Texas Weapons Law

WEAPONS CASES: Texas Weapons Law

The offense of Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon has become much more rare in Texas in recent years due to changes in the law. The biggest single change has to do with what is known as the "traveling" defense. It is a defense to Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon if it is found that you were "traveling" while carrying the weapon. In the past, there was no bright-line rule as to who was considered a "traveler". However, Texas law now presumes that if you are stopped while traveling on a public roadway, you are a "traveler." This prevents arrest and prosecution in the vast majority of cases.

There is a huge exception, though. If it is found that you carried a weapon while committing some other offense other than a Class C misdemeanor, you forfeit your traveling defense.

For example, let's say you are stopped for a traffic violation on the interstate and you have a handgun in your vehicle that is within your reach. While conducting the traffic stop, the cop finds a baggie of marijuana sitting on your floorboard. Since you were committing the offense of Possession of Marijuana while you were carrying the gun, you can no longer be considered a traveler, and can be charged with Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon. Let's say, that instead of marijuana, the cop finds that you were driving with a suspended license and have a prior conviction for Driving While License Invalid. Again, you're not a traveler, and you get the same result.