The Law


TEXAS CONSTITUTION

ARTICLE I, SECTION 23: RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS. Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the State; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime.

PENAL CODE CHAPTER 46. WEAPONS

PC §46.01. DEFINITIONS. In this Chapter:
(1) “Club” means an instrument that is specially designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by striking a person with the instrument, and includes but is not limited to the following:
            (A) blackjack;
            (B) nightstick;
            (C) mace;
            (D) tomahawk.
(2) “Explosive weapon” means any explosive or incendiary bomb, grenade, rocket, or mine, that is designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury, death, or substantial property damage, or for the principal purpose of causing such a loud report as to cause undue public alarm or terror, and includes a device designed, made, or adapted for delivery or shooting an explosive weapon.
(3) “Firearm” means any device designed, made, or adapted to expel a projectile through a barrel by using the energy generated by an explosion or burning substance or any device readily convertible to that use. Firearm does not include a firearm that may have, as an integral part, a folding knife blade or other characteristics of weapons made illegal by this chapter and that is:
            (A) an antique or curio firearm manufactured before 1899; or
            (B) a replica of an antique or curio firearm manufactured before 1899, but             only if the rep does not use rim fire or center fire ammunition.
(4) “Firearm silencer” means any device designed, made, or adapted to muffle the report of a firearm.
(5) “Handgun” means any firearm that is designed, made, or adapted to be fired with one hand.
(6) “Illegal knife” means a:
            (A) knife with a blade over five and one-half inches;
            (B) hand instrument designed to cut or stab another by being thrown;
            (C) dagger, including but not limited to a dirk, stiletto, and poniard;
            (D) bowie knife;
            (E) sword; or
            (F) spear.
(7) “Knife” means any bladed hand instrument that is capable of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by cutting or stabbing a person with the instrument.
(8) “Knuckles” means any instrument that consists of finger rings or guards made of a hard substance and that is designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by striking a person with a fist enclosed in the knuckles.
(9) “Machine gun” means any firearm that is capable of shooting more than two shots automatically, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.
(10) “Short-barrel firearm” means a rifle with a barrel length of less than 16 inches or a shotgun with a barrel length of less than 18 inches,or any weapon made from a shotgun or rifle if, as altered, it has an overall length of less than 26 inches.
(11) “Switchblade knife” means any knife that has a blade that folds, closes, or retracts into the handle or sheath and that opens automatically by pressure applied to a button or other device located on the handle or opens or releases a blade from the handle or sheath by the force of gravity or by the application of centrifugal force. The term does not include a knife that has a spring, detent, or other mechanism designed to create a bias toward closure and that requires exertion applied to the 
blade by hand, wrist, or arm to overcome the bias toward closure and open the knife.

PC §42.01. DISORDERLY CONDUCT.
(a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly:
            (1) uses abusive, indecent, profane, or vulgar language in a public place,               and the language by its very utterance tends to incite an immediate breach             of the peace;
            (2) makes an offensive gesture or display in a public place, and the gesture             or display tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace;
            (3) creates, by chemical means, a noxious and unreasonable odor in a                   public place;
            (4) abuses or threatens a per son inobviously offensive manner;
            (5) makes unreasonable noise in a public place other than a sport shooting             range, as defined on 250.001, Local Government Code, or in or near a                   private residence that he has no right to occupy;
            (6) fights with another in a public place;
            (7) discharges a firearm in a public place other than a public road or a                   sport shooting range, as defined by Section 250.001, Local Government                 Code;
            (8) displays a firearm or other deadly weapon in a public place in a manner             calculated to alarm;
            (9) discharges a firearm on or across a public road;
            (10) exposes his anus or genitals in a public place and is reckless about                 whether another may be present who will be offended or alarmed by his act                  ;or
            (11)for a lewd or unlawful purpose:
                        (A) enters on the property of another and looks into a dwelling                               on the property through or other opening in the dwelling;
                        (B) while on the premises of a hotel or comparable                                                 establishment, looks into a guest room not the person's own                                   through a window or other opening in the room; or
                        (C) while on the premises of a public place, looks into an area                               such as a restroom or shower stall or changing or dressing room                           that is designed to provide privacy to a person using the area.
(b) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(4) that the actor had significant provocation for his abusive or threatening conduct.
(c) For purposes of this section:
            (1) an act is deemed to occur in a public place or near a private residence             if it produces its offensive or proscribed consequences in the public place               or near a private residence; and
            (2) a noise is presumed to be unreasonable if the noise exceeds a decibel               level of 85 after the person making the noise receives notice from a                         magistrate or peace officer that the noise is a public nuisance.
(d) An offense under this section is a C lass C misdemeanor unless committed under Subsection (a)(7) or (a)(8), in which event it is a Class B misdemeanor.
(e) It is a defense to prosecution for an offense under Subsection (a)(7) or (9) that the person who discharged the firearm had a reasonable fear of bodily injury to the person or to another by a dangerous wild animal as defined by Section 822.101, Health and Safety Code.

