Texas respects your Second Amendment right to bear arms, but the state places certain restrictions on the type of firearm that you can carry and how you may carry it. It is important to understand your rights and the actions that you should take if you have been charged with a weapons offense in Frisco, Texas.
Weapon Offenses in Frisco
There are many different weapons offenses in Frisco, Texas. Some of the most common weapon offenses include:
- Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon. Under Texas Penal Code Section 46.02, unless you have a license, you are generally not allowed to carry a handgun outside of the home or off of any premises you may control. Even if you have a handgun permit, there are areas where you are not permitted to carry a handgun including but not limited to school property, church property, businesses that restrict handguns, hospitals, liquor stores, and correctional facilities.
- Unlawful Firearm Possession. Under Texas Penal Code Section 46.04, it is illegal to possess a firearm if:
- You have been convicted of a felony and possess a firearm within five years after being released from prison;
- You have been convicted of domestic assault and possess a firearm within five years after being released from prison or completed community supervision; or
- You are an employee of the state and possess a firearm before the expiration of a protective or restraining order against you.
- Possession of a Prohibited Weapon. Under Texas Penal Code 46.05, certain weapons are prohibited under the law including:
- An explosive weapon*
- A machine gun*
- A short-barrel firearm*
- A firearm silencer*
- Brass knuckles
- Armor-piercing ammunition
- A chemical dispensing device
- A zip gun
- A tire deflation device
Explosive weapons, machine guns, short-barrel firearms, and firearm silencers are not prohibited if they are registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record or the weapon is an antique.
- Unlawful Transfer of a Weapon. You could be charged with unlawful transfer of a weapon, if you sell, rent, give, or loan a handgun to someone else knowing that they are under 18, they intend to use it for an unlawful purpose, they are intoxicated, they have been convicted of a felony in the last 5 years, or they have a protective order that prohibits them from having a firearm.
- Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of a Criminal Offense. Often if you use or possess a weapon during another crime, the crime and penalties will be automatically enhanced. These are often called aggravated offenses and include but are not limited to aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, and aggravated sexual assault.
Texas Concealed Weapon Carry Laws
Texans can apply to carry a concealed handgun if they are over 21, pass a background check, and participate in classroom and range training. If you are granted a license to carry in Frisco, you can carry a handgun in many but not all places.
Certain things may disqualify you from getting a license. These include:
- Felony convictions
- Pending criminal charges
- Alcohol or drug dependency
- Diagnosed with certain psychological disorders
- Defaulted on state or city taxes, governmental fees, or child support
- Restraining orders against you
Penalties For Weapons Offenses
Weapons offenses and penalties are wide-ranging. Depending on the weapons charge, the penalty can range from a class C misdemeanor with a $500 fine all the way up to a first-degree felony punishable by between five and 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. In addition to fines and jail time, you could be prohibited from possessing a firearm in the future.
Over and above incarceration and fines, if you are convicted of a weapons charges, it could lead to a reduction in child custody or visitation, difficulty obtaining a job, trouble getting into college, and difficulty in getting professional licenses.
Defenses to firearm cases are unique to each individual charge, but there are a few common potential defenses.
- The conduct of the police officers was illegal, so the evidence must be suppressed.
- You had the right to possess a firearm in this specific case.
- Self-defense or defense of others.
Contact A Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with a weapons offense, you should contact Philip D. Ray. Weapons offenses are very serious crimes, and you should seek help immediately. Philip D. Ray is a Frisco criminal defense attorney with experience defending Frisco residents against weapons charges. Call (469) 588-6770 today to schedule your consultation.