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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
If you are legally permitted to own and/or carry a firearm, the laws in Texas are among the least restrictive in the United States. The right to gun ownership is not, however, without restrictions, even in Texas. Gun owners are obligated to comply with state and federal laws.
Obtaining a license to own a handgun in Texas is not difficult, but that does not automatically permit the owner to transport the handgun in a gun holster.
If, however, you have been convicted of a gun-related offense or are charged with an offense or you are alleged to have used a gun in the commission of the crime, the penalties that you are facing are serious. To determine the best option in for you in Abilene, it is best to speak with a local gun lawyer for guidance. A skilled Abilene gun lawyer can help you build your defense right away.
There is no licensing requirement to own a shotgun or rifle in Texas, but individuals that wish to carry a handgun are required to obtain a license. A license to carry is necessary to travel throughout the state with the handgun on the owner’s body.
When determining whether to issue a license to carry, the Texas Department of Public Safety considers whether the individual had prior criminal convictions, alcohol and substance abuse dependency, and psychological diagnoses, among other factors.
Those that do not have licensure to carry their handguns may be arrested for unlawfully carrying. Even when a person is granted a license to carry, there may be places in which the handgun may not be carried, such as court or correctional facilities, and circumstances in which the owner is prohibited from carrying a handgun, including when they are intoxicated.
When a prospective gun owner is the subject of a protective order or restraining order, they are not permitted to own a gun while that order is in place. A person that is convicted of domestic violence is also prohibited from possessing a firearm for five years after the release from confinement or community supervision following the conviction.
Being a convicted felon, in possession of a gun, may be a felony offense on its own. In Texas, an individual that is convicted of a felony is not permitted to possess a gun for five years after the conviction or sentence, whichever is later. After the five-year period ends, the individual can only possess a gun in their home.
State law, in this case, is not aligned with federal law so it is imperative that individuals with felony records be aware that compliance with state law is not automatically compliance with federal law.
Federal law prohibits people that have been convicted of some domestic violence-related offenses and have domestic violence protective orders, from possessing firearms, even when the offense is a misdemeanor, in some cases. Federal law further bans individuals that are subject to some domestic violence protective orders from purchasing ammunition as well as firearms.
Federal law requires that a person’s conviction be expunged, set aside, or pardoned before they may own a firearm. The only alternative to those options is to complete the process of having their civil liberties restored.
In many cases, people opt not to go through the process that federal law dictates to own a handgun when state law does not have the same requirements.
Consult with an Abilene Gun Attorney
If you have been charged with a gun offense, contact a skilled Abilene gun lawyer to ensure that your rights are preserved.