While Texas gun laws are among the least restrictive in the country, certain types of criminal charges could impact your rights to obtain a gun license.
In Texas, the only requirement for owning a gun is that you be at least 18 years old for a long arm and 21 for a handgun. If you can show proper identification, you do not have to go through a background check in order to purchase a gun from a private seller. However, you do need a license if you intend to carry a handgun or to purchase one from a private dealer. As experienced Travis County criminal defense lawyers, we can help defend your gun rights when you are facing criminal charges.
How an Arrest Impacts Your Gun Rights
In order to carry a firearm on your person or to keep one with you in your vehicle, you will need to obtain a License to Carry a Handgun (LTC) through the Texas Department of Public Safety. Among the requirements is that you submit to a background check and fingerprinting as part of your application. Unfortunately, if you are facing charges in a criminal matter, your application will most likely be denied.
Even if you have only been charged in a criminal matter and have not yet been convicted, it could impact your rights to gun ownership. Under Section 411.172 of the Texas Government Code , crimes that jeopardize your gun rights include:
● Felony offenses, such as burglary, domestic violence, certain types of assaults, drug crimes, and attempted homicide or murder;
● Class A or B criminal misdemeanor offenses, such as certain theft offenses, marijuana possession, or indecent exposure;
● Charges related to Driving While Intoxicated ( DWI), even if it is a first offense.
There are certain types of crimes that will not impact your LTC license. These include Class C misdemeanor crimes such as trespassing, public intoxication, petty thefts, and ‘simple’ assault.
What Happens to Your Guns and Gun License During an Arrest?
An arrest does not necessarily impact your gun ownership rights as you are not required to register before purchasing one in Texas. However, your gun license will be immediately suspended and the police are likely to seize any firearms which they perceive as a threat or if they are suspected of being used in the crime.
Your LTC will remain suspended over the course of your criminal hearings and trial. If you are not convicted of the crime, you have the right to have your license restored. If you are found in possession of a firearm while your case awaits trial, you could end up facing additional criminal charges.
Reach Out to Our Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers
When it comes to defending you in criminal matters and protecting your gun rights, Granger and Mueller PC provides the strong legal representation you need. To get our team working on your case, contact our Travis County criminal defense lawyers to request a consultation today.