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Collin County criminal defense attorney weapons charges

Over the past 10 years, the state of Texas has seen seven mass shootings, which in the aftermath of the tragedy led to conversations from lawmakers about the state’s gun laws. In August 2019, the state was devastated by back-to-back shootings in El Paso and Odessa, the likes of which left 30 people dead and dozens more injured. According to reports from the Poynter Institute, over 3,000 people are killed with a gun each year in Texas. Citizens are divided over how gun control should be handled in the state, with 40-50 percent of University of Texas poll participants stating that they want stricter gun control throughout the state. With requests like these, one may be concerned that weapons charges may become more stringent yet Governor Greg Abbott begs to differ.

A Second Amendment Sanctuary

Over the past several weeks, Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick have met with state lawmakers and publicly expressed their willingness to consider at least one gun control proposal which could make it more challenging for Texans to buy firearms. Yet Gov. Abbott’s words during the first 2021 legislative session reveals different priorities. According to the governor, he believes that the state needs to “erect a complete barrier against any government official anywhere from treading on gun rights in Texas.” He did not mention last year’s deadly mass shootings in El Paso and Odessa, but following those tragedies, Gov. Abbott raised concerns about Texas laws that allow private gun sales between strangers without proper background checks. Additionally, he recommended several ideas on how to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not possess them, including banning “straw purchases.” These currently legal purchases allow someone to purchase a gun for another person. In regards to stranger-to-stranger sales, Gov. Abbott did not push for mandatory background checks, but rather suggested ways that the legislature could make it “easy, affordable, and beneficial for a private seller of firearms to voluntarily use background checks when selling firearms to strangers.” 

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Fort Worth criminal defense attorney weapons charges

Weapon laws have been under scrutiny for the past decade, as mass shootings have increased in the United States. Those on the left-wing feel as if guns should be more severely regulated, if allowed at all, whereas those on the right-wing feel strongly about maintaining their Second Amendment rights, arguing that they feel safer with a gun in their hands. Texas is regarded as one of the more conservative states in the country, and the state’s gun rights follow suit. Despite having more relaxed gun laws, the state still has regulations on how weapons can be sold and who is able to purchase them. Because of these regulations, one man’s hobby landed him two years in prison.

An Illegal Sale Leads to Disaster

Marcus Braziel was sentenced to two years behind bars in a Lubbock, TX courtroom at the beginning of the new year. Inside the courtroom, Sharon Griffith showed a picture of her son, a man who was killed at a mass shooting in Midland and Odessa in August 2019. Though Braziel was not the man who shot Griffith’s son, the gunman used an assault rifle that was sold to him by Braziel back in 2016. Braziel admitted to dealing and manufacturing firearms without a license in addition to filing false tax returns.

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Fort Worth federal firearms violation defense attorney

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution gives citizens the right to possess firearms. However, gun owners must also comply with a range of federal, state, and local laws regarding how and when firearms may be possessed and used. Many firearm violations are prosecuted by the federal government. Federal gun charges often carry much harsher penalties than state charges do. A person convicted of a federal firearm offense may be sentenced to years or decades of incarceration. If you have been accused of trafficking firearms across state lines, illegal possession or sale of a firearm, or other weapons violations, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will fight to keep you out of prison.

Unlawful Acts Related to Firearms

The laws regulating the sale, transfer, possession, and use of firearms are mostly contained in 18 U.S. Code Chapter 44. Section 922 identifies firearm-related acts that are prohibited under federal law. These acts include but are not limited to:

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Fort Worth firearms violations defense attorney

The use of firearms and other weapons is strictly regulated at the local, state, and federal levels of government. Federal weapons violations often carry harsher penalties and longer jail sentences than state weapons charges. Legal penalties associated with a federal weapons charge will depend on whether the weapon was used during the commission of a crime, whether bodily harm or death was caused, the defendant’s criminal history, the type of weapon found in his or her possession, and other factors. Firearm violations and other weapons charges can lead to years or decades in prison, so it is crucial that you speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney if you are facing any type of federal weapons charge.

Federal Weapons Violations

Federal law regulates who is permitted to own a firearm, the types of weapons that may be possessed or transported, the locations in which firearms may be lawfully discharged, and the maximum number of firearms and other weapons a person is allowed to own. Often, weapons charges are investigated by the federal government because they involve interstate transactions. Federal weapons charges may involve:

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Tarrant County federal weapons charge defense attorney

Few topics have been as hotly debated in recent years as the possession and use of firearms. Federal and Texas firearm laws have been subject to a number of modifications in recent decades, and gun-related laws are often complicated and hard to understand. Title 18, Chapter 44 of the United States Code regulates the ownership of firearms in the United States and prohibits certain individuals from owning firearms or ammunition. Violation of federal firearm laws can result in significant criminal penalties, including considerable prison time. If you or a loved one is being investigated by the federal government for an alleged firearm violation, it is imperative that you speak to a criminal defense attorney experienced in handling federal weapons cases as soon as possible.

Individuals Prohibited From Owning Firearms and Ammunition by Federal Law

In the United States, the right to bear arms is protected by the Second Amendment to the Constitution. However, certain circumstances can cause a person to lose the right to own or possess a firearm. While many firearm offenses are prosecuted at the state level, weapons violations involving the transport of firearms or other weapons across state lines are often prosecuted at the federal level. According to the U.S. Code, it is unlawful for a person to possess a firearm or firearm ammunition when the ammunition or firearm was moved across state lines and the possessor is:

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Texas firearms charges defense attorney

The right to bear arms has been a hot topic for years. This is a direct result of mass shootings that have taken place across the country. While many people advocate for the banning of firearms, the Second Amendment protects American citizens’ right to keep and bear arms. The state of Texas has strict gun laws to mitigate the number of gun-related crimes while still allowing its citizens to own a gun if they meet the requirements.

Texas Laws Explained

Texas is a “shall-issue” state. This means that as long as applicants pass the basic state law requirements, the issuing authority cannot deny applicants a permit if they would like one. Texas is not alone. 41 of the 50 U.S. states are classified as shall-issue. Those who would like to "open carry" are required to obtain a Texas License to Carry (LTC) or a concealed carry license/permit from a state with reciprocity. The same licenses/permits are required to legally carry a concealed gun; however, additional training and exams must also be completed. Both open carry and concealed carry require an individual to be 21 years old, or 18 years old if they are a member of the military.

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