Gun restrictions in Texas are less stringent than in other parts of the U.S., but the Lone Star State does follow federal law, so it’s not exactly the Wild West.
While gun owners can breathe a sigh of relief when living or traveling through our region, they do have to be mindful of the limitations.
In the following article, we’ll be talking about some of the biggies as well as some of the restrictions you might not be aware of. Let’s begin!
The Biggest Gun Restrictions
You must have a license to carry a handgun, and certain individuals are not capable of meeting the requirement. For example, if you are under the age of 21, you can receive a gun; you can own it; but you cannot carry it with you anywhere because “shall-issue” license eligibility does not start until you’ve reached that milestone.
On the flip side, felons cannot own or carry a gun. Fugitives from the law may not carry one either. The difference, of course, is that a fugitive could be proven innocent in which case they will retain all of their rights, but only after they’ve been cleared.
Additionally, individuals who are “chemically dependent,” as per Texas Government Code – Section 411.172, or are “incapable of exercising sound judgment” may not. The “sound judgment” stipulation applies to both the use and storage of the weapon. Someone who lacks sound judgment may include:
- Schizophrenia or delusional disorder;
- Bipolar disorder;
- Chronic dementia, whether caused by illness, brain defect, or brain injury;
- Dissociative identity disorder;
- Intermittent explosive disorder; or
- Antisocial personality disorder
Licensure is not available to those owing delinquent taxes or child support as well. You also may not be able to openly carry a weapon if it can be determined your intent is to “cause alarm,” and while school restrictions are subject to legislative review, they do have some ability to set up gun-free zones.
What Happens with a Violation?
Violation of gun restrictions can result in fines or imprisonment of varying degrees. The more severe sentences are reserved for felons, and a gun violation may be used for enhanced sentencing purposes.
If you have been arrested and charged for breaking one of the gun restrictions mentioned above, then your first move should be to find experienced representation. Dallas-based criminal defense attorney John Teakell has defended many clients over the years on firearms-related charges.
He has knowledge of how prosecutors and federal law works as well — especially relevant with gun-related charges. Reach out for a free consultation today.