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Can a Felon have a Firearm in Texas?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

frisco criminal defense lawyerThe U.S. Attorney’s Office in the northern district of Texas filed charges against a New York man for being a felon in possession of a firearm. In late June, he allegedly flew to Dallas to visit a gun range, signed a form saying he wasn’t a felon, and posted a video of himself shooting a rifle on social media.

It is an interesting case. Under federal law, a felon cannot possess a gun but a felon in Texas can, under certain circumstances, have a gun. There are lots of misconceptions about gun laws in the United States, so it is important to understand the laws regulating firearm possession by a felon.

Unlawful Possession of a Firearm

In the Lone Star State, you commit “unlawful possession of a firearm” when you have a felony conviction on your criminal record and possess a gun. The language in the law is that straightforward. But as we mentioned above, there are circumstances in which you can have a gun if you have a felony. 

You can possess a gun five years after being released from prison, supervision, or parole for the felony conviction, but you can only possess that firearm in your home. If you are found with a gun anywhere else, it could be considered “unlawful possession of a firearm,” a third-degree felony. A conviction could result in two to 10 years in prison plus a $10,000 fine.

Federal law says that you cannot be in possession of a firearm or ammunition if you have a felony. If you violate that law, it could land you up to 10 years in prison and if you have three or more prior felony convictions, you could receive a minimum 15-year prison sentence. 

Although the state law gives felons very specific conditions under which they can have a gun, Texas state law more or less mirrors federal law. Its purpose is to prohibit felons from carrying guns in public. 

Call a Dallas County Criminal Defense Lawyer 

If you have been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm or any gun charge at the state or federal level, the penalties can be severe. Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer for help. The Frisco criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Biederman & Burleson P.L.L.C. can evaluate the circumstances on your case and help you build a strong defense. For a free consultation, call 469-333-3333 today.

 

Sources:

https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndtx/pr/new-york-man-who-allegedly-harassed-nypd-charged-gun-crime

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.46.htm

https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/usao-ut/legacy/2013/06/03/guncard.pdf

 

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