What Is a Prohibited Weapon in Texas?
Texas has a reputation as Second Amendment-friendly state. But the right to own and carry a handgun or shotgun does not automatically apply to other kinds of weapons. In fact, Collin County residents need to know they may be in possession of items that are considered illegal weapons under Texas law.
For example, did you know it is illegal to possess, buy, or sell brass knuckles anywhere in Texas? It is. The Texas Penal Code actually bans any kind of “finger rings or guards made of a hard substance” and designed to inflict “serious bodily injury” on someone else.
It does not matter if you actually wear or use the brass knuckles. If a Collin County law enforcement officer conducts a legal traffic stop and finds brass knuckles in your car, you can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, this carries a potential maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
Other Prohibited and Restricted Weapons
Aside from brass knuckles, the Penal Code also bans residents from possessing the following weapons:
- armor-piercing ammunition;
- chemical dispensing devices, except for personal protection devices such as pepper spray;
- a “zip gun,” i.e. an improvised firearm; and
- a caltrop, spike strip, or other tire deflation device.
There are also certain weapons that are prohibited unless they are registered with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives:
- machine guns;
- explosives, including bombs, rockets, mines, and grenades;
- rifles with a barrel length of less than 16 inches;
- shotguns with a barrel length of less than 18 inches;
- altered or “sawed-off” shotguns with an overall length of less than 36 inches; and
- firearm silencers.
Anyone who possesses, transports, or buys and sells any of the weapons listed above can be charged with a third-degree felony, except for zip guns, which is considered a lower-level state jail felony. In Texas, the maximum penalty for a third-degree felony conviction is ten years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Illegal Carrying of Handguns, Knives and Clubs
Finally, there are certain kinds of weapons that are legal to possess and carry on their own property, but not out in public. This applies to handguns as well as certain knives and clubs.
Illegal knives include:
- any regular knife with a blade of more than 5.5 inches;
- throwing knives;
- swords; and
Illegal clubs include:
- mace; and
Most offenses under this category are considered Class A misdemeanors.
Collin County Attorneys on Your Side
If you arrested for any offense related to unlawful possession or carrying of a weapon, you need to speak with a Collin County criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Even a misdemeanor conviction can have serious personal, financial, and legal consequences. You have the right to work with counsel who will make sure the police and the courts treat you fairly. Contact the offices of Rosenthal & Wadas today at (972) 369-0577 to speak with a Collin County criminal defense attorney who knows how to deal with weapons charges.