Temple Open & Concealed Carry Attorney
Texas continues to liberalize its gun laws. In 2021, for example, the state passed a law allowing people aged 21 or older to openly carry firearms without a permit. However, Texans cannot carry a gun everywhere in the state, and some people are outright prohibited from having a firearm at all. We anticipate that prosecutors will continue to zealously prosecute those in violation of the law.
If you’ve been arrested for a gun violation, you need experienced legal help. A Temple criminal defense attorney can review your case and strategize to come up with the best defense possible.
Although Texas has dispensed with the licensing requirement to carry a handgun, not everyone can carry. For example, someone will still violate the Texas Penal Code if they:
- Possess a gun when under the age of 21
- Possess a gun if convicted of certain violent crimes
- Openly carry an unholstered gun
- Openly carry a prohibited gun
- Carry a gun while intoxicated
- Carry a gun into certain locations where it is prohibited
- Carry a gun while subject to a domestic violence restraining order
These limitations are complex. For example, someone convicted of a felony loses the ability to possess a gun for five years after release from jail. After five years are up, they can possess the firearm in their home but nowhere else.
If you have a question, contact an experienced Temple gun rights attorney to review whether you can have a gun. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Where You Can’t Carry a Gun in Texas
Texas also prohibits guns in certain locations. If you are caught carrying, then you could face criminal penalties and will probably end up losing your gun. Specifically, you cannot have a gun at the following locations:
- Nursing homes
- Polling places
- Sporting events
- Courthouses or court buildings
- Schools (though licensed, concealed carry is allowed at certain universities and colleges)
- School buses
- Certain businesses that receive more than half of their income from alcohol sales
These restrictions make sense. There is a risk of physical confrontation at sporting events, courthouses, and places where alcohol flows freely, so restricting guns in these locations promotes public safety. The same is true where vulnerable populations congregate, such as nursing homes, hospitals, and schools.
Penalties for Violating Texas Open Carry/Concealed Carry Laws
The penalties a defendant faces will depend on the law violated. For example, Section 46.04 of the Texas Penal Code makes it a third-degree felony to possess a firearm within five years of release from jail as a convicted felon. Someone convicted faces up to 10 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.
If you possess a firearm in a prohibited location, then you are facing third-degree felony charges as well.
Contact Katie L. Gomez Today
Texas prosecutors still aggressively prosecute gun crimes, especially where a person is underage or has a gun in a prohibited location, such as a school. If you have been charged, contact The Law Office of Katie L. Gomez, PLLC today to schedule a free consultation. Our Temple open carry/concealed carry violations lawyer will review your case for free.