PC §46.04. UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF FIREARM. 
(a) A person who has been convicted of a felony commits an offense if he possesses a firearm:
            (1) after conviction and before the fifth anniversary of the person's release             from confinement following conviction of the felony or the                                       person's release from supervision under community supervision, parole,                 or mandatory supervision, whichever date is later; or
            (2) after the period described by Subdivision (1), at any location other than             the premises at which the person lives.
(b) A person who has been convicted of an offense under Section 22.01, punishable as a Class A misdemeanor and involving a member of the person's family or household, commits an offense if the person possesses a firearm before the fifth anniversary of the later of:
            (1) the date of the person's release from confinement following conviction               of the misdemeanor; or
            (2) the date of the person's release from community supervision following               conviction of the misdemeanor.
(c) A person, other than a peace officer, as defined by Section 1.07, actively engaged in employment as a sworn, full-time paid employee of a state agency or political subdivision, who is subject to an order issued under Section 6.504 or Chapter 85, Family Code, under Article 17.292 or Chapter 7A, Code of Criminal Procedure, or by another jurisdiction as provided by Chapter 88, Family Code, commits an offense if the person possesses a firearm after receiving notice of the order and before expiration of the order.
(d) In this section, “family,” “household,” and “member of a household” have the meanings assigned by Chapter 71, Family Code.
(e) An offense under Subsection (a) is a felony of the third degree. An offense under Subsection (b) or (c) is a Class A misdemeanor.
(f) For the purposes of this section, an offense under the laws of this state, another state, or the United States is, except as provided by Subsection (g), a felony if, at the time it is committed, the offense:
            (1) is designated by a law of this state as a felony;
            (2) contains all the elements of an offense designated by a law of this state             as a felony; or
            (3) is punishable by confinement for one year or more in a penitentiary.
(g) An offense is not considered a felony for purposes of Subsection
(f) if, at the time the person possesses a firearm, the offense:
            (1) is not designated by a law of this state as a felony; and
            (2) does not contain all the elements of any offense designated by a law of             this state as a felony.

GC §411.205. REQUIREMENT TO DISPLAY LICENSE. 
(a) If a license holder is carrying a handgun on or about the license holder's personwhen a magistrate or a peace officer demands that the license holder display identification, the license holder shall display both the license holder's driver's license or identification certificate issued by the department and the license holder's handgun license.

GC §411.207. AUTHORITY OF PEACE OFFICER TO DISARM.
(a) A peace officer who is acting in the lawful discharge of the officer's official dutiesmay disarm a license holder at any time the officer reasonably believes it is necessary for the protection of the license holder, officer, or another individual. The peace officer shall return the handgun to the license holder before discharging the license holder from the scene if the officer determines that the license holder is not a threat to the officer, license holder, or another individual and if the license holder has not violated any provision of this subchapter or committed any other violation 
that results in the arrest of the license holder.

