Have you been charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon in Texas? Are you unsure of the potential ramification of such a charge? Do you have questions or concerns about what potential defenses you might raise? This blog post sets forth the provisions of the statute, and identifies the sanctions, as well as some defenses you might be able to make. If you have been charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon in Texas, you want an experienced lawyer to protect your rights.
At The Law Office of Kevin Clancy & The Law Office of Tim Clancy, in Dallas, we bring nearly 50 years of combined criminal law experience to individuals across the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Attorney Kevin Clancy, a former prosecutor, knows the strategies the state employs when investigating and arguing a criminal case. We will work closely with you to take all available preemptive measures to minimize the consequences of an arrest, and obtain acquittal or dismissal of the charges.
The Law Governing Carrying Weapons in Texas
According to Section 46.02 of the Texas Penal Code, you have violated the law if you intentionally, knowingly or recklessly carry a handgun, illegal knife or club, either on or about your person. A “club” is further defined by the law to include any instrument that is “specially designed, made or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death,” and includes blackjacks, nightsticks, maces and tomahawks. An illegal knife can include:
- Any knife with a blade longer than 5 ½ inches
- Any hand instrument designed to cut or stab another by being thrown
- A dagger, bowie knife, sword or spear
The statute further identifies the specific places where a person may not carry a weapon. These include:
- On the premises of a school or educational institution, or in any passenger transportation vehicle of a school or education institution
- On the premises of a polling place on the day of an election
- On the premises of court or government offices used by a court
- At a racetrack
- In a secured area at an airport
If you are charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon while on the premises of a facility that sells alcoholic beverages, you will be charged with a first degree felony. Otherwise, the charge is a Class A misdemeanor.
Defenses to a Charge of Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon
The statute sets forth a number of valid defenses:
- The discharge of your official duties as a member of armed or state military forces
- On your own property
- Engaged in lawful hunting, fishing or en route to these activities, and the weapon is typically used for hunting or fishing
- You hold a security officer commission issued by the Texas Board of Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies
- You have a valid license to carry a concealed handgun
- You are the holder of an alcoholic beverage permit
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For a confidential consultation with an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney, contact us online at or call 214-740-9955.
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