The civil unrest that is happening throughout the country has driven a huge increase in first-time gun buyers in Texas. Nearly 17% of gun owners purchased a gun in Texas in the last 90 days. Of those who purchased guns, nearly half of them were first-time gun buyers. If you have purchased a gun in Texas for the first time, it is important that you have a general understanding of Texas gun laws. Even if you purchase a gun lawfully, you can still face criminal charges if you take your gun to prohibited areas, or you unlawfully carry the weapon.
Unlawful Carry of a Weapon in Texas
Under Texas law, unlawful carry of a weapon involves illegally possessing an illegal knife, a club, or a handgun. Typically this crime is a Class A misdemeanor, although prosecutors can bring third-degree felony charges for this crime under certain circumstances. It is incredibly important to know where you can take your new handgun in Texas. As long as you are not a felon, you can typically carry your new firearm in any of the following places:
On your own premises
On someone else’s premises while in your control
Inside a motor vehicle or en route to a motor vehicle while the gun is in your control
If you would like to open carry your gun in Texas, you will need to obtain an open carry license. Then you will need to follow all the regulations for open carrying. Keep in mind that obtaining an open carry license does not give you legal authority to carry your gun everywhere. There are still restrictions that you must follow or face criminal charges.
Where You Cannot Carry Your New Firearm
There are several different places where you cannot carry your weapon, even if you purchased your weapon legally. You cannot carry your weapon in airports unless you follow strict guidelines. You cannot carry your handgun in gun-free zones, such as the premises of a high school, university, or college. While campus carry may be legal, open carrying on campus is illegal. Additionally, you typically cannot display your handgun in a public place unless your handgun is in a belt holster or a shoulder holster.
Gun owners cannot carry their guns in businesses that get 51% or more of their income from serving alcohol, such as a bar or nightclub. Further, gun owners cannot bring their gun into most public buildings or government meetings. You cannot bring your gun in an emergency amusement park, correctional facility, hospital, or type in a church. Finally, you cannot carry your gun when you are intoxicated.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are a new gun owner and you are facing charges related to carrying your gun, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Contact the Abel Law Firm today to schedule your initial consultation.