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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
One of the most well-known rights outlined in the United States Constitution is the Second Amendment. Many people believe that this amendment guarantees the rights of all citizens to purchase and carry firearms.
While Texas laws certainly agree with this philosophy, there are still certain types of firearms that are never legal to possess. Similarly, there are places where a person can never carry a gun. In addition, any otherwise criminal activity that is aided by a gun is made much more serious. If charged with this offense, speak with a committed attorney. A Plainview gun lawyer works to educate the public as to their rights as citizens, as well as defend people accused of illegal possession or use of a firearm.
When is Possession of a Firearm Illegal in Plainview?
Texas law operates on the presumption that someone owns a gun legally. The main exception to this is the concealed carry law. However, some weapons such as short-barreled guns, silencers, or zip guns are always prohibited.
According to Texas Government Code §411.171, all people wishing to carry a handgun in public must obtain a license from the state. This license requires that the holder be at least 21 years of age, have no felony convictions, is not currently facing any criminal charges, complete a handgun proficiency course, and not be a drug addict.
A violation of this requirement is a criminal act under Texas Penal Code §46.02. If a person is arrested while possessing a handgun in public, it is their responsibility to produce a copy of their license. This is a Class A misdemeanor under most circumstances but penalties are increased if the violation occurs in a place serving alcohol. Class A misdemeanors are punishable by a jail term not to exceed one year, a fine of up to $4,000, or both.
It is also illegal to take any sort of firearm into some places. These include:
- Voting locations
- Bars or clubs that serve alcohol
- Mental hospitals
According to Texas Penal Code §46.03, a violation of this statute involving a firearm is a 3rd degree felony carrying mandatory jail time. Contact a Plainview gun lawyer to learn more.
Firearms Interacting with other Allegations
Even if someone owns a firearm legally, they can still use them illegally. This is normally the case in situations where a person is facing charges for an otherwise illegal activity where the use of a gun is an aggravating factor. A classic example of this is assault.
An assault is normally a misdemeanor level offense. It involves the use of force or the attempted use of force against another person. A person can face charges of assault using nothing more than their fists. But, if a gun is involved, the allegations become much more serious. The use of any deadly weapon in the commission of an assault automatically changes the charges to aggravated assault. These offenses are always 2nd degree felony charges at a minimum and may be upgraded to 1st degree felony charges.
Other examples of crimes made worse by the use of a gun include robbery, burglary, sexual assault, and drug distribution. The presence of a firearm at any of these crime scenes will universally result in the charges being classified as a felony. A Plainview gun lawyer may be prepared to deal with these sorts of cases in a professional manner.
A Plainview Gun Attorney Can Help Defend the Rights of Gun Owners
Though Texas values the rights to gun ownership, there are limits to these rights. If a person does not properly register a handgun or takes an otherwise legal gun to where they are prohibited, they may be facing criminal charges.
Additionally, people facing criminal charges made worse through the presence of a firearm may be facing serious consequences with mandatory prison time. A Plainview gun lawyer is here to help. Whether a person is facing charges of a misdemeanor level crime for failing to properly register their handgun or is facing a felony-level charge of assault with a firearm, a lawyer can defend an individual with diligence and passion.