Weapons Charge Criminal Attorney in Lubbock

The Second Amendment right to bear arms is one of Texas’ most cherished freedoms. However, the right to bear arms is not unconditional. In Texas, you can be arrested and charged with a criminal offense for possessing, carrying, or interacting with a gun or other weapon in an illegal manner.

Three common weapons charges in Lubbock County are:

  • Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon

  • Unlawful Possession of a Firearm

  • Possession, Manufacture, Transport, Repair, or Sale of a Prohibited Weapon

If you’ve been arrested for a weapons or firearms offense in West Texas, a criminal defense attorney with experience defending firearm criminal cases can fight to protect your gun rights. Contact me today to schedule a free initial consultation for your case.

Unlawful Carrying of Weapons

Under Texas law, it is a crime to carry a handgun, which is any firearm that can be fired with one hand, if you are not in any of the following locations:

  • On your own premises.

  • On premises that are under your control.

  • Inside of a motor a vehicle or watercraft that you own or control.

  • Directly en route to a motor a vehicle or watercraft you own or control.

Even if you are in a motor a vehicle or watercraft that you own or control, you can be charged with unlawful carrying of a weapon if you carry a handgun and any of the following apply:

  • The handgun is displayed in plain view;

  • You are engaged in criminal activity other than a Class C misdemeanor traffic or boating offense;

  • You are prohibited by law from possessing a firearm;  or

  • You are a member of a criminal street gang.

Finally, the crime of unlawful carrying of a weapon also includes the carrying of a knife with a blade over 5.5” by a person younger than 18 years old without the direct supervision of a parent or legal guardian if they are outside their own premises, premises in their control, their own motor vehicle or watercraft, or a motor vehicle or watercraft under their control.

Unlawful carrying of a handgun is a Class A misdemeanor, except that it is a third degree felony if the offense occurs in an establishment that is licensed or permitted to sell alcoholic beverages, such as a bar or restaurant. Unlawful carrying of a location-restricted knife by a minor is a Class C misdemeanor.

Relevant Statutes:

Texas Penal Code § 46.02 — Unlawful Carrying Weapons

Texas Penal Code § 46.01 — Definitions of “Handgun” and “Location-Restricted Knife”

Unlawful Possession of Firearms

Texas law prohibits people who have been convicted of felony-level criminal charges or a Class A misdemeanor domestic violence offense from possessing a firearm for 5 years after being released from confinement or supervision. Once the 5 year period is up, people who have been convicted of these crimes are only allowed to have a gun on the premises where they live.

Therefore, you can be charged with unlawful possession of a firearm for either of the following violations:

  • Possessing a firearm anywhere before the 5 year period has expired; or

  • Possessing a firearm outside of the premises where you live after the 5 year period has ended.

If you are prohibited from possessing a gun because you are a convicted felon, unlawful possession of a firearm is a third degree felony. However, if your prior conviction was for a domestic violence conviction, it is a Class A misdemeanor for you to unlawfully possess a gun.

Relevant Statutes:

Texas Penal Code § 46.04 — Unlawful Possession of Firearm

Texas Penal Code § 46.01(3) — Definition of “Firearm”

Possession, Manufacture, Transport, Repair, or Sale of a Prohibited Weapon

Some weapons are considered so dangerous that they are illegal in Texas under almost all circumstances. It is generally a crime to possess, manufacture, transport, repair, or sell any of the following illegal weapons:

  • An explosive weapon;

  • A machine gun;

  • A short-barrel firearm;

  • Armor-piercing ammunition;

  • A chemical dispensing device;

  • A zip gun;

  • A tire deflation device;

  • A firearm silencer;  or

  • An improvised explosive device.

Possession, manufacture, transport, repair, or sale of a prohibited weapon is generally a third degree felony, except that possessing, manufacturing, transporting, repairing, or selling a tire deflation device is only a state jail felony.

Relevant Statute:

Texas Penal Code § 46.05 — Prohibited Weapons