Various laws on both the state and federal levels regulate gun possession and usage. Since individuals accused of violating gun laws could face harsh penalties, contacting an El Paso gun lawyer if you are facing any gun violation may be in your best interest.
Those who wish to possess firearms, whether for personal protection or sport, should take steps to be aware of their gun rights and responsibilities. A knowledgeable defense attorney could help you ensure you are complying with existing state and federal firearms laws and defend you against any accusations of wrongdoing.
Possession of Firearms Offenses
Texas Penal Code § 46.04 makes it illegal for anyone with a felony conviction to possess firearms for five years following the date of their conviction or the date of their release from community supervision or parole, whichever is later. Following the expiration of these five years, it remains illegal to possess firearms at any location other than the person’s home. This offense is a third-degree felony, which could result in a prison sentence of two to ten years and a $10,000 fine.
This section also makes it illegal to possess firearms for anyone who was convicted of domestic assault, or assault against a specific family or household members, as a Class A misdemeanor. This prohibition continues for five years following the date of conviction or date of release from supervision or parole, whichever is later.
It is also unlawful for any individuals to possess firearms if they are currently subject to an order of protection arising from a domestic violence situation. One exception is for peace officers who are paid, full-time employees of a state or political subdivision. Violating these prohibitions is a Class A misdemeanor offense, which may result in one year in jail and a $4,000 fine. A gun attorney in El Paso could explain which penalties an accused person might face in court.
Other Restrictions on Handguns in El Paso
There are also other restrictions on the ability of individuals to obtain handgun licenses. To obtain handgun licenses, Tex. Gov. Code § 411.172 requires that a person:
- Be a minimum of 21 years of age
- Not be charged with a Class A or B misdemeanor, a felony, or a disorderly conduct offense or be a fugitive from justice for Class A or B misdemeanor or felony offense
- Not be convicted of a Class A or B misdemeanor or a disorderly conduct offense within the previous five years
- Not have engaged in delinquent conduct within the last ten years that would constitute a felony offense
Handgun license applicants must also not be chemically dependent, must be capable of exercising sound judgment as to the storage and use of a handgun, and must not be delinquent in child support or state or local tax payments. Individuals between the ages of 18 and 21 who are current members or honorably discharged members of the U.S. armed forces also may obtain handgun licenses. A well-practiced El Paso gun lawyer could explain which restrictions apply to an individual.
Locations in Which Guns Are Prohibited
There are various locations set forth under Tex. Pen. Code § 46.03 in which individuals generally may not possess firearms. Some of these locations include:
- Schools, property at which school activities are occurring, and school buses
- Government and court offices
- Polling places during voting
- Secured areas of airports
There are some exceptions for certain classes of persons, which could include peace officers and the members of the U.S. armed forces. It is a third-degree felony for a violation of this section, which may result in severe penalties. Looking to an El Paso attorney for advice if facing this type of gun-related charges may be crucial to avoiding potentially harsh punishments.
Get Advice From an El Paso Gun Attorney
Violations of firearms laws carry potentially severe penalties under state and federal law. Anyone charged with firearms-related criminal offenses may wish to contact an El Paso gun lawyer for legal representation.
There are many defenses that may apply concerning gun offenses. You may be able to better take advantage of those defenses by conferring with experienced legal counsel. Call today to learn more.