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What are the Gun Laws in Texas?

Antiques and Replicas, Machine Guns, Miscellaneous Laws

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Antiques and Replicas

Antique or curio guns manufactured before 1899 and replicas thereof which do not use rim fire or center fire ammunition are not included in the definition of "firearm" as it is used in Texas Penal Code Title 10, Chapter 46, which governs weapons.

Machine Guns

It is unlawful to possess, manufacture, transport, repair or sell a machine gun, explosive weapon, short-barreled firearm, or silencer.

Federal registration of such an item under the National Firearms Act is a defense to this prohibition.

Miscellaneous

A violation of the state’s firearms laws that occurs within 300 feet of a school or on premises where a school function is taking place shall result in an increased punishment.

It is unlawful to display a firearm in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm.

It is unlawful to discharge a firearm in a public place or on or across a public road.

It is unlawful to possess, manufacture, transport, repair or sell handgun ammunition that is designed primarily for the purpose of penetrating metal or body armor and to be used principally in pistols and revolvers.

A municipality may not adopt regulations relating to the transfer, private ownership, keeping, transportation, license or registration of firearms, ammunition, or firearms supplies.

It is unlawful to possess, manufacture, transport, repair or sell a zip gun (i.e. a device not originally a firearm that is adapted to expel a projectile using an explosion or burning substance.)

A person commits an offense if a child under 17 gains access to a readily dischargeable firearm and the person with criminal negligence failed to secure it or left it in a place to which the person knew or should have known the child would gain access.

It is an affirmative defense if the access was supervised by a person older than 18 and was for:

  • Hunting, sporting, or other lawful purposes.

  • Consisted of lawful defense of people or property.

  • Was gained by entering property unlawfully.

  • Or occurred during a time when the actor was engaged in an agricultural enterprise.

A municipality, county or other subdivision of the state may not bring suit against a firearms or ammunition manufacturer, trade association, or seller for recovery of damages resulting from, or injunctive relief or abatement of a nuisance relating to, the lawful design, manufacture, marketing, or sale of firearms or ammunition to the public.

Sources: Tex. Penal Code § 46.01 et seq. and Tex. Gov’t. Code § 411.171 et seq.
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