Many Texas residents carry firearms within their households and sometimes on their person. Texas laws on gun rights are more lenient and give people the right to carry their firearms in certain areas. Bill HB 1927 of Texas law no longer requires residents to have a license to carry (LTC) a handgun as of September 1st, 2021 if they are 21 years or older and are not prohibited by state or federal law from possessing the firearm.
However, while you are allowed to carry your firearm in some areas, it’s essential to understand that there are other locations where firearms are not allowed, even with a license. If you are arrested with unlawful carrying of a weapon (UCW) charge, contact a defense attorney as soon as possible. They can guide you through the legal process and protect your rights during the proceedings. Some punishments for a UCW charge can impact your freedoms and life, so it’s vital that you contact a lawyer to help reduce the likelihood of encountering severe consequences.
What Does It Mean to Carry a Weapon Unlawfully?
When individuals take their firearm inside an area that does not allow weapons, they can encounter an unlawful carry of a weapon charge. Unlawfully carrying a weapon, or UCW, refers to the illegal possession of a handgun, illegal knife, or club in Texas. Most individuals find themselves with an unlawful carry of a weapon charge due to their location. You are restricted from carrying a weapon in certain areas and can face legal consequences.
The following are locations where carrying a weapon is illegal in Texas:
- Schools, school buses, and school activities
- A prison
- At some government meetings
- A church
- Polling locations
- Court or the offices used by a court
- The secure area of an airport
- A racetrack
- An amusement park
- While intoxicated
- Within 1,000 feet of a state execution
- A hospital or nursing home without written permission
- The premises of a civil commitment facility
- An institution of higher learning that doesn’t allow the carrying of handguns
Even those with licenses to carry their weapons can still face a UCW charge due to their location and other factors. Contacting your lawyer and discussing the details of your case can help you reduce the likelihood of being charged with harsh penalties.
What Are the Possible Penalties for Unlawful Carrying of Weapons in Texas?
Even though Texas is known for its leniency on gun restrictions, that doesn’t mean you are free from punishment if you’re charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon. Texas law states that in TX § 12.01. Texas Penal Code Section 46.0 most unlawful carrying weapons charges are classified as a Class A misdemeanor, and individuals can face up to one year in jail and up to $4,000 in fines.
However, other cases can result in harsher penalties. For example, suppose you unlawfully carry a weapon on premises licensed to sell alcoholic beverages. In that case, you can be charged with a third-degree felony which has penalties of two to ten years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Find a Dependable Criminal Defense Lawyer in Texas Today
Unlawful carrying of a weapon charges in Texas can significantly change your life. Your friendships, freedoms, and reputation can be at risk, which is why working with a dependable criminal defense lawyer in San Antonio, TX is vital to your case. At Sophia Martinez Law, we have the resources and tools necessary to protect your rights and guide you through legal proceedings.
Former District Attorney Sophia C. Martinez is fluent in English and Spanish and offers legal services in both languages. With over 25 years of experience working with individuals across Texas, count on us to provide the legal representation you can trust.
Call (210) 226-3000 or fill out our contact form to discuss your case with a reliable criminal defense lawyer today.