A Real Look at TX Gun Laws: Machine Guns, Zip Guns and More

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Did you know antique or curio guns manufactured before 1899 and replicas thereof which do not use rim fire or center fire ammunition are not included in the definition of “firearm” as it is used in Texas Penal Code Title 10, Chapter 46, which governs weapons?

A quick look at the NRA-ILA list of state gun laws reveals some interesting ones from Texas. Here we go.

Carry

A person commits an offense of unlawfully carrying a weapon if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries a handgun on or about his or her person unless the person is on one’s own premise or premises under the person’s control or inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle that is owned by the person or under the person’s control.

A person applying for a license to carry a handgun must apply by obtaining a request for application materials from a handgun dealer, the Department of Public Safety, or any other person approved by the department.  The Department of Public Safety shall review all applications materials and make a preliminary determination as to whether or not the individual is qualified to receive a handgun license. The Department will forward application materials to qualified applicants, or send written notification with the reasons that that the preliminary review indicates the individual is not qualified to receive a license.  On receipt of the application materials a criminal history record check is conducted by the Department of Public Safety.  The Department must issue or deny the license within 60 days of receipt of the completed application. The Department must be notified within 30 days of a name or address change.

A new license expires on the first birthday of the license holder occurring after the fourth anniversary of the date of issuance.  A renewed license expires on the license holder’s birthday, five years after the date of expiration of the previous license.

It is unlawful for a handgun license holder to carry a handgun on the premises of: a government court; a business that derives 51 percent or more of its income from the sale of alcohol for on-premises consumption; a school; a hospital or nursing home; an amusement park; a place of religious worship with actual notice that carrying is prohibited; a polling place on the day of an election; a meeting of a governing body; a race track; a secured area of an airport; a correctional facility; a correctional facility or within 1000 feet of such, on the day of an execution; the property of another after receiving notice that concealed handguns are forbidden on that property.  It is unlawful to possess a firearm in a penal institution.

It is unlawful for a handgun license holder to carry a handgun while intoxicated.  It is unlawful for a handgun license holder to carry a handgun openly on the premises of an institution of higher education.

Machine Guns

It is unlawful to possess, manufacture, transport, repair or sell a machine gun, explosive weapon, short-barreled firearm, or silencer.  Federal registration of such an item under the National Firearms Act is a defense to this prohibition.

Miscellaneous

A violation of the state’s firearms laws that occurs within 300 feet of a school or on premises where a school function is taking place shall result in an increased punishment.

It is unlawful to display a firearm in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm.

It is unlawful to discharge a firearm in a public place or on or across a public road.

It is unlawful to possess, manufacture, transport, repair or sell handgun ammunition that is designed primarily for the purpose of penetrating metal or body armor and to be used principally in pistols and revolvers.

A municipality may not adopt regulations relating to the transfer, private ownership, keeping, transportation, license or registration of firearms, ammunition, or firearms supplies.

It is unlawful to possess, manufacture, transport, repair or sell a zip gun (i.e. a device not originally a firearm that is adapted to expel a projectile using an explosion or burning substance.)

A person commits an offense if a child under 17 gains access to a readily dischargeable firearm and the person with criminal negligence failed to secure it or left it in a place to which the person knew or should have known the child would gain access.  It is an affirmative defense if the access was supervised by a person older than 18 and was for hunting, sporting, or other lawful purposes; consisted of lawful defense of people or property; was gained by entering property unlawfully; or occurred during a time when the actor was engaged in an agricultural enterprise.

A municipality, county or other subdivision of the state may not bring suit against a firearms or ammunition manufacturer, trade association, or seller for recovery of damages resulting from, or injunctive relief or abatement of a nuisance relating to, the lawful design, manufacture, marketing, or sale of firearms or ammunition to the public.

Source: NRA-ILA

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