Under Texas Penal Code Section 46.06: Unlawful Transfer Of Certain Weapons, it is a criminal offense for a person to engage in particular types of weapons transfers. The law specifies seven different scenarios, ranging from selling a handgun to someone with unlawful intentions to selling, renting, or even giving a firearm to a minor under 18 years of age.

Attorney for Unlawful Transfer or Firearm Smuggling in Wilco

Being charged with a criminal offense, especially concerning weapons, can be stressful and potentially life-altering. In Texas, there are specific statutes that focus on the unlawful transfer of weapons and firearm smuggling. The sooner a person secures legal representation from an experienced weapon crimes attorney, the better their chances of a favorable outcome are dependent upon the unique circumstances of the case. The criminal defense attorneys at Price & Twine, PLLC are experienced in defending those charged with unlawful transfer or smuggling of a firearm or certain weapons. law and can start building your case immediately. Our firm provides representation for those charged in Williamson or Bell Counties, including the communities of Georgetown, Leander, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Killeen, Temple, and surrounding areas of the Texas Hill Country. Timing can be critical, so if you or a loved one is facing a criminal accusation, give us a call immediately at (512) 354-1880 to set up a free consultation to discuss your case.

Information Center: Unlawful Transfer Of Certain Weapons

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Penalties And Exceptions

Violating this section usually results in a Class A misdemeanor, but it can escalate to a state jail felony in certain situations. For instance, transferring a handgun to a minor under 18 is considered a state jail felony. The law also provides affirmative defenses, especially if the minor involved had written permission from a parent or guardian.

Active Protective Orders And Intoxication

Two notable points in the law are the clauses concerning active protective orders and intoxication. Selling or giving a handgun to a person with an active protective order against them is a criminal offense. Likewise, transferring a firearm to an intoxicated person is illegal.

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Texas Penal Code Section 46.14: Firearm Smuggling

According to Texas Penal Code Section 46.14, anyone who knowingly engages in the business of transporting or transferring firearms that were acquired illegally is committing a crime. The law specifies that this applies if the person engages in such conduct more than once or for profit.

Violating this section is generally considered a felony of the third degree. However, if the crime involves three or more firearms in a single criminal episode, it becomes a felony of the second degree. Additionally, if the conduct qualifies as an offense under another law, such as Unlawfully Possessing a Weapon, the actor could be prosecuted under both laws.

While both sections, 46.06 and 46.14, of the Texas Penal Code focus on weapon transfer and smuggling, they target different behaviors. Section 46.06 is more concerned with the immediate transfer to specific individuals who should not possess weapons. On the other hand, Section 46.14 emphasizes the illegal business of firearm smuggling, particularly focusing on organized operations, multiple occurrences for-profit.

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Specific Defenses In Texas Unlawful Transfer And Firearm Smuggling Laws

Affirmative Defense For Transfers To Minors

One of the key defenses specified within Section 46.06 is the affirmative defense relating to transfers to minors under 18 years of age. According to Texas law, it is an affirmative defense if the minor’s parent or the person having legal custody provided written permission for the sale or effective consent if the transfer was other than a sale. This means that even if an individual did transfer a weapon to a minor, they could avoid criminal liability if they had written permission or effective consent from the minor’s parent or guardian.

Lack Of Knowledge

Another possible defense, though not explicitly stated, would be proving a lack of knowledge about the recipient’s intent to use the weapon unlawfully. For instance, a person commits an offense if they transfer a handgun to another person “knowing” that the recipient intends to use it unlawfully. This implies that proving a lack of such knowledge could serve as a defense.

Section 46.14 does emphasize the element of “knowingly” engaging in the business of transporting or transferring illegal firearms. Therefore, a possible defense could involve challenging the element of knowledge—arguing, for example, that the accused was unaware that they were transporting firearms acquired in violation of any laws.

Exceptions For Peace Officers

It’s important to note that under Section 46.14, peace officers who are engaged in the actual discharge of an official duty are exempt from being prosecuted under this law. This is a specific carve-out that can act as a defense for law enforcement officers in the line of duty.

The Importance Of Knowing The Law

Understanding the unlawful transfer of weapons and firearm smuggling laws in Texas is essential for anyone who deals with firearms. Texas takes weapon offenses seriously, and violating these laws can lead to severe consequences. Familiarizing oneself with these laws not only helps in compliance but also aids in making informed decisions when it comes to firearms. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse, so being aware of these Texas laws is crucial for avoiding legal pitfalls.

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Additional Resources

Identifying Prohibited Persons – Visit the ATF website to learn about federal law involving certain categories of persons prohibited from transferring or receiving firearms. The Federal Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives outlines guidelines under federal law involving firearm smuggling laws and penalties.

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Finding an Experienced Gun Charge Defense Attorney in Wilco | Price & Twine, PLLC

Your future is too important to leave to chance. Price & Twine, PLLC’s criminal defense lawyers are skilled, seasoned, and ready to fight for your rights. We understand the legal intricacies involved and can help you through each phase of the process. Our firm serves the communities of Georgetown, Round Rock, Killeen, and surrounding areas of Williamson and Bell Counties. If you or a loved one has been arrested, charged, or is under investigation for a crime, call us at (512) 354-1880 to set up a free and confidential consultation to discuss the facts of your case.

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