Often individuals who have been charged with a gun, firearm, or weapon offense in Dallas have unknowingly committed a criminal offense. Texas law permits almost anyone to possess a firearm in their home or in a locked and enclosed location in their vehicle. However, if an individual carries their handgun in an unlawful place or are prohibited from carrying a weapon because they are a convicted felony offender, they can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense.
A conviction for a gun or weapon crime in Dallas can result in serious penalties, including a possibly permanent criminal record, steep fines, inability to own or possess a firearm in the future and/or jail or prison time.
If you have been charged with a gun or weapon offense in Dallas, it is important to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will make every effort to fight the allegations against you. The state prosecutor is required to prove element of the charges against you beyond a reasonable doubt. This means if the judge or jury has any doubt in their mind, the charges against you could be reduced to a less serious offense or even dismissed.
Dallas Weapon Offenses Lawyer
If you have been accused of committing a firearm or weapon offense in Dallas, or any of the surrounding areas in Texas, including Garland, Irving, Grand Prairie, Decatur, Mesquite, or Richardson, contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy.
Attorney Richard McConathy is knowledgeable in all areas of Texas’s gun laws and will make every effort to achieve a dismissal or a reduction in the charges against you. Call Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy for a free consultation at (972) 233-5700 about your firearm or weapon allegations.
Dallas Firearm and Weapon Information Center
- Dallas Firearm and Weapon Examples
- Firearm and Weapon Offenses in Dallas
- Concealed Weapon Carry Laws in Texas
- Dallas Firearm and Weapon Penalties
- Consequences of Unlawfully Transferring a Weapon
- Firearm and Weapon Resources in Dallas
Dallas Firearm and Weapon Examples
Under section 46.01 of the Texas Penal Code, weapons, guns, and firearms in Texas that are prohibited and can result in a criminal offense can include any of the following:
- A knife,
- Armor-piercing ammunition,
- Bowie knives,
- Chemical dispensing devices,
- Explosive weapons,
- Firearm silencers,
- Illegal knives,
- Machine guns,
- Short-barrel firearms,
- Switchblade knives,
- Tomahawks, and/or
- Zip gun.
Firearm and Weapon Offenses in Dallas
Under Texas law, anyone who is charged with the following criminal weapon offenses could face severe penalties and repercussions:
An individual can be charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon under Tex. Penal Code § 46.02 if they intentionally, knowingly or recklessly carry a weapon on their body when not on their property or in their vehicle. This offense is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor or a felony of the third degree.
According to Tex. Penal Code § 46.02(a-1), an individual can be charged with unlawfully carrying a firearm if they intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carry a handgun on their person or in their vehicle:
- That is in plain view,
- When they are engaging in criminal activity,
- When they are prohibited from having a firearm in their possession, or
- If they are a member of a criminal street gang.
This offense can result in a Class A misdemeanor or third-degree felony conviction.
Under section 46.04 of the Texas Penal Code, an individual can be charged with unlawful possession of a firearm if they possess a firearm and:
- Have been convicted of a felony and possess the firearm before they have been released from confinement for five years;
- Have been convicted of domestic assault and possess the firearm before they have been released from confinement or community supervision for five years; or
- They are an employee of the state and possess the firearm before the expiration of a protective or restraining order against them.
This offense is punishable as Class A misdemeanor or felony of the third degree.
An individual can also be charged with a weapons offense if they possess a weapon during the commission of a criminal offense. These offenses are commonly called aggravated offenses, and can include, but are not limited to the following:
- Aggravated assault,
- Aggravated kidnapping,
- Aggravated robbery, and/or
- Aggravated sexual assault.
Additionally, if an individual knowingly carries a weapon in a prohibited public place in Texas, they can be charged with a criminal offense. These places can include, but are not limited to:
- Polling places on election day,
- Courthouses, and/or
Concealed Weapon Carry Laws in Texas
Chapter 411 of the Texas Government Code states individuals in Texas who have applied for and met the requirements to carry a concealed handgun license are permitted to carry a handgun in a public place that does not sell alcohol.
