To whom can I legally sell my gun in Texas?

On Behalf of | Sep 17, 2021 | Weapons Crimes

In Texas, you have the right to privately sell your gun to another person. If you are not engaged in the firearm business, you can sell your weapon without having a license to do so. However, you must be careful about whom you sell your gun to, as you could commit a serious crime if you sell it to an ineligible person.

Unlawful transfer of weapons

Federal law only requires a person to have a license to sell firearms if they are engaged in the firearm business. This means that you can sell your gun to another person even if you don’t have a license to do so. Also, as a private seller, you do not need to run a background check on your prospective buyer. However, you must make sure that the person you sell your gun to is not:

  • A person who intends to commit an unlawful act with that gun
  • A child younger than 18 years old
  • An intoxicated person
  • A person who has a felony conviction and less than five years have passed since that person got released from confinement or supervision
  • A person who has an active protective order against them

The court considers most of these offenses as a Class A misdemeanor, except for selling the gun to a child, in which case the offense would be a state jail felony.

Penalties

Class A misdemeanors are the most serious of misdemeanors in Texas. The court punishes Class A misdemeanors with a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. Sometimes, the court can impose both penalties on the accused.

Selling a gun to a minor has more severe consequences, as this offense classifies as a state jail felony. In that case, the court would punish the person with a sentence between 180 days and 2 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. However, if the accused had one prior conviction of a felony, their crime would not classify as a state jail felony but as a third-degree felony. The court punishes third-degree felonies with a sentence of a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Defense

If you face a criminal charge for selling your gun to the wrong person, you have the right to defend yourself in court. The court may release your charges if you prove to them that you are innocent. For example, you wouldn’t be guilty of a crime if you didn’t know that the person you sold the gun to would use it unlawfully. Also, you wouldn’t be guilty if you sold a gun to a child when the child’s parent gave you written permission to do so. Remember, a criminal charge does not necessarily lead to a conviction, and you have the right to fight for your freedom in court.