In many jurisdictions, it is illegal to possess a firearm when someone is a convicted felon or does not have a valid permit. Texas has a law that prohibits certain people from possessing a weapon at all. That law is called “unlawful gun possession.”

How Does Texas Define Unlawful Gun Possession?

Unlawful gun possession law is defined as having a firearm under the following circumstances:

  • As a convicted felon
  • When someone has a protective or restraining order against the person
  • The person has been convicted of a Class A misdemeanor involving violence against a family or household member

Can I Still Be Arrested If I Am Now Legally Allowed to Carry a Weapon?

A person who is a convicted felon cannot possess a firearm for five years after their conviction. After the five-year period, they may only possess a firearm in their own home. If the person is found to have a gun outside their home, they can be arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm.

Why Can I Not Possess a Firearm When I Was Only Convicted of a Domestic Charge?

Any person convicted of domestic violence, or violence against a family or household member, cannot possess a firearm for five years, even if they did not use a gun while committing domestic violence. The five-year period starts after the person leaves confinement or community supervision. If someone has a gun during that period, it is considered a violation.

Do Restraining or Protective Orders Have a Time Limit Like Other Restrictions?

No. A person who possesses a firearm and has a restraining order against them can be arrested for unlawful possession regardless of how much time passes after the conviction.

What Is the Punishment for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in Texas?

Punishment for unlawful possession is two to 10 years in prison and/or $10,000 fine.

Do I Need an Attorney to Help Me with My Case?

Unlawful gun possession is a serious charge, one that comes with a severe punishment. Contact a Texas criminal attorney to fight your unlawful gun possession charge.