Weapons offenses in Texas can include illegally possessing or carrying a weapon, improperly discharging a gun, or using one in the commission of a crime. The state does not take these offenses lightly, and you could easily end up facing serious felony charges if you are accused of violating certain Texas weapon laws.
Weapons that are illegal to possess in Tx
It’s important to remember that weapons aren’t limited to just guns under the Texas Penal Code. Illegal possession, carry and use offenses also apply to everything from clubs to chemical sprays to knives.
Texas criminal law prohibits the possession of certain weapons outright, except in cases of antiques, curios, or those licensed by the federal government. Prohibited weapons are:
1. Explosive weapons such as grenades, bombs and rockets.
2. Machine guns
3. Rifles with barrels less than 16 inches long
4. Shotguns with barrels less than 18 inches long.
5. Any rifle or shotgun altered so that the entire weapon is less than 26 inches long.
6. Switchblades knives.
7. Brass knuckles.
8. Improvised handguns, also known as “zip guns.”
Illegal possession of a switchblade or brass knuckles is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in a county jail and a fine of up to $4,000. The rest are third-degree felonies, which means they can get you 2 to 10 years in a state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Texas Gun Crimes – Penalties
Carrying or possessing a weapon illegally is one thing, using it is another. Texas law makes it a crime to fire a gun in public, unless in defense of yourself or another person, and enhances the penalties for using a gun in the commission of certain crimes.
Firing a gun in a public place falls under the disorderly conduct statute and is a Class B misdemeanor, except inside the city limits of a town with a population of more than 100,000 people. In that case, it becomes a Class A misdemeanor.
Using a gun, whether you fire it or not, while committing a violent crime such as robbery, assault, or sexual assault can automatically increase the offense to an “aggravated” status, making it afirst-degree felony punishable by up to life in prison.
If you carry a gun while committing other non-violent offenses, you also may not have the option of community supervision, instead of prison, if convicted. In some cases, even if you get community supervision, you will still be required to serve at least 90 days in jail.