Federal and state laws place various restrictions on the possession, location, and usage of firearms. Those who fail to abide by these restrictions can face harsh consequences. A Collin County gun lawyer could provide you with a robust legal defense if you are facing firearms charges.
While you should take gun charges seriously, you will not automatically end up with a criminal conviction. Various defenses may be available to you in firearms cases. A well-versed criminal defense lawyer may be able to work with you to build a strong argument to the charges in your case.
Felony Convictions and Firearms in Collin County
The law prohibits certain individuals from possessing firearms. Under Tex. Pen. Code § 46.04, it is unlawful for anyone with a felony conviction to own or possess firearms for five years following their conviction date, or the time of their completion of a term of community supervision or parole, whichever is later. Following this five-year waiting period, these individuals can possess firearms at their homes, but nowhere else.
Violation of this section of the penal code is a felony of the third degree. A conviction for this offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from two to ten years, plus payment of a fine of up to $10,000. Since the penalties for this offense may be severe, getting advice from a Collin County gun lawyer may be wise.
Other Offenses Limiting the Possession of Guns
Any individuals who have a conviction for assault arising from a domestic violence situation, which involves family or household members, may not possess firearms. This prohibition applies whether the conviction is for a misdemeanor or felony domestic violence conviction and it remains in effect for five years following the date of conviction or release from supervision or parole, whichever is later.
Individuals subject to current protection orders that stem from a domestic violence situation also are ineligible to possess firearms, except for public law enforcement officers. Violation of either of these prohibitions on gun possession can result in Class A misdemeanor charges, which can cause a maximum one-year jail sentence and a $4,000 fine.
Restrictions on Handguns
To carry a handgun in the state of Texas, a person must obtain a license. Tex. Gov. Code § 411.172 allows the issuance of licenses only to qualified individuals. Some people who are ineligible for handgun licenses include:
- Individuals who are under age 21 (with some exceptions for current or former members of the U.S. armed forces)
- Those who are currently charged with a Class A or B misdemeanor, any felony, or a disorderly conduct offense
- Fugitives from justice on a Class A or B misdemeanor, any felony, or a disorderly conduct offense
- Those who have a conviction on a Class A or B misdemeanor or disorderly conduct offense within the last five years
- Individuals who have engaged in delinquent conduct during the previous ten years that would otherwise constitute a felony conviction
Handgun license applicants also are ineligible for licenses if they are chemically dependent, incapable of having sound judgment concerning handguns, or behind in child support or tax payments. Under Tex. Pen. Code § 46.02, individuals commit the offense of unlawfully carrying weapons if they are not on property that they own or inside a motor vehicle or watercraft that they own or is under their control. A person also may violate this section if they carry a handgun in plain sight while in their vehicles unless they have a license and are transporting it appropriately. This offense is a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in up to one year in jail.
Meet with a Collin County Gun Attorney
These are only a sampling of the many restrictions that federal and state law place on firearm possession and usage. Since the penalties for violating any of these restrictions can result in jail time, you may want to contact a Collin County gun lawyer for advice at your earliest convenience.
Getting the legal advice and representation when facing gun charges can be essential to your ability to fight back against the charges. Protect your rights and your future by seeking legal assistance today.