Texas Gun Laws
Dallas Firearm Defense Attorneys
Texas has multiple laws related to its policies regarding firearms. These include laws related to the purchase and carrying of the firearm, as well as licensing regulations. While Texas may be known to have fairly liberal firearm laws, it is necessary for the citizens of the state to be aware of the rules and laws associated with owning and possessing firearms.
Can I Legally Purchase a Firearm in Texas?
In Texas, an individual can generally purchase the following: rifles, shotguns, ammunition, reloading components, and firearm accessories. It is against the law in Texas to sell, rent, loan, or otherwise give a firearm to any individual if the use intended by the individual is known to be an unlawful manner.
Furthermore, without the consent of a parent or guardian, an individual may not sell, rent, loan, or otherwise give a firearm to any individual under 18 years of age. Nor may the person be intoxicated.
Possession of Firearms in Texas
While there is no general requirement for a citizen to apply for any state-issued license in order to own a firearm, there are requirements for individuals that have been convicted of past offenses. For example: if a person has been convicted of a felony or Class A misdemeanor that involved his household or family, there will be associated regulations that must be met in order for that individual to legally possess a firearm.
While there are no basic requirements related to owning a firearm, there are specific policies related to carrying a firearm. In Texas, it is generally illegal to carry a handgun outside of the person’s own residence. This is not the same for a shotgun or a rifle, however. These may be carried (either openly or concealed) as long as it is in a non-threatening manner.
Concealed Handgun Licenses (CHL) in Texas and the US
A person may carry a concealed handgun in the state by having been issued a Texas CHL or that of another state that has been approved by Texas. These states include:
- Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
It is required by law that a person be able to present a law enforcement officer with his CHL if the individual is carrying the handgun on his person and the officer requests the documentation.
While a CHL authorizes an individual to carry a concealed handgun, there are specific situations in which the individual is not allowed to do so. These circumstances include, but are not limited to:
- If the individual is intoxicated;
- At a place of worship;
- At an amusement park (if the proper signage exists and is apparent);
- At a nursing home or hospital (if the proper signage exists and is apparent);
- At a correctional facility or within 1,000 feet of a correctional facility if there is to be an execution at the facility that day (if the proper signage exists and is apparent);
- At a polling location on election day; and
- In any court of law or court related offices.
What Does Texas Consider to be Deadly Force?
Deadly force is defined as the degree of force likely to cause serious bodily injury or death. This includes the use of a firearm. In contrast, displaying a gun to cause apprehension that deadly force may be used is not considered to be deadly force.
Texas allows for the use of deadly force in a variety of situations. For example, a person is allowed to use deadly force on another if that person reasonably believes that deadly force is necessary to protect themselves or a third party from the perpetrator’s illegal use of force.
Do You Need an Attorney?
If you have been charged with violating the gun laws in Texas, contact an experienced attorney who will listen to the facts of your specific case in order to build the proper defense for you and your legal matters.
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