Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in Texas
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Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in Texas

Posted On - June 19th, 2012 | By Tim Clancy | Category - Criminal Defense

Have you been arrested or charged with unlawful possession of a firearm in Texas? Are you uncertain what the potential consequences will be, as well as any defenses you may legitimately raise? This blog posts identifies the situations where you can be charged with unlawful possession of a firearm in Texas. If you are facing prosecution for this offense, you want an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your constitutional 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.

When You May Be Charged with Unlawful Possession of a Firearm

    There are a number of instances where you can face prosecution in Texas for unlawful possession of a firearm:

  • As a convicted felon—Pursuant to Section 46.04 (a) of the Texas Penal Code, a person convicted of a felony may not possess a firearm for a period of five years after conviction. After the five year period, a convicted felon may only possess a firearm in his or her own home.
  • As a person convicted of domestic violence—Under Section 46.04 (b), if you have been previously convicted of a Class A misdemeanor involving a member of your family or household, you may not possess a firearm within five years of the date of release from confinement, or from community supervision following your conviction.
  • If you are the subject of a protective or restraining order—If you are currently under a restrictive order, either through criminal or family law proceedings, you may not possess a firearm as long as the order is in place. Texas Penal Code Section 46.04 (c).

If you are charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, you will be charged with a felony. All other charges of unlawful possession of a firearm are Class A misdemeanors.

Defenses to a Charge of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm

To convict you on a charge of unlawful possession, prosecutors must show that you intentionally or voluntarily possessed the weapon. Texas courts have ruled that either direct or circumstantial evidence can be used to meet this requirement. Accordingly, even though you never held a weapon in your hand, you may be charged, if the evidence supports intent or volition.

Defenses that can be raised include:

  • Sufficient evidence to show that you did not knowingly or intentionally have the firearm in your possession
  • Evidence that shows that you reasonably believed that your act was not a violation of the law
  • That your possession of the firearm stemmed from necessity (that you reasonably believed you were in immediate danger of serious bodily harm)

Contact Our Office

For a confidential consultation with an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney, contact us online at or call (214) 550-5771.

Attorney Kevin Clancy is AV-rated under Martindale-Hubbell’s peer review rating system.