Did you know that weapons charges in Texas aren’t just for guns or knives? For example, clubs, tire deflation devices, and firearm silencers are included under the law and can lead to an unlawfully carrying weapons (UCW) charge, since they are illegal.
When it comes to unlawfully carrying of weapons, Texas penal code § 46.01 says that persons can be charged for improperly carrying a weapon, carrying a weapon in a place where it is not legal to do so, and for carrying an illegal weapon.
You might be thinking that your rights are covered by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, but the law is limited to what type of firearms can be carried, as well as how they are carried.
What Illegal Weapons Result In A Weapons Charge
So, what weapons are illegal, which can result in a UCW charge in Texas? There are many illegal weapons that will automatically result in a weapons charge in Texas if being carried, used, or even manufactured.
Unlike some firearms that simply require a concealed handgun license (CIL) to allow a person to legally carry a concealed handgun properly and in the right places, many weapons are simply illegal to carry, use, or manufacture. Some of them are guns and knives, but there are many others you may not know.
The list includes:
- Clubs – Any instrument that is designed to inflict serious injury or death by striking a person, and they can be blackjacks, nightsticks, maces, and tomahawks.
- Fully automatic firearms
- Explosive weapons – This can be a bomb, grenade, rocket, or mine, which are designed to cause serious bodily injury, death, substantial damage, or an alarming sound.
- Short barrel shotguns – Ones with barrels less than 18 inches long
- Rifles – Barrels are less than 16 inches long
- Knuckles – Knuckles are commonly made of brass, but this includes any finger rings or guards that are made with a hard substance that can inflict serious injury or death.
- Firearm silencers
- Improvised handguns or zip guns
- Tire deflation devices
- Improvised explosive devices
- Chemical dispensing devices
- Hoax bombs
- Armor-piercing ammunition
As you can see, many illegal weapons that result in a weapons charge in Texas go beyond just guns and knives. While some of these may be obvious to you, others may not. Find out more by learning the in’s and out’s of Texas’s PENAL § 46.01.
Summary – UCW charges in Texas cover illegal weapons other than guns and knives, such as explosive weapons and devices, knuckles, nunchucks, tire deflation devices, chemical dispensing devices, firearm silencers, and armor-piercing ammunition.
What Happens When You Get A Weapons Charge In Texas
If you are charged with the unlawful use of a weapon in Texas, the penalties can be very high, but they range. Depending on the circumstances, your UCW charge may be defined as either a misdemeanor or a felony charge, and once you are charged, you may lose your rights to own a firearm, in addition to other consequences.
The definition and outcome of your charge will be determined by the variables in your case, such as your intention with the weapon, how it was used, your criminal history and state of mind at the time, what led to the event, how the evidence was handled, and where the weapon was carried. Illegal places to carry a firearm include:
- Liquor stores, bars, and some restaurants
- Businesses who do not allow firearms
- Polling places on election day
- Places of execution on the day of execution
- Amusement parks
A UCW is a Class A misdemeanor offense that can result in up to one year of time in county jail, as well as a fine of up to $4,000. Incarceration may even occur for first-time offenders, and consequences can be even more severe. Your weapons charge case can become up to a third-degree felony, which can result in two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Usually, punishment this severe is a result of a person who’s had a previous felony conviction.
Additionally, if the person charged is a member of a criminal organization who also committed another crime during the event, there may be severe consequences. In an event that any person carrying a weapon commits a crime, this can result in more severe consequences.
Any weapons possessions violations can be prosecuted in state or federal court.
Summary – When you get a weapons charge in Texas, punishment can range in severity, depending on many circumstances, but the penalties can be as great as up to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Get The Help Of An Experienced Law Firm If You’ve Been Charged
Weapons charges in Texas are not to be taken lightly, and it’s important that, if you’ve received a UCW charge in Texas, you have a knowledgeable and experienced law team by your side to fight for you. We know the in’s and out’s of your rights and can defend your case to get you the best outcome possible.
No matter whether you have a history of convictions or this is your first, it’s important to have a team you can trust to get you through this tough time. Vinas & Graham, PLLC will be your guiding light throughout the process and will answer any questions you have at any time about your case. We are the trusted team in Houston for representation in weapons charges cases.
Want to see how we can help you? Contact us today at (713) 229-9992 to discuss your situation with our experienced team in a free consultation. We’d love to get to know you and your case, so that we can pursue the best possible results together.
Be sure to also follow us on Facebook and check out our reviews from some of our satisfied clients!