Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon
The Second Amendment of the United State Constitution and Article I Section 23 of the Texas Constitution contain our rights with regard to the right to bear arms. This inalienable right to possess and own firearms in Texas is held in high regard. Many laws have been passed to advance this right, but many laws have been passed to restrict your right to possess or own a firearm.
Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon or more commonly referred to as UCW, in Texas is found in Chapter 46 in the Texas Penal Code. It is important to know the law with regard to gun ownership especially in Texas. Texans often take this right for granted and can potentially be faced with serious fines or even imprisonment for a violation of this law.
Criminal Defense Attorney for Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon Arrests in Fort Worth, TX
Were you arrested for any kind of alleged weapons crime in the greater DFW area? Do not say anything to authorities without legal representation. Contact Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC as soon as possible.
Andrea Townsend, Steve Gebhardt, and Brian Eppes are criminal defense lawyers in Fort Worth who represent clients charged with weapons charges in such communities as Tarrant County, Parker County, and Johnson County, including Fort Worth, Weatherford, Arlington, Cleburne, and many others. Call 817-502-3600 today to receive a free initial consultation that will allow our attorneys to provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case.
Overview of Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon Crimes in Tarrant County
Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon Penalties in Texas
Texas Penal Code Section 46.02 codifies the offense of unlawfully carrying a weapon. The location of the weapon determines the degree and level of offense one can be charged with. Under Texas Penal Code Section 46.02:
a) A person commits an offense if the person:
1) Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun or club; and
2) Is not:
A. On the person’s own premise or premises under the person’s control; or
B. Inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle or watercraft that is owned by the person or under the person’s control.
b) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his person a handgun in a motor vehicle or watercraft that is owned by the person or under the person’s control at any time in which:
1) The handgun is in plain view, unless the person is licensed to carry a handgun under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, and the handgun is carried in a shoulder or belt holster; or
2) The person is:
A. Engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic or boating;
B. Prohibited by law from possessing a firearm; or
C. A member of a criminal street gang, as defined by Section 71.01 of the Texas Penal Code.
c) A person commits an offense if the person:
1) Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a location-restricted knife:
2) Is younger than 18 years of age at the time of the offense; and
3) Is not:
A. On the person’s own premises under the person’s control;
B. Inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle or watercraft that is owned by the person or under the person’s control; or
C. Under the direct supervision of a parent or legal guardian.
The penalties for an offense under Texas Penal Code Section 46.02 is a Class A misdemeanor. If charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon, a person is facing up to a $4,000 fine and up to one (1) year in the County Jail, unless the person is charged under section (c) above; then it is a Class C misdemeanor with the possible range of up to a $500 fine.
Under Texas Penal Code Section 46.03, if a person possesses a firearm as described above in a location that has been designated as a prohibited place, such as an airport, a premises that is licensed or issued a permit by the State of Texas for the sale of alcoholic beverages, a courthouse, a school, etc., the offense will be charged as a third-degree felony in Texas. The possible penalty for a third-degree felony is up to a $10,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison.
What does it mean to have a “travelling” defense in Texas?
Governor Rick Perry signed the law that allows a person to possess a firearm without a permit to carry a concealed handgun to and from their premises and their vehicle. A person can carry a handgun in their vehicle as long as it is not in plain view and the person is not engaged in criminal activity, a member of a criminal street gang, or otherwise prohibited from carrying a firearm. A person who has been convicted of a felony at any point is still prohibited from carrying a firearm in their vehicle or anywhere else with the exception of their home. There are restrictions, however, on a person who has been convicted of a felony of possessing a firearm in their home under Texas law, depending on when the felony conviction occurred.
Texas Resources for Firearms and Weapon Offenses
National Rifle Association (NRA) – The NRA is a nonprofit organization that advocates for individuals’ rights to carry and own firearms. The NRA was founded in 1871 and has been an active political force in Texas and across the United States in strengthening one’s rights to own a firearm. The NRA plays an active role in education and training for those interested in possessing or owning a firearm.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) — The ATF is a law enforcement agency under the umbrella of the United States Department of Justice. The goal of the organization is to be a watchdog against criminal organizations and the illegal trafficking and use of firearms, explosives, and terrorism. The agency does provide training and research in the area of firearms and explosives. The ATF also investigates and targets those involved in the traffic of illicit alcohol and contraband tobacco trade.
Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC | Fort Worth Firearms and Weapon Defense Lawyer
If you were arrested in the DFW area for any kind of alleged firearms or weapons crime, it will be in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. Townsend, Gebhardt, and Eppes PLLC, can fight to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed.
Fort Worth criminal defense attorneys Andrea Townsend, Steve Gebhardt, and Brian Eppes aggressively defend individuals in Cleburne, Fort Worth, Weatherford, Arlington, and several other surrounding areas of Tarrant County, Parker County, and Johnson County. They can review your case and help you understand all of your legal options when you call 817-502-3600 or complete an online form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.