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How does location matter in unlawful weapon possession?

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2022 | Weapons Crimes

Acquiring a license to carry a firearm may help you avoid a charge of unlawfully possessing a gun. Even if you do not have a carry license, recent efforts by Texas lawmakers to broaden gun ownership under the state’s HB 1927 law may give you some leeway. Still, due to varying situations, some state residents have to deal with an illegal weapon possession charge just because the police found them with a gun.

According to state law, where you happen to be at the time law enforcement finds you with a gun will matter in whether a prosecutor can make a credible case for unlawful possession.

A place that you control

According to state law, most residents should have no problem carrying a gun in a place they own. A common example is if you are at your house or another location that you own. Even if you do not own the location, the law does permit weapon possession in many circumstances provided you control the property. This may involve a place that you rent or otherwise have authority over.

Vehicles that you own

The same principle of ownership or control applies to vehicles. In the event you are driving in your car and the police pull you over and find a gun in your vehicle, you might have a strong argument that the law allows you to have the gun since you own the car or have control over it.

Additionally, you may own a boat and want to take it out for fishing or just a ride across the water. Texas law specifically names watercraft, so having a gun on your boat should not pose a legal problem in most situations.

Certain actions may be factors

Criminal cases can become complicated for different reasons, such as your actions at the time law enforcement finds you with a gun. For example, state law could find you guilty of a crime if you have a handgun in plain view in your own car unless you are 21 years old or have a license to carry a handgun. You might also run into legal trouble if the law specifically prohibits you from having a firearm at all.

A criminal conviction for unlawfully possessing a gun could send you to jail and cause you to lose your firearm. Knowing possible defenses against unlawful weapons charges may be of benefit to you.