it properly, and get licensed by the State of Texas, then you are allowed to carry a concealed handgun.
If you have specific questions related to Concealed Handgun Carry Permits, please call us. We recommend that you sit down with a criminal attorney to discuss the laws related to carrying handguns, so you clearly understand what you can and cannot do before you carry one. Unlawful possession of a firearm carries stiff penalties if you are convicted.
Here is a list of places you cannot take your concealed handgun, even with a permit.
Weapons law deals with all types of weapons, not just firearms. Below is a list of certain commonplace weapons and how they are defined:
- Firearm: any device designed, made, or adapted to expel a projectile through a barrel by using the energy generated by an explosion or burning substance or any device readily convertible to that use.
- Handgun: any firearm that is designed, made, or adapted to be fired with one hand.
- Short Barrel Firearm: a rifle with a barrel length of less than 16 inches or a shotgun with a barrel length of less than 18 inches, or any weapon made from a shotgun or rifle if, as altered, it has an overall length of less than 26 inches.
- Knife: any bladed hand instrument that is capable of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by cutting or stabbing a person with the instrument.
- Illegal Knife: a knife with a blade over five and one half (5-1/2″) inches; hand instrument designed to cut or stab another by being thrown; dagger, including, but not limited to, a dirk, stiletto, and poniard; bowie knife; sword; or spear.
- Switchblade Knife: any knife that has a blade that folds, closes, or retracts into the handle or sheath, and that (1) opens automatically by pressure applied to a button or other device located on the handle; or (2) opens or releases a blade from the handle or sheath by the force of gravity or by the application of centrifugal force.
- Knuckles: any instrument that consists of finger rings or guards made of a hard substance, and that is designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by striking a person with a fist enclosed in the knuckles.