Texas Man Sentenced to Prison for Illegally Selling Rifle in Shooting
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.
According to Braziel’s defense, he began assembling guns as a hobby in 2010 but began selling the guns without a license after he was misinformed by other “hobbyists” that the practice was legal in Texas. The defense attorney argued that the transfer of guns is legal without background checks so long as the practice is not repetitive and the primary purpose is not profit. According to the defendant, there were approximately 1,000 others in the area who made and sold guns without a license. The prosecutor designated a two-year prison sentence to Braziel, stating that although there was no evidence that the weapons were being sold to prohibited people, Braziel’s failure to conduct a background check led to a horrific mass shooting.
The Unlawful Transfer of Weapons
In regards to the case outlined above, one of the crimes involved with it is the unlawful transfer of certain weapons. Texas law lists six actions that qualify as this crime:
The selling, leasing, renting, loaning, or giving a handgun to any person knowing that their intent is to use it unlawfully or commit an unlawful act.
Intentionally or knowingly selling, leasing, renting, loaning, or giving a firearm, club, or location-restricted knife to anyone under the age of 18.
Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly selling a firearm or firearm ammunition to a person who is intoxicated.
Knowingly selling a firearm or firearm ammunition to anyone who has been convicted of a felony in the past five years.
Selling, leasing, renting, loaning, or giving a handgun to a person with the knowledge that an active protective order is issued to the person to whom the handgun is being delivered.
Knowingly purchasing, renting, leasing, or receiving a handgun as a loan or gift while an active protective order is directed to the actor.
The offenses outlined above are considered a Class A misdemeanor, aside from number two, which is a state jail felony if the weapon in question is a handgun.
Contact a Fort Worth Weapons Defense Lawyer
Due to the tragic outcome that can stem from weapons, any criminal charges involving weapons are taken very seriously by the court. While this is important for those who have lost loved ones due to the deadly use of weapons, it can also lead to quick accusations and assumptions made about the defendant. The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. has over 20 years of experience defending those who are facing criminal charges, including those involving weapons. With over 300 not-guilty verdicts and acquittals secured for our clients, we are more than prepared to take on your case. If you are facing weapon charges of any kind, contact our Collin County criminal defense attorneys at 214-303-9600 to schedule your free consultation.