On Sept. 1, Texas officially removed the license requirement to open-carry handguns. The change in legislation was due to Senate Bill 1927 (SB-1927), which Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law earlier this year.
Now, any Texan who can legally own a firearm can open-carry a handgun in a holster in public without a license, which was previously required. A handgun in Texas is considered to be a firearm that can normally be operated with one hand, such as revolvers or handguns fed by a magazine.
The expansion of Texans’ Second Amendment Rights is the most significant of its kind since 2015, when the state Legislature voted to allow guns on state university campuses. That year, it also authorized licensed open carry (the latter of which SB-1927 renders moot) in public.
SB-1927’s Impact on Criminal Defense Matters
If you were arrested for open-carrying a handgun without a license on or after Sept. 1, 2021, your charges can be dropped if you were otherwise lawfully in possession of the firearm.
Individuals in Texas who can’t own or carry firearms in public include the following:
- Those convicted of a felony (until after five years since release)
- Those convicted of family violence assault (until after five years since release)
- Those who are subject to a family violence protective order
If your charges don’t reflect these criteria or any other law that would make you a person prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm in Texas, you may be able to beat your charges.
Even if there are facts about your situation that make the charges stick, an experienced criminal law attorney may be able to help you reduce or eliminate your responsibility for the allegations against you.
Unlawful Carry of a Firearm Expungement
In addition to relaxing open-carry gun laws in Texas, SB-1927 provides for the expungement of those who were previously convicted of unlawful carry of a firearm. Going back as far as 1974, the Texas District & County Attorneys Association says more than 130,000 people were convicted for illegally carrying a weapon.
Now those previously convicted of this offense can seek expungement of their criminal records, which can considerably impact the lives of thousands who follow through. It’s important to note that records are not automatically expunged – it’s the convicted person’s responsibility to initiate the process with help from an attorney.
Do You Require Legal Assistance?
If you believe you are wrongfully charged with the unlawful carry of a firearm or are seeking expungement for this offense, you can reach out to Rodriguez & Gimbert, P.L.L.C. to learn more about your legal options.
By scheduling a consultation with our legal team, you can have an opportunity to tell someone about your situation and see how our representation can make a difference in your life.
For more information, contact Rodriguez & Gimbert, P.L.L.C. online today.