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Unlawful Possession of Firearm in Texas


Texas citizens are proud of their right to bear arms – it’s a right that many residents take seriously. Our weapons allow us to protect ourselves, our homes and properties, and most importantly, our families. However, this right can be taken away when we’re convicted of certain types of crimes, namely felonies and domestic violence.

If you were convicted of a felony or restrained from possessing or controlling a firearm because of spousal or child abuse, you could be considered a “prohibited possessor,” which is someone who is prohibited by law from owning, controlling, or possessing firearms.

Under Section 46.04 of the Texas Penal Code, Unlawful Possession of Firearm, it’s against the law for a “prohibited possessor” to possess a firearm before they have legally retained their firearm privileges. These two classes of individuals cannot possess a firearm: felons and individuals convicted of family violence.

Under Sec. 46.04, it’s against the law for anyone convicted of a felony to possess a firearm before the fifth anniversary of the felon’s release from confinement from community supervision, mandatory supervision, or parole.

A person also commits an offense under Sec. 46.04 if they are convicted of a family violence offense, which is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor and they possess a firearm before the fifth anniversary of their release from confinement or community supervision following the conviction of the misdemeanor for domestic violence.

Is it a Felony or Misdemeanor Offense?

Unlawful possession of a firearm is charged as a third-degree felony if the defendant was previously convicted of a felony, and it’s a Class A misdemeanor if the individual was convicted of a Class A misdemeanor offense for family violence.

Related: Restoration of Firearm Privileges in Texas

Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in jail and by a fine not to exceed $4,000. Third-degree felonies are punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison and by a fine not to exceed $10,000.

Accused of an offense under Sec. 46.04? Contact our Denton County criminal defense firm at once for a free case evaluation!

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