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An overview of Texas gun control policies

Texas is a proud state. Many Texas residents see their home as a symbol of American freedom. Among these freedoms is the constitutional right to own guns. Like other states, Texas also has unique policies that regulate the sale, ownership and use of guns.

In the days since news broke of the recent tragedy at a Florida high school, however, gun control has been the talk of the nation. Voters and lawmakers alike argue whether more regulations would protect citizens or infringe upon their rights. Before making that decision, it may be helpful to understand where Texas currently stands in the gun debate.

Illegal weapons

Texas legally recognizes that not all guns are equally dangerous. Certain guns, accessories and ammunition are prohibited by state law. Illegal firearms and weapons include machine guns, silencers, grenades and other explosive weapons, short-barreled rifles, armor-piercing bullets and zip guns.

Restricted locations

In some areas, it is illegal to carry a gun. These locations include:

  • Public and private schools
  • Areas currently serving school purposes, such as field trip locations
  • Polling places on voting day
  • Secured airport areas
  • Courts and governmental offices (without authorization)

Who can carry a gun?

Background checks for gun licensure can verify that the potential owner is a U.S. citizen and psychologically fit to carry a firearm. Convicted felons and members of known criminal gangs cannot own guns. Aside from this crime-related limitation, Texas law also bans minors from owning guns without parental consent.

Residents who have a license still have to pay attention to related laws, including which locations ban guns and whether they can sell or lend their gun to someone else. Even if you have a license to open carry, many gun violations are still possible.

Defense for gun violations

There are many reasons why a person might face a gun-related criminal charge. Officials treat these charges seriously, which can put freedom on the line whether you are a citizen or otherwise. Skilled legal assistance may make a significant difference in these cases and can protect your rights.

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