June 27, 2022

Texas gun laws are more relaxed than most states. However, there are specific gun laws, rules, and protocols that every person should know before carrying a firearm in Texas. 

This article explores the following five things to remember about Texas firearm laws. They include: 

  1. Most people don’t need a gun license to open carry 
  2. Some firearms are prohibited 
  3. Certain federal gun laws are not enforced in Texas
  4. Unlawful possession of a gun can lead to imprisonment 
  5. A criminal conviction can take away your gun rights 

If you’ve been charged with violating a federal or Texas gun law, it’s in your best interest to seek help from a proven Houston gun charge lawyer today. At The Napier Law Firm, our gun charge lawyers are experienced, aggressive, and here to fight for your freedom. Contact us today for a free consultation. 

Continue reading to learn more about Texas firearm laws. 

1. Most People Don’t Need a License to Open Carry a Gun 

Recently, Texas legislatures passed House Bill 1927 into law. One of the most notable characteristics of this Texas gun law is it allows “constitutional carry” (i.e., permitless carry) for most citizens in the state. 

That means qualifying individuals don’t need a gun license, background check, or training to open carry a firearm. In order to carry a gun in public without a permit, an individual must meet the following qualifications (but not limited to): 

  • Be 21 years of age or older.
  • Not have a prior felony or federal conviction that disqualifies you from gun ownership or possession.
  • Not have certain misdemeanor convictions. 
  • Be sober (i.e., not under the influence of alcohol or drugs)
  • Not be subjected to an active protective order 

If a person openly carries a gun without meeting the requirements, they can be subject to criminal prosecution. 

2. Some Firearms Are Prohibited 

Texas gun laws are more relaxed than most other states. However, there are still restrictions on certain types of weapons. Generally, it is against the law to own the following types of firearms in the Lone Star State: 

  • Machine guns (i.e., automatic weapons)
  • Sawed-off shotguns 
  • Bullets that can pierce armor
  • Most explosive weapons 
  • Silencers 
  • Zip guns 
  • Bump stocks 

Violating Texas firearm laws can result in criminal charges, fines, jail time, and a criminal record. 

3. Certain Federal Gun Laws Are Not Enforced in Texas

Texas is known as a “Second Amendment Sanctuary State.” So, many of the most recent federal gun laws are not enforced throughout the state. That means:

  • State officials are prohibited from enforcing certain federal firearm laws 
  • Removal of funding from entities who seek to enforce certain federal gun laws
  • Hotel guests are allowed to carry firearms 
  • Eligible citizens don’t need a permit to carry a gun 

4. Unlawful Possession of a Firearm Can Lead To Prison 

Although many gun laws serve the purpose of protecting second amendment rights, there are still restrictions on who can possess a firearm. Generally, it is illegal for the following people to own or possess a firearm in Houston under the following circumstances: 

  • A convicted felon within five years of their conviction. Afterward, they may possess a gun, but only within the confines of their property. 
  • Individuals convicted of domestic violence crimes within five years of their release from jail, prison, or community supervision. 
  • Individuals who have an active restraining order against them. 

Individuals convicted for unlawful possession of a firearm in Texas face criminal charges (class A misdemeanor or third-degree felony), up to 1 – 10 years incarceration, fines, and more. 

If you’ve been charged with unlawful firearm possession in Houston, Texas, it’s in your best interest to consult with a Houston gun charge lawyer today. 

5. A Criminal Conviction Can Take Away Your Gun Rights

Anyone convicted of a felony offense and certain misdemeanor offenses can lose their right to possess or own a gun. In most cases, even after gun rights are restored, there are restrictions. If you’re facing criminal offenses in Texas, you need an attorney who will fight for your freedom, reputation, and rights. 

Whether you’re a first-time offender in Texas or have been convicted of past crimes, we can help. Contact George Napier today to speak with a proven criminal defense lawyer in Houston, Texas.