The most common type of weapons violation is an unlawful carrying weapons charge. If you knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly carry on or about your person a handgun, club, or illegal knife, you can be prosecuted for the Class A Misdemeanor of unlawfully carrying a weapon. These charges are often classified as misdemeanors, but they may be felony offenses in certain cases. This is also true for the similar crime of the unlawful carrying of a handgun by a license holder.
Texas lawmakers enacted open carry legislation in 2015 allowing licensed residents to keep handguns and other weapons openly displayed on their shoulder or in belt holsters. However, alleged offenders can still face criminal charges for the improper carrying of a handgun, illegal knife, or club.
Generally, it is not against the law to carry a handgun on property you own or control, including motor vehicles and watercraft. Beyond that, those with licenses to carry firearms – as well as law enforcement and court officers – can legally carry guns beyond their own “premises” under certain circumstances but not in every circumstance.
Even with a license, you cannot carry a handgun:
- at an institution of higher learning where carrying handguns is prohibited
- on licensed premises that derive more than 50 percent of their income from alcohol sales
- at a prison or jail
- at a church
- at an amusement park
- at certain government meetings
- while intoxicated
Location Restricted Knives
The law used to prohibit the carrying of all illegal knives, but it changed in 2017. Now, the statute only restricts the carrying of “location-restricted knives” by those under age 18. Location restricted knives are knives over 5.5 inches long. Unlike the rest of the statute, the offense level for a location restricted knife offense is only a Class C Misdemeanor.
Contact a Skilled Misdemeanor Lawyer
A person can be sentenced to either deferred adjudication or regular probation for an unlawful carrying weapons charge. If you or someone you care about has been charged with a crime, don’t take chances with your future. Call Rubin Law Firm, PLLC and speak with a Houston criminal defense attorney at (713) 354-4915 to discuss your case and to learn more about how we can help.