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Implications of Certain Criminal Convictions on the Possession of Firearms in Texas

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Texans love their guns and their rights related to the purchasing, possession, and carrying of them. And, most likely as a result of this fact, the State of Texas has some of the most lenient firearm laws in the nation. For example, did you know that, in Texas, typically anyone can legally carry a handgun around in their vehicle for personal protection so long as it is concealed and not in plain sight? Furthermore, generally anyone who is 18 years or older may possess a firearm (including a handgun) in Texas.

Often times, I am asked whether or not certain types of criminal convictions have an impact on and affect a person’s ability to possess a firearm in the State of Texas. Therefore, I am here to briefly address the different types of criminal convictions that can prevent a person from being able to lawfully possess a firearm or handgun in Texas.

Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by Convicted Felon in Collin County, Texas

Section 46.04 of the Texas Penal Code specifically states that a person who has been convicted of any felony cannot lawfully possess a firearm until the fifth anniversary of the person’s release from confinement or community supervision (probation), whichever is later.***** Furthermore, even after that time expires, a person who has previously been convicted of any felony is strictly limited to possessing a firearm only where he or she lives. Any violation of this statute will result in the person being charged with a new 3rd Degree Felony.

Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by Person Convicted of Assault Involving a Family Member or Member of the Household

Section 46.04 of the Texas Penal Code also prohibits a person who has been convicted of an assault, punishable as a Class A Misdemeanor, that involved a member of the person’s family or household from possessing a firearm until the fifth anniversary of the person’s release from confinement or community supervision, whichever is later.***** Therefore, generally anyone convicted of assault family violence in Texas will be prohibited from possessing a firearm for a period of at least 5 years. Any violation of this statute will result in the filing of a new Class A Misdemeanor by the State.

Defending Against Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in Collin County, Texas

While the statute governing these restrictions on a person’s right to possess a firearm may seem rather cut and dry at first glance, the State still often times has difficulty proving the possession element of these types of crimes. Remember, in order for the State to satisfy their burden of proof on possession, they must convince twelve different people that a person had actual care, custody, control, or management of the firearm, and this can often be a difficult burden to overcome. Therefore, if you have been charged with Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in Texas, I invite you to contact me for a free consultation at (972) 372-4054 to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.

*****Please note that Federal Law very often times preempts and, therefore, overrides State Law governing the possession of firearms.