Unlawfully Possessing a Weapon
The right of people to keep and bear arms is enshrined in both the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Section 23 of Article 1 in the Texas Constitution. The Texas Constitution, however, specifically notes that “the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime,” and the United States Supreme Court has held that “the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.”
Certain people are prohibited from possessing weapons in Texas, and even those who are authorized to otherwise possess such weapons can be prohibited from possessing them in certain locations. When a person unlawfully possesses a firearm or other weapon, the violation may be a felony offense that carries steep penalties including a possibly lengthy prison sentence and significant fines.
Lawyer for Unlawfully Possessing a Weapon Arrests in Georgetown, TX
If you have been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm or other weapon in Central Texas, it is in your best interest to retain legal counsel as soon as possible. Price & Twine, PLLC can fight to possibly get these criminal charges reduced or dismissed.
Georgetown criminal defense attorney Michael J. Price defends individuals accused of gun, weapon, and firearm crimes throughout Williamson County and Bell County, including Hutto, Benton, Harker Heights, Leander, Taylor, and several surrounding communities. He can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call (512) 354-1880 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Texas Unlawful Weapon Possession Information Center
- Who can be charged with unlawful possession of a firearm?
- Where are people prohibited from possessing weapons at?
- Where can I learn more about unlawful weapon possession in Georgetown?
Unlawful Possession of a Firearm Penalties in Williamson County
Under Texas Penal Code § 46.04, it is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000 for a person who has been convicted of a felony to possess a firearm either:
- after conviction and before the fifth anniversary of the person’s release from confinement following conviction of the felony or the person’s release from supervision under community supervision, parole, or mandatory supervision, whichever date is later; or
- after the period described above at any location other than the premises at which the person lives.
Under the same statute, either of the following scenarios is classified as a Class A misdemeanor offense punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000:
- A person who has been convicted of an assault offense punishable as a Class A misdemeanor and involving a member of the person’s family or household, possesses a firearm before the fifth anniversary of the later of the date of the person’s release from confinement following conviction of the misdemeanor or the date of the person’s release from community supervision following conviction of the misdemeanor; or
- A person, other than a peace officer actively engaged in employment as a sworn, full-time paid employee of a state agency or political subdivision, who is subject to a protective order possesses a firearm after receiving notice of the order and before expiration of the order.
Types of Prohibited Weapons and Places Weapons Are Prohibited in Georgetown
Texas Penal Code § 46.03 makes it a third-degree felony for a person to intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possess or go with a firearm, illegal knife, club, or prohibited weapon to any of the following places:
- on the physical premises of a school or educational institution, any grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by a school or educational institution is being conducted, or a passenger transportation vehicle of a school or educational institution, whether the school or educational institution is public or private, unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the institution or the person possesses or goes with a concealed handgun that the person is licensed to carry, and no other weapon to which this section applies, on the premises of an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education, on any grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by the institution is being conducted, or in a passenger transportation vehicle of the institution;
- on the premises of a polling place on the day of an election or while early voting is in progress;
- on the premises of any government court or offices utilized by the court, unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the court;
- on the premises of a racetrack;
- in or into a secured area of an airport; or
- within 1,000 feet of premises the location of which is designated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as a place of execution under Article 43.19, Code of Criminal Procedure, on a day that a sentence of death is set to be imposed on the designated premises and the person received notice that going within 1,000 feet of the premises with a weapon listed under this subsection was prohibited, or possessing a weapon listed under this subsection within 1,000 feet of the premises was prohibited.
It is also a third-degree felony under Texas Penal Code § 46.05 for a person to intentionally or knowingly possess, manufacture, transport, repair, or sell any of the following, unless the item is registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record maintained by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives or classified as a curio or relic by the United States Department of Justice:
- an explosive weapon—meaning any explosive or incendiary bomb, grenade, rocket, or mine, that is designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury, death, or substantial property damage, or for the principal purpose of causing such a loud report as to cause undue public alarm or terror, and includes a device designed, made, or adapted for delivery or shooting an explosive weapon;
- a machine gun;
- a short-barrel firearm; or
- a firearm silencer;
Intentionally or knowingly possessing, manufacturing, transporting, repairing, or selling any of the following also constitutes a third-degree felony:
- armor-piercing ammunition;
- a chemical dispensing device—defined as “a device, other than a small chemical dispenser sold commercially for personal protection, that is designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of dispensing a substance capable of causing an adverse psychological or physiological effect on a human being”; or
- a zip gun—meaning “a device or combination of devices that was not originally a firearm and is adapted to expel a projectile through a smooth-bore or rifled-bore barrel by using the energy generated by an explosion or burning substance.”
If an alleged offender intentionally or knowingly possesses, manufactures, transports, repairs, or sells knuckles—meaning “any instrument that consists of finger rings or guards made of a hard substance and that is designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by striking a person with a fist enclosed in the knuckles,” it is a Class A misdemeanor. If an alleged offender intentionally or knowingly possesses, manufactures, transports, repairs, or sells a tire deflation device—defined as “a device, including a caltrop or spike strip, that, when driven over, impedes or stops the movement of a wheeled vehicle by puncturing one or more of the vehicle’s tires. The term does not include a traffic control device that is designed to puncture one or more of a vehicle’s tires when driven over in a specific direction and has a clearly visible sign posted in close proximity to the traffic control device that prohibits entry or warns motor vehicle operators of the traffic control device,” the crime is classified as a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in state jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Texas Unlawfully Possessing a Weapon Resources
License to Carry (LTC) FAQs | Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) — On this section of the DPS website, you can find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about firearms and handgun licenses. View questions relating to the application process, eligibility, and training requirements. You can also find answers concerning reciprocity, laws that relate to carrying a handgun, and administrative enforcement actions.
Here’s What You Should Know About Open Carry In Texas — On January 5, 2016, KERA published this story examining the impact of the new open carry law in Texas. Read this story to learn more about the law, places where guns are still prohibited, and why the law was controversial. You can also read about how businesses, schools, and law enforcement agencies prepared to deal with open carry.
Price & Twine, PLLC | Georgetown Unlawfully Possessing a Weapon Defense Attorney
Were you arrested in Central Texas for allegedly being in unlawful possession of a firearm or other weapon? Do not say anything to authorities without legal representation. Contact Price & Twine, PLLC today.
Michael J. Price is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Georgetown who represents clients in Killeen, Georgetown, Temple, Round Rock, Cedar Park, and many other nearby areas of Williamson County and Bell County. Call (512) 354-1880 or complete an online contact form to have our attorney review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free initial consultation.