In order to meet the requirements to carry a concealed handgun, an individual must not have any felony convictions, must be in compliance with all state and federal laws, and meet other specified criteria.
An individual may be disqualified from receiving a concealed handgun license if they:
- Have any criminal charges currently pending,
- Have any alcohol, drug, chemical, or substance dependency,
- Have been diagnosed with certain types of psychological disorders,
- Have defaulted on state or city taxes, governmental fees, or child support, and/or
- Have any protective or restraining orders against them in place.
Dallas Firearm and Weapon Penalties
The penalties for firearm, weapon, and gun crimes in Texas are listed in Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code. However, these are the basic statutory penalties, and they can increase depending on a variety of factors, including the type of offense they allegedly committed, whether they are considered a violent offender, where the offense allegedly occurred, whether the alleged offense involved a minor, and whether the alleged offender has any criminal history.
- A conviction for a Class B misdemeanor weapons offense can result in a jail sentence up to 180 days and/or a fine up to $2,000.
- A conviction for a Class A misdemeanor weapons offense can result in a jail sentence up to one year and/or a fine up to $4,000.
- A conviction for a state jail felony weapons offense can result in a jail sentence ranging from 180 days to two years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
- A conviction for a felony of the third degree weapons offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from two to ten years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
- A conviction for a felony of the second degree weapons offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from two to 20 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
- A conviction for a felony of the first degree weapons offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from five to 99 years or life imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000.
Consequences of Unlawfully Transferring a Weapon
It’s no secret that Texans love their weapons, but giving or loaning a weapon to someone else is a risky activity. In certain circumstances, transferring a weapon to another person can land you in legal trouble. You could face criminal charges if you:
- Provide a handgun to a person if you know they intend to use it illegally or in the process of committing a crime.
- Knowingly provide, or offer to provide, a minor with any firearm, club, or a knife with a blade longer than 5.5 inches.
- Knowingly sell a gun or ammo to an intoxicated person.
- Knowingly sell a gun or ammo to a convicted felon within five years of their release from prison or parole.
- Provide a handgun to any person who is known to be the subject of a protective order.
- Provide or receive a handgun from someone else while you are subject to a protective order.
If you’re caught engaging in any of the activities referenced above, you face stiff penalties.
It is a Class A misdemeanor to unlawfully transfer certain weapons. Maximum penalties include up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
The charge is upgraded to a state jail felony if the weapon in question is a handgun. If convicted, you could spend anywhere from 180 days to 2 years behind bars. You could also be fined up to $10,000.
You may have a defense option available if you were charged for transferring a weapon to a child. According to Texas Penal Code 46.06(c), you could avoid prosecution if the parents or guardians of the child recipient consented to the transfer.
Firearm and Weapon Resources in Dallas
Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) – Handgun Licensing – The Texas DPS website provides general information on concealed handguns in Texas, how to apply for a concealed handgun in the state, answers to frequently asked firearm and gun questions, and Texas laws regarding firearm and weapon laws.
Texas Concealed Handgun Association (TCHA) – This Texas organization supports every responsible and law-abiding citizen in Texas to lawfully keep, own, and carry firearms, in addition to seeking to improve handgun laws in Texas, promoting responsible firearm safety and use, and encouraging high standards for firearm instruction and safety.
National Rifle Association (NRA) – The NRA is a national organization that promotes the Second Amendment right to bear arms in the United States and encourages responsible firearm education for every citizen.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) – Dallas Field Division – The ATF Dallas Field Division is responsible for criminal enforcement and industry regulatory activities throughout North Texas. The ATF is a national agency focused on reducing violent crime, including arson- and explosive-related crime throughout the U.S. The Dallas Field Division is located at:ATF Dallas Field Division
1114 Commerce Street
Dallas, Texas 75242
Phone: (469) 227-4300
Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy | Fort Worth Firearm Crime Attorney
Contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today for a consultation about your alleged gun or firearm crime throughout Dallas County in Texas. Richard McConathy is an experienced Dallas criminal defense lawyer who will make every effort to help you achieve the most desirable outcome for your alleged situation.
This article was last updated on Monday, January 28, 2019.