In the midst of mass shootings and young lives being taken by gun violence across America, it is no secret that gun rights are a hot-button topic. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 3,513 gun-related deaths occurred in Texas in 2017. While some people may feel that gun control is necessary to address gun violence and reduce deaths, many Texans believe in protecting their right to bear arms. However, what many people do not realize is that weapons charges in Texas may involve more than just guns.
What Is Considered a Weapon?
Texas law identifies more than 15 different objects as weapons, and possession or use of these weapons can result in criminal charges, depending on the circumstances. These weapons are divided into various categories as shown below:
Guns: Firearms are some of the most commonly recognized weapons. Texas law identifies a variety of different types of guns. These include handguns, machine guns, short-barrel firearms, and zip guns. "Firearm" is the general term for a gun, and it refers to devices that fire projectiles using the energy generated by a burning substance or an explosion. Firearms may be categorized into various types based on the way a gun is held or the type of ammunition used.
Explosives: Devices that cause an explosion that is meant to inflict serious injuries, death, or property damage are also listed as weapons. These explosive weapons can include grenades, bombs, rockets, or mines. Explosives may also refer to devices that dispense or emit a chemical meant to harm people nearby. Devices that look like bombs and cause alarm are known as hoax bombs. Although they may not be physically harmful, if they are built with the intent to cause another person to believe that it is a dangerous bomb, the offender can face criminal charges.
Handheld Devices: There are some weapons that do not shoot or emit anything but are still considered dangerous. Clubs are weapons that are meant to cause harm when striking another person. Even though knives alone are not considered illegal, when used to harm another person, they become a weapon. Similar to a knife, if a person utilizes a sharp device to puncture someone’s tires, he or she can face weapons charges.
Weapon Accessories: There are various other weapon “add-ons” that are considered illegal in Texas. Anyone who owns a firearm silencer can face criminal charges. These devices are meant to muffle the noise of firearms. Armor-piercing ammunition that is meant to penetrate body armor or metal is also illegal.
Contact a Wilson County Criminal Defense Lawyer
Although Texas is considered a more conservative state when it comes to gun regulations, law enforcement officials still take weapon charges very seriously. Because state law defines a wide variety of devices as weapons, it is important to understand which objects are considered illegal and the details of any criminal charges involving weapons. The skilled legal team at BCP Criminal Defense Attorneys has handled thousands of criminal cases through Texas, many of which involved the possession or use of weapons. If you or someone you know is facing weapons charges and are looking for an aggressive defense team, call our diligent Floresville weapons charges attorneys today at 830-769-1010 to schedule a free consultation.