Tag Archives: Unlawful Carry of weapon

Unlawful Possession of a Handgun on School Property

A 16-year-old boy was recently arrested at his school after a handgun was found in his backpack. The student, along with a group of boys, had left a school bathroom and a teacher smelled marijuana. All of the students were taken to the principal’s office where a search uncovered the handgun. The student is now being held in juvenile detention awaiting a hearing.

This incident raises several important issues that would be helpful for parents to understand about the unlawful possession of a handgun on school property. 

Student Privacy Rights

The Texas Constitution says that students have a right to be free from “unreasonable” searches while on school property or while attending school activities. There needs to be a justifiable reason to search a student’s person or property before the search begins. And the scope of the search (their person, their locker, their car) needs to be reasonable as well. 

Learn more about student’s rights in searches from the Texas Association of School Boards.

Guns on School Grounds

Two federal laws regulate the possession of firearms in or within 1,000 feet of a K-12 school. And Texas state law prohibits people (with some exceptions) from taking an open or concealed firearm into a school building or any building or grounds where a school-sponsored activity is being conducted, or on a passenger vehicle operated by a school. 

Texas does not allow the keeping of a firearm, unloaded and locked, in or on a vehicle in a K-12 parking lot. Texas also allows guns to be carried on campus by law enforcement, school marshals, volunteer emergency services staff, and school resource officers, or those with special authorization.

It is a 3rd degree felony to carry a firearm on school property if a person is not lawfully allowed to do so.

Age and Guns

Although Texas gun laws have recently change, but age is still a relevant factor. The new law allows anyone aged 21 and older to carry a handgun as long as they don’t have a prior violent crime conviction or some other prohibition on their record.  

Know Your Rights

Hearing from a police officer that your child has been arrested is every parent’s worst nightmare. What is going to happen next? What rights does your child have? What can you do to protect his future?

One of the most important things a Ft. Worth juvenile defense attorney will do for a young person and his/her family is educate them. Having the facts, understanding the juvenile system and the process, and developing a plan to move forward can help with the anxiety everyone is feeling in this situation.

If your son or daughter has been arrested for unlawful possession of a handgun in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, call the juvenile defense attorneys at Lee and Wood, LP: 817-678-6771 or contact us online. We will explain everything you need to know.

How Does a DWI Affect My Right to Own and Carry a Gun in Texas?

The State of Texas has extremely lenient gun laws, compared to other states, but that leniency only extends to law-abiding citizens. If you’ve been pulled over for a DWI or DUI and there is a gun in your vehicle, you are in for trouble. 

It’s lawful to have a gun in your car, truck, or boat UNLESSyou are breaking the law, and if you are driving drunk or under the influence of drugs, you are breaking the law.  

  • DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs) is a criminal charge brought against drivers under the age of 21 who have been pulled over for operating a vehicle in a public place “with any detectable amount of alcohol in the minor’s system.”
  • DWI (driving while intoxicated) is a criminal charge brought against people 21 and older who are operating a motor vehicle in a public place “while lacking normal physical and mental faculties” due to alcohol consumption, with a blood alcohol level of .08% or more. You could also be charged if the police suspect you of using a controlled substance (drugs). 

If you’ve been pulled over for any traffic violation more serious than a Class C misdemeanor (such as a moving violation), and the police find a gun in your car, you can be charged with the separate crime of Unlawful Carry of a Weapon (UCW)(Texas Code §46.03). 

Every DUI/DWI charge in Texas is at least a Class B misdemeanor so it’s almost certain you will face that additional charge. 

The penalties for Unlawful Carry of a Weapon can be up to 1 year in a county jail, and a fine of up to $4,000. If you have a gun in your car and you take it out in a prohibited area (like near a bar, a school, a courthouse, or a polling place), you could face 3rddegree felony charges for Unlawful Carry of a Weapon. 

What Happens When You Are Pulled Over for DWI with a Gun? 

If you have a license to carry (LTC) you must tell the officer that pulls you over that you have a firearm if there is one in the vehicle.  You can still be arrested for unlawfully carrying a weapon but the law requires this disclosure.

If the officer suspects that you are impaired, you will be asked to exit your vehicle and to submit to a breathalyzer and field sobriety test. If you fail either of those tests or show other signs of intoxication or impairment, you will likely be arrested, and your vehicle impounded. 

If the officer asks for your gun during the stop, surrender your gun. Whether you surrender it, or it’s found when your vehicle is impounded, it will be confiscated but will be returned to you. 

However, you will not be able to carry it while your DWI case is pending or if you are convicted of DWI/DUI. 

Will a DWI Conviction Affect Your Right to Carry?

Yes, if you are convicted of a (Class A or Class B misdemeanor) DWI or DUI you lose your right to carry a gun outside of your home, car or office for five years (Texas Code §411.172). However, you retain your right to own your gun. 

Even if you qualified for deferred adjudication (pled no contest to avoid a conviction), you are still disqualified from carrying a gun for five years. 

A third or subsequent DWI conviction is a felony, and you lose your right to buy, own or possess a firearm, indefinitely. 

Can You Buy a Gun If You’ve Had a DWI in the Past?

You can still buy a gun in Texas if you have not had a felony conviction and are not currently charged with a Class B or Class A misdemeanor, or any criminal charge that could result in jail time of more than a year. 

To learn more about Texas DWI and the charge of Unlawful Carry of a Weapon, talk with the Fort Worth DWI attorneys and Lee and Wood, LP. Call 817-678-6771 or contact us online