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Weapons Crimes

Weapons crimes in Texas are primarily found in Chapter 46 of the Texas Penal Code, but there are a few weapons-related crimes defined in other areas of the code.

The paragraphs below highlight the basic elements of these crimes. The full text of the laws can be found by following the links provided. These laws are often quite complicated and contain very specific and detailed definitions, presumptions, enhancements, and exceptions. If you have been charged with one of these crimes, call us at 888-403-0383 and we can discuss all the details of how the law applies in your specific situation.

Weapons crimes include:

Trespass by License Holder With a Concealed Handgun (PC 30.06)

  • A license holder commits an offense if the license holder:
    • carries a concealed handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, on property of another without effective consent; and
    • received notice that entry on the property by a license holder with a concealed handgun was forbidden.

Trespass by License Holder With an Openly Carried Handgun (PC 30.07)

  • A license holder commits an offense if the license holder:
    • openly carries a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, on property of another without effective consent; and
    • received notice that entry on the property by a license holder openly carrying a handgun was forbidden.

Discharge of Firearm in Certain Municipalities (PC 42.12)

  • A person commits an offense if the person recklessly discharges a firearm inside the corporate limits of a municipality having a population of 100,000 or more.

Unlawful Carrying Weapons (PC 46.02)

  • A person commits an offense if the person:
    • intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun; and
    • is not:
      • on the person's own premises or premises under the person's control; or
      • inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle or watercraft that is owned by the person or under the person's control.
  • A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun in a motor vehicle or watercraft that is owned by the person or under the person's control at any time in which:
    • the handgun is in plain view, unless the person is licensed to carry a handgun under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, and the handgun is carried in a shoulder or belt holster; or
    • the person is:
      • engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic or boating;
      • prohibited by law from possessing a firearm; or
      • a member of a criminal street gang, as defined by Section 71.01.
  •  A person commits an offense if the person:
    • intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a location-restricted knife;
    • is younger than 18 years of age at the time of the offense; and
    • is not:
      • on the person's own premises or premises under the person's control;
      • inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle or watercraft that is owned by the person or under the person's control; or
      • under the direct supervision of a parent or legal guardian of the person.

Places Weapons Prohibited (PC 46.03)

  • A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possesses or goes with a firearm, location-restricted knife, club, or prohibited weapon listed in Section 46.05(a):
    • on the physical premises of a school or educational institution, any grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by a school or educational institution is being conducted, or a passenger transportation vehicle of a school or educational institution, whether the school or educational institution is public or private, unless:
      • pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the institution; or
      • the person possesses or goes with a concealed handgun that the person is licensed to carry under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, and no other weapon to which this section applies, on the premises of an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education, on any grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by the institution is being conducted, or in a passenger transportation vehicle of the institution;
    • on the premises of a polling place on the day of an election or while early voting is in progress;
    • on the premises of any government court or offices utilized by the court, unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the court;
    • on the premises of a racetrack;
    • in or into a secured area of an airport; or
    • within 1,000 feet of premises the location of which is designated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as a place of execution under Article 43.19, Code of Criminal Procedure, on a day that a sentence of death is set to be imposed on the designated premises and the person received notice that:
      • going within 1,000 feet of the premises with a weapon listed under this subsection was prohibited; or
      • possessing a weapon listed under this subsection within 1,000 feet of the premises was prohibited.
  • A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possesses or goes with a location-restricted knife:
    • on the premises of a business that has a permit or license issued under Chapter 25, 28, 32, 69, or 74, Alcoholic Beverage Code, if the business derives 51 percent or more of its income from the sale or service of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption, as determined by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission under Section 104.06, Alcoholic Beverage Code;
    • on the premises where a high school, collegiate, or professional sporting event or interscholastic event is taking place, unless the person is a participant in the event and a location-restricted knife is used in the event;
    • on the premises of a correctional facility;
    • on the premises of a hospital licensed under Chapter 241, Health and Safety Code, or on the premises of a nursing facility licensed under Chapter 242, Health and Safety Code, unless the person has written authorization of the hospital or nursing facility administration, as appropriate;
    • on the premises of a mental hospital, as defined by Section 571.003, Health and Safety Code, unless the person has written authorization of the mental hospital administration;
    • in an amusement park; or
    • on the premises of a church, synagogue, or other established place of religious worship.

