Texas gun laws

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Jourdanton criminal defense attorney weapons charges

Firearms have always been a point of contention. Many value their right to own and carry a gun while others see this Second Amendment right as a threat to society. There are a number of weapon laws that are fairly well known, like needing a license to carry a gun and avoiding particular locations, such as schools or hospitals, while carrying a weapon. However, there are also weapon laws that you may not know about. Being fully informed on Texas gun legislation is critical not only for gun owners but all Texans. By understanding the ins and outs of these weapon regulations, you can exercise your Second Amendment rights while also abiding by the law. Failure to do so can lead to criminal charges and serious penalties, including significant time behind bars.

1. Prohibited Weapons

Just because you have a valid weapons license does not mean that you legally have access to any weapon of your choosing. There are a number of weapons that are strictly prohibited in Texas. Anyone who intentionally or knowingly possesses, manufactures, repairs, sells, or transports any of the following weapons is breaking the law: an explosive weapon, a machine gun, a short-barrel firearm, armor-piercing ammunition, a chemical dispensing device, a zip gun, a tire deflation device, a firearm silencer, and an improvised explosive device.

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Atascosa County criminal defense attorney weapons charges

Waking up in the middle of the night to rustling outside your house or the sound of a window breaking downstairs would set anyone on high alert. Maybe you grab the nearest object to use in self-defense, if necessary, or perhaps you keep a gun in the house to protect you and your family. Many Texans are gun owners, saying that a gun in the house makes them feel safer. Even if the gun is properly registered and you have the appropriate licensing for the weapon, situations like these can leave the property owner facing criminal charges. Understanding self-defense laws is critical for Texas home and gun owners. It is imperative for those who are facing such charges to seek the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect their rights. 

A Look at Criminal Consequences

Texas law states that property owners are able to use force to terminate trespassing or theft if they deem it is necessary; however, force and deadly force are two different actions. Shooting the trespasser is considered deadly force since the bullet can easily end the person’s life. If the person is not an immediate threat to you or your family, deadly force is not permissible. This is easier to understand with concrete examples.

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Jourdanton criminal defense attorney weapons violation

Weapon laws across the United States have always been under scrutiny—are they too restrictive or not strict enough? Texas is one of the states that allows Texas residents to obtain a concealed carry license and carry a weapon a number of places while keeping it concealed from the public eye. After COVID-19 hit the United States, many states now require social distancing practices to be followed and face masks to be worn in all public places. Before this virus became an infamous pandemic, wearing a mask in a public place would likely have others wondering about your intentions. Masks are often used by those attempting to hide their identity while conducting a criminal act. For this reason, many gun owners are concerned about the status of concealed carry permits in the midst of the pandemic.

Wearing a Mask and Carrying a Gun

The question of the impact of mask requirements on concealed carry permits has surfaced on social media platforms, as many who are against the mask requirement view the demand as an infringement on their rights. Posts have been made about these various constitutional breaches, some claiming that having to wear a mask takes away their ability to legally carry a concealed weapon. While in some states this is the case, Texas is not one of them.

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Jourdanton weapons charges attorney

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:

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Texas is often known as one of the most “open” states in terms of gun laws. This includes a person’s ability to purchase a weapon, the right to carry a concealed weapon, and the use of a weapon for self-defense. Most states have some form of legal protection for those who use a firearm to defend themselves, including Texas. Each state that provides its citizens with this right has different regulations tied to the law. Texas has two separate laws regarding self-defense to ensure that people have a right to protect themselves. It is important to understand what is and is not allowed in Texas to avoid being convicted of serious criminal charges related to murder or manslaughter.

Standing Your Ground in Texas

The “Stand Your Ground” law originated in Florida in 2005. Since then, the majority of the U.S. states have followed suit, passing their own versions of this law meant to protect those who defend themselves. As is evident in the phrasing, this law allows individuals to stand up against an attacker in the face of danger. In Texas, those who plan to use this law as their criminal defense tactic must be able to prove that they were in fear of imminent danger of serious injury or death at the hands of another person. The Stand Your Ground law applies to those protecting themselves or another person in danger.

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Jourdanton firearms violation defense attorney It is no secret that mass shootings have plagued Texas, along with the rest of the country, over the last decade. According to a recent NBC News report, the shooting in El Paso left at least 22 people dead and 26 injured and falls within the top 10 deadliest shootings in modern American history. These shootings involving firearms have prompted two distinct sides: Those who want stricter gun laws and those who believe access to firearms will keep more individuals safe. The state of Texas recently passed new gun laws, which go into effect soon and will potentially impact many gun owners. 

What Are the New Texas Gun Laws?

In the last session, Texas lawmakers passed nine gun-related bills, a few of which will become laws and go into effect on September 1. There are two gun law changes that affect who can carry guns and where they can carry them. One of the laws allows handgun owners to carry their concealed firearms without a permit for up to one week if a disaster has been declared. Some may say that this new law violates the original law, found in section 46.02 of the Texas Penal Code, regarding concealed carry requirements. However, the new law specifies three instances in which section 46.02 does not apply to handgun owners:

  1. The person carries the handgun while evacuating from an area after a state of disaster or a local state of disaster has been officially declared or while reentering the area that he or she just evacuated.

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