Texas has a well-earned reputation for supporting Second Amendment rights. Federal and national laws contain essential statutes that preserve a person’s right to bear arms and to act in self-defense.
However, these facts do not mean every kind of weapon is acceptable. Unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of an illegal weapon can lead to criminal charges.
Weapons that Texas bans
The legality of a weapon depends on the weapon type, the location and the person bearing the item. Texas bans the following weapons outright:
- Armor-piercing ammunition
- Chemical-dispensing devices
- Improvised firearms
- Tire deflation devices
- Improvised explosives
An individual may not knowingly possess, manufacture, sell, repair or transport these items.
Sawed-off shotguns, machine guns, silencers and explosive weapons are illegal unless the owner registers them with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.
A person may not carry weapons into public areas, such as a government facility, public school, hospital or sporting event. Bringing a legal weapon into restricted areas is a Class C misdemeanor. However, the charge raises to a third-degree felony on school grounds.
The rules on knives and close-combat weapons
In 2019, the governor signed a law allowing residents to carry weapons formerly under the ban. These items include billy clubs, tomahawks, brass knuckles, mace and security keychains.
The legality of a knife depends on its length and the location one is carrying it. Adults can bring blades under 5.5 inches anywhere they wish, and juveniles may only carry blades shorter than 5.5 inches in public. Knives over 5.5 inches are location-restricted weapons.
Texans have the right to bear arms but must exercise that right under the limitations of the law. Defendants facing charges of unlawful possession must prove they did not overstep the aforementioned statutes.