Unlawful Carrying of Handgun by License Holder (PC 46.035)

  • A license holder commits an offense if the license holder carries a handgun on or about the license holder's person under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, and intentionally displays the handgun in plain view of another person in a public place. It is an exception to the application of this subsection that the handgun was partially or wholly visible but was carried in a shoulder or belt holster by the license holder.
  • Notwithstanding Subsection (a), a license holder commits an offense if the license holder carries a partially or wholly visible handgun, regardless of whether the handgun is holstered, on or about the license holder's person under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, and intentionally displays the handgun in plain view of another person:

    • on the premises of an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education; or
    • on any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area of an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education.
  • Notwithstanding Subsection (a) or Section 46.03(a), a license holder commits an offense if the license holder carries a handgun on the campus of a private or independent institution of higher education in this state that has established rules, regulations, or other provisions prohibiting license holders from carrying handguns pursuant to Section 411.2031(e), Government Code, or on the grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by such an institution is being conducted, or in a passenger transportation vehicle of such an institution, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed, provided the institution gives effective notice under Section 30.06.
  • Notwithstanding Subsection (a) or Section 46.03(a), a license holder commits an offense if the license holder intentionally carries a concealed handgun on a portion of a premises located on the campus of an institution of higher education in this state on which the carrying of a concealed handgun is prohibited by rules, regulations, or other provisions established under Section 411.2031(d-1), Government Code, provided the institution gives effective notice under Section 30.06 with respect to that portion.
  • A license holder commits an offense if the license holder intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed or carried in a shoulder or belt holster, on or about the license holder's person:
    • on the premises of a business that has a permit or license issued under Chapter 25, 28, 32, 69, or 74, Alcoholic Beverage Code, if the business derives 51 percent or more of its income from the sale or service of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption, as determined by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission under Section 104.06, Alcoholic Beverage Code;
    • on the premises where a high school, collegiate, or professional sporting event or interscholastic event is taking place, unless the license holder is a participant in the event and a handgun is used in the event; *
    • on the premises of a correctional facility;
    • on the premises of a hospital licensed under Chapter 241, Health and Safety Code, or on the premises of a nursing facility licensed under Chapter 242, Health and Safety Code, unless the license holder has written authorization of the hospital or nursing facility administration, as appropriate; **
    • in an amusement park; or **
    • on the premises of a civil commitment facility.
  • A license holder commits an offense if the license holder intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed or carried in a shoulder or belt holster, in the room or rooms where a meeting of a governmental entity is held and if the meeting is an open meeting subject to Chapter 551, Government Code, and the entity provided notice as required by that chapter. **
  • A license holder commits an offense if, while intoxicated, the license holder carries a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed or carried in a shoulder or belt holster.
  • A license holder who is licensed as a security officer under Chapter 1702, Occupations Code, and employed as a security officer commits an offense if, while in the course and scope of the security officer's employment, the security officer violates a provision of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code.

* does not apply on the premises where a collegiate sporting event is taking place if the actor was not given effective notice under Section 30.06.

** does not apply if the actor was not given effective notice under Section 30.06 or 30.07.

Unlawful Possession of Firearm (PC 46.04)

  • A person who has been convicted of a felony commits an offense if he possesses a firearm:
    • after conviction and before the fifth anniversary of the person's release from confinement following conviction of the felony or the person's release from supervision under community supervision, parole, or mandatory supervision, whichever date is later; or
    • after the period described by Subdivision (1), at any location other than the premises at which the person lives.
  • A person who has been convicted of an offense under Section 22.01, punishable as a Class A misdemeanor and involving a member of the person's family or household, commits an offense if the person possesses a firearm before the fifth anniversary of the later of:
    • the date of the person's release from confinement following conviction of the misdemeanor; or
    • the date of the person's release from community supervision following conviction of the misdemeanor.
  • A person, other than a peace officer, as defined by Section 1.07, actively engaged in employment as a sworn, full-time paid employee of a state agency or political subdivision, who is subject to an order issued under Section 6.504 or Chapter 85, Family Code, under Article 17.292 or Chapter 7A, Code of Criminal Procedure, or by another jurisdiction as provided by Chapter 88, Family Code, commits an offense if the person possesses a firearm after receiving notice of the order and before expiration of the order.  (Note: This section is in effect until January 1, 2021)
  • A person, other than a peace officer, as defined by Section 1.07, actively engaged in employment as a sworn, full-time paid employee of a state agency or political subdivision, who is subject to an order issued under Section 6.504 or Chapter 85, Family Code, under Article 17.292 or Subchapter A, Chapter 7B, Code of Criminal Procedure, or by another jurisdiction as provided by Chapter 88, Family Code, commits an offense if the person possesses a firearm after receiving notice of the order and before expiration of the order.  (Note: This section will go into effect on January 1, 2021)