PC §46.03. PLACES WEAPONS PROHIBITED. 
(a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possesses or goes with a firearm, illegal knife, club, or prohibited weapon listed in 
Section 46.05(a):
             (1) on the physical premises of a school or educational institution, any                    grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by a school                              or educational institution is being conducted, or a passenger                                  transportation vehicle of a school or educational institution, whether the                  school or educational institution is public or private, unless pursuant to                    written regulations or written autorization of the institution;
             (2) on the premises of a polling place on the day of an election or while                  early voting is in progress;
             (3) on the premises of any government court or offices utilized by the                      court, unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the                court;
             (4) on the premises of a racetrack; or
             (5) in or into a secured area of an airport.
             (6) within 1,000 feet of premises the location of which is designated by the              Texas Department of Criminal Justice as a place of execution under                        Article 43.19, Code of Criminal Procedure, on a day that a sentence of                  death is set to be imposed on the designated premises and the person                    received notice that:
                                (A) going within 1,000 feet of the premises with a weapon                                       listed under this subsection was prohibited;
                                or

                                (B) possessing a weapon listed under this subsection                                             within 1,000 feet of the premises was prohibited.
(b) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsections (a)(1)-(4) that the actor possessed a firearm while in the actual discharge of his official duties as a member of the armed forces or national guard or a guard employed by a penal institution, or an officer of the court.
(c) In this section:
             (1) “Premises” has the meaning assigned by Section 46.035.
             (2) “Secured area” means an area of an airport terminal building                            to which access is controlled by the inspection of persons and                                property under federal law.
(d) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(5) that the actor possessed a firearm or club while traveling to or from the actor's place of assignment or in the actual discharge of duties as:
             (1) a member of the armed forces or national guard;
             (2) a guard employed by a penal institution; or
             (3) a security officer commissioned by the Texas Private Security Board                                   if:
                                (A) the actor is wearing a distinctive uniform; and
                                (B) the firearm or club is in plain view; or
             (4) a security officer who holds a personal protection                                            authorization under Chapter 1702, Occupations Code, provided that the                  officer is either:
                                (A) wearing the uniform of a security officer, including                                           any uniform or apparel described by Section 1702.323(d),                                     Occupations Code, and carrying the officer's firearm in plain                                 view; or
                                (B) not wearing the uniform of a security officer and carrying                                 the officer's firearm in a concealed manner.
(e) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(5) that the actor checked all firearms as baggage in accordance with federal or state law or regulations before entering a secured area.
(f) It is not a defense to prosecution under this section that the actor possessed a handgun and was licensed to carry a concealed handgun under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code.
(g) An offense under this section is a third degree felony.
(h) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(4) that the actor possessed a firearm or club while traveling to or from the actor's place of assignment or in the actual discharge of duties as a security officer commissioned by the Texas Board of Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies, if:
             (1) the actor is wearing a distinctive uniform; and
             (2) the firearm or club is in plain view.
(i) It is an exception to the application of Subsection (a)(6) that the actor possessed a firearm or club:
             (1) while in a vehicle being driven on a public road; or
             (2) at the actor's residence or place of employment.


PC §46.035. UNLAWFUL CARRYING OF HANDGUN BY LICENSE 
HOLDER. 

