Given the renowned leniency of Texas gun laws, many people in Richardson are surprised to find out how easy it can be to run afoul of state or federal gun regulations. The consequences of doing so may be severe, especially if possession or use of a firearm is connected with another type of criminal offense.
If you are facing charges involving violations of firearm laws, it may be a good idea to consult a knowledgeable Richardson gun lawyer to learn the ramifications of the charges and your options for defense. With an experienced criminal attorney’s help, you may have a better chance of reaching a positive outcome in your case.
Firearms are Regulated at Many Levels
In addition to state laws, Richardson gun owners need to be aware of federal and local laws. For instance, if someone discharges or even carries a firearm into a Richardson City park or park facility, they violate Section 15-61 of the Municipal Code of Ordinances. In fact, even carrying a BB gun, air gun, or paintball gun violates this ordinance.
Federal firearms laws frequently come under public scrutiny and may be amended at any time. On many occasions when someone is charged with a firearm violation, however, the matter concerns an alleged violation of state gun laws, which a Richardson gun attorney could shed further light on in the context of an individual case.
Unlawfully Carrying a Gun
Unlawfully carrying a firearm or other weapon is addressed in Tex. Pen. Code §46.02. This statute describes several scenarios that constitute a violation, including:
- Carrying a handgun when the holder is not on their own premises, in their own vehicle, or on their way to their own vehicle
- Carrying a handgun in a vehicle while the handgun is in plain view, unless the holder is licensed and the gun is properly holstered
- Carrying a handgun in a vehicle while engaged in a criminal activity
- Carrying a handgun in a vehicle when the holder is a member of a criminal street gang
- Carrying a handgun in a vehicle when the holder is prohibited from possessing a firearm
For a violation to occur, the person carrying the gun must have done so “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly.” However, this definition sometimes leaves room for interpretation that a dedicated gun lawyer in Richardson could utilize to defend a defendant’s best interests.
In many situations, violations of this statute are considered Class A misdemeanors. Penalties for these types of offenses include up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. If the offense is committed on premises licensed to serve alcohol, however, the crime may be treated as a third-degree felony punishable by as much as ten years in prison and a fine as high as $10,000.
Other Common Firearm Offenses
With so many different laws regulating the use, possession, and transfer of firearms, it is possible to commit many different gun law violations. Reckless discharge of a firearm is a relatively common charge and is prohibited by more than one statute.
Tex. Pen. Code §42.12 makes it a Class A misdemeanor to recklessly discharge a firearm anywhere within the limits of a town or other municipality with 100,000 or more inhabitants. Additionally, Tex. Pen. Code §22.05 specifies that a person commits a third-degree felony if they discharge a firearm in the direction of another person or toward a building or vehicle with recklessness as to whether the building or vehicle may be occupied.
Additional common firearm offenses include unlawful transfer of a firearm and possession of a firearm by a felon. Both of these may be charged as felonies.
Work with a Knowledgeable Richardson Gun Attorney
Gun offenses usually carry the potential for serious penalties. Moreover, with gun-related tragedies in the news so frequently, courts may be less likely to take a lenient stance toward firearm violations, even if they differ completely from those making the headlines.
It is wise to take any charges of gun law violations seriously. A knowledgeable Richardson gun lawyer could evaluate your circumstances, explain your options, and help you work toward a positive outcome. For a free consultation to learn how a gun lawyer could help in your situation, call now.