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Can I Open Carry a Handgun Without a Permit in Texas? 

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austin criminal defense lawyerStarting on the first of September 2021, Texans could begin carrying handguns openly or concealed without training or possessing a concealed carry license if they are over age 21. While this reduced the potential for criminal charges for what many would consider to be standard behavior for gun owners, there are still plenty of potential pitfalls when it comes to incorrectly possessing firearms in the state of Texas. 

This is especially true considering that the deal the Senate made to allow permit-free handgun carrying increased the criminal penalties for felons and family violence offenders who have a weapon in their possession. If you are facing criminal weapons charges, get help from an experienced Austin criminal defense attorney right away. 

Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon in Texas 

There are still many circumstances when owning, storing, or handling a weapon is illegal in Texas. Unlawfully carrying a weapon happens when someone: 

  • Younger than 21 is carrying a handgun

  • Carries a gun when they are committing a crime

  • Is not allowed to possess a gun because of prior felonies or acts of family violence 

  • Is a member of a gang 

  • Is on the premises of a location where firearms are restricted, such as a school, hospital, airport, etc. 

It is also illegal to give a weapon to another person or allow a minor to get access to a gun. 

Consequences For Unlawful Possession of a Firearm

The penalties for illegally possessing a gun depend on whether you are a felon and how long it has been since you were last incarcerated for a crime. For example, if you have previously been convicted of a felony and you are convicted again for unlawful possession of a firearm, you can face third-degree felony charges and two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. The penalties can be increased for those deemed habitual felony offenders. 

If you have been convicted of a Class A misdemeanor for family violence and are found to be in illegal possession of a firearm less than five years since your last confinement, you can face another Class A Misdemeanor charge, up to a year in jail, and a fine of up to $4,000. 

Contact an Austin, TX Weapons Crimes Defense Lawyer

The consequences of being successfully prosecuted for a gun crime can have a serious impact on your personal and professional life for many years to come. If you are being charged with a gun crime in Texas, call the offices of Morales Law Office, Attorneys at Law, PLLC. to schedule a free consultation with one of our Travis County gun crimes attorneys. Contact us today at 512-474-2222



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