While all Americans have the benefit of Second Amendment rights, firearm ownership and use is regulated at both the state and federal levels. A conviction on gun-related criminal charges could compromise your ability to own and carry firearms.

If you were charged with a firearm offense, consider reaching out to an Allen gun lawyer to discuss your legal options. An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to work toward a favorable resolution of the matter while protecting your rights.

Illegal Possession of Firearms

Texas Penal Code § 46.04 prohibits certain individuals from owning or possessing firearms. Anyone with a felony conviction may not possess guns for five years following their date of conviction or completion of community supervision or parole, whichever is later. After this five-year waiting period has expired, individuals may possess firearms only at the premises where they live.

This code section also prohibits individuals with domestic violence convictions from possessing firearms within the same five-year waiting period. Even if the conviction is only a misdemeanor, this prohibition remains in effect according to federal law. Likewise, individuals who are subject to protective orders arising from a domestic violence situation may not possess firearms while the orders remain in effect.

Handgun Licenses

Handguns are subject to stricter requirements than other firearms. Under Texas Government Code § 411.172, individuals only may possess handguns if they qualify to obtain a license under state law. In addition to those who are prohibited from possessing all firearms, the following individuals are ineligible for handgun licenses:

  • Those who are under age 21, with some narrow exceptions
  • Those facing Class A or B misdemeanor, felony, or disorderly conduct charges, or who are fugitives from justice on these charges
  • Those convicted of a Class A or B misdemeanor or disorderly conduct within the last five years
  • Those who are chemically dependent or incapable of sound judgment concerning the care and usage of handguns

Other situations may also make individuals ineligible to possess handguns. A gun lawyer in Allen may be able to evaluate individual circumstances and determine eligibility for handgun licenses.

Unlawfully Carrying Handguns

Tex. Pen. Code § 46.02 also restricts the ability of individuals to carry handguns outside of any property, motor vehicles, or watercraft that they own or control. Those who intentionally carry handguns in their vehicles in plain view or in the course of criminal activity also violate this section. Handgun license holders can carry a handgun in plain sight while in a vehicle, so long as it is in a shoulder or belt holster.

Unlawfully carrying a handgun is a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in a maximum one-year jail sentence, a $4,000 fine, or both. A conviction under this section also would result in an inability to obtain a handgun license for at least five years following the date of conviction or release from supervision or parole, whichever is later. A gun attorney in Allen may be able to offer legal advice and representation throughout these criminal proceedings.

An Allen Gun Attorney May Be Able to Assist

Many circumstances can give rise to criminal charges involving the unlawful possession of a firearm or handgun. To protect yourself from a permanent criminal record and preserve your right to carry firearms or handguns in the future, you may wish to contact an Allen gun lawyer right away.

The implications of an illegal gun possession conviction can be life-altering and continue to affect you for years to come. Prospective employers and landlords may see a gun-related offense and be less likely to offer you employment or housing. Fortunately, a dedicated legal advocate may be able to defend you against these accusations. Call today to discuss your case.