(a) A license holder commits an offense if the license holder carries a hand gun on or about the license holder's person under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, and intentionally fails to conceal the handgun.
(b) A license holder commits an offense if the license holder intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed, on or about the license holder's person:
                (1) on the premises of a business that has a permit or license                                 issued under Chapter 25, 28, 32, 69, or 74, Alcoholic Beverage Code, if                 the business derives 51% percent or more of its income from the sale or                 service of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption, as                             determined by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission under Section                 104.06, Alcoholic Beverage Code;
                (2) on the premises where a high school, collegiate, or                                           professional sporting event or interscholastic event is taking place,                         unless the license holder is a participant in the event and a handgun is                   d in the event;
                (3) on the premises of a correctional facility;
                (4) on the premises of a hospital licensed under Chapter 241,                                 Health and Safety Code, or on the premises of a nursing home licensed                  under Chapter 242, Health and Safety Code, unless the license holder                    has written authorization of the hospital or nursing home administration,                  as appropriate;          
                (5) in an amusement park; or
                (6) on the premises of a church, synagogue, or other established place                   of religious worship.
(c) A license holder commits an offense if the license holder intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed, at any meeting of a governmental entity.
(d) A license holder commits an offense if, while intoxicated, the license holder carries a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H,Chapter 411, Government Code, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed.
(e) A license holder who is licensed as a security officer under Chapter 1702, Occupations Code, and employed as a security officer commits an offense if, while in the course and scope of the security officer's employment, the security officer violates a provision of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code.
(f) In this section:
                (1) “Amusement park” means a permanent indoor or outdoor facility or                   park where amusement rides are available for use by the public that is                     located in a county with a population of more than one million,                                 encompasses at least 75 acres in surface area, is enclosed with                            access only through controlled entries, is open for operation more                         than 120 days in each calendar year, and has security guards on                          the premises at all times. The term does not include any public or                            private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking                            garage, or other parking area.          
                (2) “License holder” means a person licensed to carry a handgun under                 Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code.
                (3) “Premises” means a building or a portion of a building. The term                       does not include any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or                          walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area.                
(g) An offense under Subsection (a), (b), (c), (d), or (e) is a Class A misdemeanor, unless the offense is committed under Subsection (b)(1) or (b)(3), in which event the offense is a felony of the third degree.
(h) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a) that the actor, at the time of the commission of the offense, displayed the handgun under circumstances in which the actor would have been justified in the use of deadly force under
Chapter 9 .

[double amendment to same provision]
(h-1) *[as added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., HB 1889.] It is a defense to prosecution under Subsections (b) and (c) that the actor, at the time of the commission of the offense, was:
                (1) an active judicial officer, as defined by Section 411.201, Government                 Code; or
                (2) a bailiff designated by the active judicial officer and engaged                             in escorting the officer.
(h-1) *[as added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., HB 2300.] It is a defense to
prosecution under Subsections (b)(1), (2), and (4)-(6), and (c) that at the time of the commission of the offense, the actor was:
                (1) a judge or justice of a federal court;
                (2) an active judicial officer, as defined by Section 411.201, Government                 Code; or
                (3) a district attorney, assistant district attorney, criminal                                       district attorney, assistant criminal district attorney, county attorney, or                    assistant county attorney.
(i) Subsections (b)(4), (b)(5), (b)(6), and (c) do not apply if the actor was not given effective notice under Section 30.06.
(j) Subsections (a) and (b)(1) do not apply to a historical reenactment performed in compliance with the rules of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
(k) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (b)(1) that the actor was not given effective notice under Section 411.204, Government Code.

PC §38.02.  FAILURE TO IDENTIFY. 

(a)  A person commits an offense if he intentionally refuses to give his name, residence address, or date of birth to a peace officer who has lawfully arrested the person and requested the information.

(b)  A person commits an offense if he intentionally gives a false or fictitious name, residence address, or date of birth to a peace officer who has:

                    (1)  lawfully arrested the person;

                    (2)  lawfully detained the person;  or

                    (3)  requested the information from a person that the peace officer                         has good cause to believe is a witness to a criminal offense.             

(c)  Except as provided by Subsections (d) and (e), an offense under this section is:

                    (1)  a Class C misdemeanor if the offense is committed under                                 Subsection (a); or

                    (2)  a Class B misdemeanor if the offense is committed under                                 Subsection (b).

(d)  If it is shown on the trial of an offense under this section that the defendant was a fugitive from justice at the time of the offense, the offense is:

                    (1)  a Class B misdemeanor if the offense is committed under                                 Subsection (a); or

                    (2)  a Class A misdemeanor if the offense is committed under                                 Subsection (b).

(e)  If conduct that constitutes an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under Section 106.07, Alcoholic Beverage Code, the actor may be prosecuted only under Section 106.07.

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