Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon
In 2016, a bill allowing licensed concealed handgun permit holders in Texas to openly carry handguns that was passed in 2015 took effect. Despite these newfound freedoms to carry firearms, it is important to understand that state law in Texas still prohibits carrying certain weapons in certain locations.
Being legally licensed to carry a handgun is not always a protection against criminal charges, as even licensed individuals can face criminal charges for carrying firearms in certain locations or under certain conditions. Depending on the specific nature of the alleged offense, these crimes may be classified as misdemeanors or felonies, either of which can carry serious consequences.
Lawyer for Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon Arrests in Georgetown, TX
Have you been charged with unlawfully carrying any kind of weapon in Central Texas? Do not say anything to authorities until you have contacted Law Office of Michael J. Price.
Michael J. Price is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Georgetown who represents clients facing various kinds of weapons charges in Taylor, Temple, Killeen, Leander, Round Rock, and many surrounding areas of Williamson County and Bell County. Call (512) 354-1880 today to have our lawyer review your case and help you understand all of your legal options during a free, confidential consultation.
Texas Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon Information Center
- How might a person unlawfully carry a weapon?
- When can a legally licensed individual face criminal charges for carrying a handgun?
- Where can I learn more about unlawfully carrying a weapon in Georgetown?
Texas Penal Code § 46.02 makes it a crime for a person to intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carry on or about his or her person a handgun, illegal knife, or club if the person is not on the person’s own premises or premises under the person’s control or inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle or watercraft that is owned by the person or under the person’s control. A handgun is defined as “any firearm that is designed, made, or adapted to be fired with one hand.” An illegal knife can means any of the following:
- Knife with a blade over five and one-half 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
A club is defined as “an instrument that is specially designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by striking a person with the instrument.” The term includes, but is not limited to the following:
It is also illegal under Texas Penal Code § 46.02 for a person to intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carry on or about his or her person a handgun in a motor vehicle or watercraft that is owned by the person or under the person’s control at any time in which either:
- the handgun is in plain view, unless the person is licensed to carry a handgun under Texas Government Code Chapter 411, Subchapter H, and the handgun is carried in a shoulder or belt holster; or
- the person is engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic or boating; prohibited by law from possessing a firearm; or a member of a criminal street gang.
A violation of this statute constitutes a Class A misdemeanor offense punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000. If the alleged offense is committed on any premises licensed or issued a permit by this state for the sale of alcoholic beverages, the crime becomes a third-degree felony punishable up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
A person may be charged with unlawful carrying of handgun by license holder under Texas Penal Code § 46.035 if the license holder carries a handgun on or about the license holder’s person and intentionally displays the handgun in plain view of another person in a public place unless the handgun was partially or wholly visible but was carried in a shoulder or belt holster by the license holder.
A license holder commits an offense under this statute if he or she carries a partially or wholly visible handgun, regardless of whether the handgun is holstered, on or about the license holder ’s person and intentionally or knowingly displays the handgun in plain view of another person:
- on the premises of an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education; or
- on any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area of an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education.
A license holder also commits an offense under this statute if he or she carries a handgun on the campus of a private or independent institution of higher education in Texas that has established rules, regulations, or other provisions prohibiting license holders from carrying handguns, or on the grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by such an institution is being conducted, or in a passenger transportation vehicle of such an institution, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed. It is also an offense for an alleged offender to intentionally carry a concealed handgun on a portion of a premises located on the campus of an institution of higher education in Texas on which the carrying of a concealed handgun is prohibited by rules, regulations, or other provisions established under Texas Government Code § 411.2031(d-1).
A license holder also commits an offense if the he or she intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries a handgun under the authority of under Texas Government Code Chapter 411, Subchapter H, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed or carried in a shoulder or belt holster, on or about the license holder’s person:
- on the premises of a business that has a permit or license issued under Chapter 25, 28, 32, 69, or 74 of the Alcoholic Beverage Code, if the business derives 51 percent or more of its income from the sale or service of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption;
- on the premises where a high school, collegiate, or professional sporting event or interscholastic event is taking place, unless the license holder is a participant in the event and a handgun is used in the event;
- on the premises of a correctional facility;
- on the premises of a hospital licensed under Chapter 241 of the Health and Safety Code or on the premises of a nursing facility licensed under Chapter 242 of the Health and Safety Code, unless the license holder has written authorization of the hospital or nursing facility administration, as appropriate;
- in an amusement park; or
- on the premises of a church, synagogue, or other established place of religious worship.
A license holder also commits an offense if he or she intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries a handgun under the authority of under Texas Government Code Chapter 411, Subchapter H, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed or carried in a shoulder or belt holster, in the room or rooms where a meeting of a governmental entity is held, the meeting is an open meeting, and the entity provided notice as required by that chapter. It is also an offense for a license holder to, while intoxicated, carry a handgun under the authority of Texas Government Code Chapter 411, Subchapter H, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed or carried in a shoulder or belt holster.
If the alleged offender intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries a handgun on the premises of a correctional facility or on the premises of a business that has a permit or license issued under Chapter 25, 28, 32, 69, or 74 of the Alcoholic Beverage Code and derives 51 percent or more of its income from the sale or service of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption, the alleged offense is a third-degree felony. All other violations of the statute listed above are classified as Class A misdemeanor offenses.
Handgun Licensing | Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) — Visit this website to learn more about Texas’ Handgun Licensing Program. View applicant information, read administrative rules, and find recent news and updates. You can also view reports representing the number of Handgun License holders with convictions versus the entire Texas population with convictions and find answers to frequently asked questions.
National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) | Texas Gun Laws — The ILA is the “lobbying” arm of the NRA, and it is “responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.” On this website, you can see a Texas gun laws overview, read laws on purchase, possession and carrying of firearms in Texas, and view a concealed carry reciprocity map of the United States that show which states recognize Texas permits and which state’s permits Texas recognizes. You can also find recent news relating firearms.
Law Office of Michael J. Price | Georgetown Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon Defense Attorney
If you were arrested in Central Texas for an allegedly unlawful carrying of any kind of weapon offense, it is in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. Law Office of Michael J. Price aggressively defends individuals accused of all sorts of gun, weapon, and firearm crimes in Williamson County and Bell County, including Harker Heights, Hutto, Benton, Georgetown, Cedar Park, and several other nearby communities.
Georgetown criminal defense lawyer Michael J. Price can fight to help you achieve the most favorable possible outcome to your case, including possibly getting the criminal charges reduced or dismissed. You can have him provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call (512) 354-1880 or fill out an online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.