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Unlawful Carrying of Weapons in Denton, Texas


Unlike some states, Texas happens to be rather “gun friendly.” Unless barred under the law, Texas residents are not required to obtain a state license to purchase a handgun, rifle, or shotgun, nor are they prohibited from purchasing rifles and shotguns in contiguous states.

Under State Constitutional Provision – Article 1, Section 23, it states, “Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the state.” The provision goes on to say that the Legislature has the power to regulate the “wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime.”

Residents don’t need a license to purchase a firearm in Texas, however, there are clear exceptions to the rule. If a resident is convicted of a Class A misdemeanor for family violence, or convicted of a felony, they face restrictions for possessing a firearm. These individuals are often referred to as “prohibited possessors.”

What Happens if I Unlawfully Carry a Weapon?

While it’s perfectly legal for most adults to purchase a firearm in Texas without a license, the state does regulate how people display their weapons.

Let’s take a look at what happens when someone unlawfully carries a weapon, which is criminalized under Section 46.02 of the Texas Penal Code. Under this section, it’s against the law for you to carry a handgun and you are not:

  • On your own property
  • On a property that’s under your control
  • On your way to your personal car, truck, or boat
  • En route to a vehicle or boat that’s under your control
  • Inside your personal vehicle or boat

Essentially, you commit the offense of “unlawfully carrying of a weapon” if you carry a handgun on your boat or in your vehicle and the handgun is in plain view. However, you are not breaking the law if you have a license to carry a handgun and you have it in a holster or a shoulder belt.

Unlawful carrying of a weapon under Sec. 46.02 is generally prosecuted as a Class A misdemeanor in Texas, punishable by up to one year in jail, or by a fine not to exceed $4,000, or both. If you display the weapon in a place that’s license to sell alcohol, like a bar or a nightclub, you would be guilty of a third-degree felony.

Facing weapons charges in Denton County? Contact our firm to schedule your free case evaluation today!

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