Legal Defense for Gun and Weapons Charges in San Antonio
The state of Texas keeps a close eye on gun owners and imposes serious penalties on those who violate the law. Gun and weapons charges can also be part of a larger crime or felony such as assault or armed robbery.
To prevent misunderstanding in the eyes of the law, gun owners should know Texas gun laws well and adhere to them at all times. Weapons are designed for protection, and Texas weapons laws are put in place to ensure that their use is limited to self-defense and sport.
Texas Gun Laws
In Texas, state gun laws differentiate between handguns and small arms such as shotguns and rifles. Carry laws also differ depending on what type of weapon is being carried.
Handguns can be carried freely in the following places:
A person’s place of residence or other property owned by the weapon carrier
Inside a private automobile or watercraft (with a clean criminal record)
On fishing or hunting grounds (with proper licensing and appropriate handgun)
The handgun must be kept in an area inaccessible to persons under the age of 17.
Concealed Handgun Laws
A concealed handgun can be carried legally as long as the bearer also has a state-issued Concealed Handgun License (CHL).
Owners of private property can prohibit CHL carriers from carrying a concealed weapon on their property with a legal notice of trespassing in compliance with the Texas Penal Code.
Concealed handgun carry is restricted in civic structures and public areas in which proper warning is given.
Shotguns and rifles can be carried in a manner that is either open or concealed as long as the bearer carries them nonthreateningly.
Use of Force
Texas gun law protects the use of force or deadly force in certain situations. If the carrier of a gun finds it reasonable to use force to defend him or herself or others, then force may be authorized.
General situations in which force or deadly force is allowed are:
Forcible entry (into a home, business or vehicle)
Force is only usable in situations that call for self-defense.
Illegal Weapons Charges
Possession of any of the following is illegal without National Firearms Act, or NFA registration:
Carrying any of these weapons without registration can incur penalties that range from fines to prison.
Felon in Possession of a Firearm
Convicted felons are not allowed by law to be in possession of a firearm.
There are only two ways for a convicted felon to regain the right to carry a weapon:
1. Maintain a clean record in residence for five years
Texas state law allows felons who have stayed out of trouble for five years to hold a firearm within their place of residence for self-defense. Federal law does not allow this, but defers to state law in nearly all cases.
2. Be pardoned by the president of the United States
A pardon from the president is extremely rare and expensive. It is the only means by which a felon can regain the right to his or her firearm.
Knowing Texas gun law is only part of presenting a gun and weapons charges case. You’ll need a legal professional by your side to defend your right to bear arms. Call LaHood & Calfas to find out how we can build your gun or weapons legal case today.