The carrying or use of firearms and other weapons have become hot-button topics throughout the United States, and Texas is no exception. Whether an individual has a concealed handgun license (CHL) or not, they are held to high standards regarding their ability to own a weapon.
Illegally carrying or using a weapon in the state of Texas is not taken lightly. If you are caught breaking the laws outlined in the Texas Constitution, you could be facing severe weapons charges. Weapons charges are often considered a federal crime. That’s why you should speak with an experienced criminal attorney like the ones at Vinas & Graham to learn more about what’s involved if you are charged with illegally possessing a weapon.
When you’re considering the purchase and use of any weapon, understanding the laws surrounding that decision can mean the difference between your freedom and harsh legal penalties.
Is Unlawfully Carrying A Weapon A Federal Crime?
While the second amendment of the US Constitution allows American citizens the right to keep and bear arms, each state has its own set of guidelines. In Texas, for example, it might be legal for someone without a CHL to have a gun on their property, or a property they manage. The statutory allowance for general weapon possession ends here, though.
If an unlicensed man or woman is found to be carrying a weapon, or using a weapon, in a public setting, that person would be guilty of committing a federal crime.
Can You Face Weapons Charges If You Have A Concealed Handgun License?
If you have gone through the proper steps to obtain a CHL, you will have gained the authority to carry your weapon in areas outside of your personal properties. This does not mean, however, that you have the right to carry that weapon anywhere you like.
There are several types of places where you can’t carry a firearm or weapon, even if you have a CHL. Licensed persons found to be carrying their firearms in the following places could be charged with federal weapons charges:
- Liquor Stores/ Bars/ some Restaurants
- Political Polling Locations
- Places Where Executions are Taking Place
- Amusement Parks
If a location doesn’t fall under one of these categories, it is still illegal to carry your weapon on their premises if they have rules against firearms.
Are There Other Types Of Weapons Charges That Are A Federal Crime?
Illegally carrying a weapon, both with a license or without, is not the only type of weapons charges that can be viewed as a federal crime. The illegal use, obtainment, or distribution of weapons also fall under this umbrella.
For instance, gun trafficking and illegally obtaining a weapon’s permit are both labeled as a federal offense. Another example is violent crimes that involve the use of weapons, such as guns, knives, or explosives. By definition, any federal crime, i.e., kidnapping, carjacking, or robbery, committed with the use of an unlawful weapon will be classified as a violent crime.
What Happens If You’re Charged With Federal Weapons Charges?
If you have been accused of a federal crime due to weapons charges, this serious accusation has the power to change your life. You will be placed under the surveillance of government agencies, such as the FBI or DEA, for lengthy periods that can last years.
They will be given the allowance to obtain a heightened-level of information about you that would typically go against your constitutional rights.
There are several steps involved during federal criminal charges, including:
- Federal Investigation
- Grand Jury Indictment
- Preliminary Hearings
- Criminal Jury Trial
- Federal Sentencing
Finding A Criminal Attorney To Help With Federal Weapons Charges
If you are facing an indictment for weapons charges that have been labeled a federal crime, the worst thing you could do is face them on your own.
The legal team at Vinas & Graham has a combined 30+ years of experience within the realm of criminal law. They understand the legal statutes surrounding federal weapons charges and are ready to help you face your indictment head-on.