When you buy a gun or other weapon, you may think that it is your right to possess those items, but the reality is that there are many laws that you have to follow to possess them legally.
Texas is among the states that has fairly loose gun laws. It’s believed that it is a citizen’s right to possess a weapon and to use it in their defense. However, those feelings still need to match up with regulations to protect others.
Did you know that Texas is given an “F” rating by the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence?
This rating was given primarily because the state does not require universal background checks when making gun purchases. This includes having no background checks on purchases at gun shows or for private sales.
You can possess most kinds of military-style weapons and arms in the state
Texas has few exceptions for weapons that cannot be owned. It also has age restrictions that need to be followed. For example, federal law states that it’s illegal for anyone under 18 to possess a handgun except for if they are hunting or defending themselves. Texas law differs and requires you to be 21 to buy a handgun from a licensed dealer. At 18, you’ll be allowed to buy any kind of rifle that is not prohibited by law.
What kinds of guns are banned in Texas?
Rifles with barrels shorter than 16 inches and shotguns with barrels under 18 inches are illegal. However, if you pay a $200 tax and register your weapon with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, then you may be granted an exception to possess those weapons.
Can you carry your weapon anywhere in Texas?
No. You need a license to openly carry your handgun in the state, but you won’t need one for a rifle. To get a license, you need to take four to six hours of training, register your fingerprints and apply online.
Guns are banned in some places including polling places, secure airports, courtrooms and schools. However, Texas also created a campus carry law that allows handguns to be possessed in dormitories and campus buildings.
As you see, there are some nuances in law. If you’re accused of a crime (concerning weapons or otherwise), it’s worth the time to discuss the situation with your attorney and to see how you can best defend your right to possession.