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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
Gun laws vary greatly from state to state. The questions of when and where people are allowed to own, carry, and discharge a firearm are often accompanied by complex legalities. Compared to other states, Texas may appear to have relatively liberal gun laws. As a general rule, Texans are allowed to own firearms, so long as they hold a valid license.
However, there may still be severe penalties for carrying, purchasing, selling, or using a firearm in any manner that is deemed unlawful. There are many types of guns and means in which they can be used. The laws surrounding the use of a handgun, for instance, differ from those for a rifle, and it takes the work of a knowledgeable Lubbock gun lawyer to unravel the nuances of these various scenarios. An experienced defense attorney will be able to advocate for anyone charged with violating Texas gun laws.
One common gun offense in Lubbock is the Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon (UCW), which can happen when the person does not have the legal right to take their firearm into certain places. A few ways in which a person may be charged with gun law violation in Lubbock include:
- Knowingly or intentionally carrying a handgun outside the home, or off of any premises they may control
- Carrying a firearm into an area where they are prohibited, such as a school or place of worship
- Possessing a gun within five years of being released from confinement for a convicted felony
Even so, the above examples barely scratch the surface of gun rights and restrictions in Lubbock. While the Constitution presents individuals with the right to bear arms, and various laws allow them to defend themselves and others with the use of firearms, it would still behoove someone to seek guidance when navigating the gray areas of these rights in a court of law.
There are a couple of different scenarios in Texas called the travel law, which means that a person can carry a firearm to and from if traveling. So, a person cannot carry it with them on a permanent basis unless they have a permit. But, if they are going out of town and driving from Lubbock to Midland, then they are able to carry that handgun for the purposes of travel.
Most of the laws in Texas are not local, but they are state specific. Private businesses under the state law can indicate that they do not want someone on their premises with a concealed handgun. There is a specific sign that has to be posted. If that sign is posted and somebody is found on that private property or business with a handgun, that would be in violation. In public areas, some are defined that handguns can be there and some are not.
Just as extensive and intricate as the laws surrounding gun use are the penalties for unlawful use. These can include a $500 fine, as with a class C misdemeanor. On the other end of the spectrum, some gun violations may be classed as a third-degree felony, which carries a penalty of two to 10 years in state prison (for instance, if someone carries a handgun onto a premise that is licensed to distribute alcohol. The severity of punishment can severely impact the course of one’s life.
Prosecutors are tough on gun offenses, especially when they are used when the individual is intoxicated or as a weapon in another crime. If a person is convicted of a felony dealing with a gun, they will never be able to legally purchase a gun. Also, if they are convicted of a Class O, a class other misdemeanor or above, they would be ineligible to get a concealed handgun permit for a minimum of five and sometimes 10 years. If a person has a concealed handgun permit and is arrested for a Class O misdemeanor or above, the state will begin the process of trying to suspend. If convicted, the state will terminate the person’s right to have a concealed handgun license.
If someone is facing potential penalties such as these, they owe it to themselves to find an experienced Lubbock gun defense lawyer who will work hard to secure the best possible outcome for them.
Contacting a Gun Attorney
Regulations on ownership, sale, and carriage of firearms are necessary and far-reaching in order to protect the community. This may lead to a person unintentionally violating these laws, or being mistakenly accused of violating these laws. It will take the work of a Lubbock gun attorney to fight for someone accused of such a violation.
Gun lawyers need to begin an investigation to find out the reason that the officer found the person with the gun. There may be mitigating factors or reasons the person has the gun, and there may be circumstances that would allow lawyers to suppress the stop of the arrest. Gun charges are taken seriously in Lubbock. Texas does not have the restrictive laws about possession for an average citizen that maybe some areas do have, but when the laws are violated, Texas has open carry and concealed handgun permits that individuals need to adhere to. If you find yourself facing the complex legalities of a gun violation, contact an experienced gun defense attorney in Lubbock as soon as possible.