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. Now, in 2020, a new bill known as HB 1927 allows Texan residents to carry, openly or concealed, without a license or permit if they are over the age of 21. 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 Price & Twine, PLLC.
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?
The Texas Penal Code Section 46.02 was recently amended by HB 1927, which was passed in 2021. On September 1st, 2021, the law will now read that a person commits the offense of unlawful carry if they intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:
- Carries a handgun and at the time of the offense is either:
- Under the age of 21; or
- Has been convicted of an offense under Section 22.01(a)(1), 22.05, 22.07, or 42.01(a)(7) or (8) in the last five years
- Carries a handgun and at the time of the offense the person is not:
- On their own premises or is at a prohibited area; or
- They are inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle or watercraft owned by the person or under the person’s control
- Carries a handgun and at the time of the offense the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carried on or about his or her person a handgun in a motor vehicle or a watercraft owned by the person or under the person’s control at any time in which
- The handgun is in plain view unless the person is 21 or older
- The person is engaged in criminal activity, other than a class C misdemeanor, and is in violation of a law or ordinance for traffic or boating.
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:
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.
The “Permitless Carry Bill,” also known as HB 1927, has basically repealed the Texas Penal Code Section 46.035. Now, you no longer have to carry a license or permit to openly or conceal carry a handgun in Texas. The only requirement you need to open carry is to be over the age of 21 and not have certain criminal offenses on your record.
Section 46.035 was repealed and replaced with Section 46.02(a-5), which states a person is guilty of unlawful carry if they:
- Carry a handgun or intentionally display a handgun in plain view of another person in a public space unless the firearm was partially or wholly visible in a holster.
- Carry a handgun while you’re intoxicated and:
- You’re not on your own property, property under your own control, or private property with consent of the owner; or
- In a motor vehicle or watercraft you own, or someone else owns with consent
- Carry a handgun and at the time of the offense was prohibited from carrying one under Section 46.04(a), (b), or (c).
Although open carry is legal in the state of Texas now, that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to carry everywhere. The state of Texas prohibits open or conceal carry of firearms in certain areas for various reasons. These prohibited places include the following:
- Public or private schools including colleges, school activities, and buses
- Polling places
- Courts or offices utilized by the court
- Airport past security
- Mental hospital
- Government open meetings if notice is given
- Nursing homes
- Amusement parks
- Civil commitment facilities
- Correctional facilities
- Bars (any establishment that makes 51% or more of their income from sale or service of alcoholic beverages is considered a bar in Texas)
An offense under this section is classified as a class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by:
- Up to one year in jail
- A fine of up to $4,000
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.
Price & Twine, PLLC | 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. Price & Twine, PLLC 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.