Unlawful Possession of Metal or Body Armor by Felon (PC 46.041)

  • A person who has been convicted of a felony commits an offense if after the conviction the person possesses metal or body armor.

Prohibited Weapons (PC 46.05)

  • A person commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly possesses, manufactures, transports, repairs, or sells:
  • any of the following items, unless the item is registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record maintained by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives or otherwise not subject to that registration requirement or unless the item is classified as a curio or relic by the United States Department of Justice:
    • an explosive weapon;
    • a machine gun; or
    • a short-barrel firearm;
  • armor-piercing ammunition;
  • a chemical dispensing device;
  • a zip gun;
  • a tire deflation device;
  • a firearm silencer, unless the firearm silencer is classified as a curio or relic by the United States Department of Justice or the actor otherwise possesses, manufactures, transports, repairs, or sells the firearm silencer in compliance with federal law; or
  • an improvised explosive device.

Unlawful Transfer of Certain Weapons (PC 46.06)

  • A person commits an offense if the person:
    • sells, rents, leases, loans, or gives a handgun to any person knowing that the person to whom the handgun is to be delivered intends to use it unlawfully or in the commission of an unlawful act;
    • intentionally or knowingly sells, rents, leases, or gives or offers to sell, rent, lease, or give to any child younger than 18 years of age any firearm, club, or location-restricted knife;
    • intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly sells a firearm or ammunition for a firearm to any person who is intoxicated;
    • knowingly sells a firearm or ammunition for a firearm to any person who has been convicted of a felony before the fifth anniversary of the later of the following dates:
      • the person's release from confinement following conviction of the felony; or
      • the person's release from supervision under community supervision, parole, or mandatory supervision following conviction of the felony;
    • sells, rents, leases, loans, or gives a handgun to any person knowing that an active protective order is directed to the person to whom the handgun is to be delivered; or
    • knowingly purchases, rents, leases, or receives as a loan or gift from another a handgun while an active protective order is directed to the actor.

Hoax Bombs (PC 46.08)

  • A person commits an offense if the person knowingly manufactures, sells, purchases, transports, or possesses a hoax bomb with intent to use the hoax bomb to:
    • make another believe that the hoax bomb is an explosive or incendiary device; or
    • cause alarm or reaction of any type by an official of a public safety agency or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies.

Components of Explosives (PC 46.09)

  • A person commits an offense if the person knowingly possesses components of an explosive weapon with the intent to combine the components into an explosive weapon for use in a criminal endeavor.

Deadly Weapon in Penal Institution (PC 46.10)

  • A person commits an offense if, while confined in a penal institution, he intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:
    • carries on or about his person a deadly weapon; or
    • possesses or conceals a deadly weapon in the penal institution.

Making a Firearm Accessible to a Child (PC 46.13)

  • A person commits an offense if a child gains access to a readily dischargeable firearm and the person with criminal negligence:
    • failed to secure the firearm; or
    • left the firearm in a place to which the person knew or should have known the child would gain access.

Firearm Smuggling (PC 46.14)

  • A person commits an offense if the person knowingly engages in the business of transporting or transferring a firearm that the person knows was acquired in violation of the laws of any state or of the United States. For purposes of this subsection, a person is considered to engage in the business of transporting or transferring a firearm if the person engages in that conduct:
    • on more than one occasion; or
    • for profit or any other form of remuneration.

  ​If you have been arrested for any of these crimes, call our office at 888-403-0383 and speak to an attorney today! 

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