Possession of a Firearm While Intoxicated

Texas is well-known for being very supportive of the right of residents to own and possess firearms, but the state still imposes several different regulations concerning firearm ownership. One very common kind of violation concerns people possessing guns while they are drinking because it can be grounds for a police officer to claim that a person was intoxicated, and anybody facing criminal charges for one of these offenses will want to be sure they speak with a possession of a firearm while intoxicated attorney. 

While some people could face unlawful carrying weapons (commonly abbreviated as UCW) charges in some cases, the truth is that unlawful carrying of a handgun by a license holder will not be the same crime as possession of a firearm while intoxicated. Even though possession of a firearm while intoxicated is usually a misdemeanor, the consequences of a conviction could be profound.

Law Offices of Richard C McConathy Possession of a Firearm

Possession of Firearm While Intoxicated Defense Lawyer in Denton, Frisco, Lewisville, Flower Mound, TX

If you were arrested for alleged possession of a firearm while intoxicated, do not wait to retain legal counsel. The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy will aggressively defend you in court and fight to achieve the most favorable outcome for your case.

Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at (940) 222-8004 for a consultation about your alleged offense in Denton, Frisco, Lewisville, Flower Mound, and surrounding areas of Denton County, Texas.

Possession of Firearm While Intoxicated Charges in Texas

Texas Penal Code § 46.035(d) is the state law establishing that a license holder commits a crime when, while intoxicated, they carry a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H of Chapter 411 of the Texas Government Code, regardless of whether their handgun is concealed or carried in a shoulder or belt holster. An offense is a Class A misdemeanor.

This law also establishes that a license holder will commit an offense if they carry a handgun on or about their person under the authority of Subchapter H of Chapter 411 of the Texas Government Code and intentionally display a handgun in plain view of another person in a public place. One exception could be that a handgun was partially or wholly visible but was being carried in a shoulder or belt holster by the license holder.

A license holder also commits a crime when they carry a partially or wholly visible handgun, regardless of whether their handgun is holstered, on or about their person under the authority of Subchapter H of Chapter 411 of the Texas Government Code, and intentionally display the handgun in plain view of another person on the premises of any institution of higher education or a private or independent institution of higher education; or on any public or private driveway, sidewalk or walkway, street, parking garage, parking lot, or another kind of parking area for an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education.

Another offense relates to a license holder carrying a handgun on the campus of any private or independent institution of higher education in Texas with established rules, regulations, or other provisions that prohibit license holders from carrying handguns pursuant to Texas Government Code § 411.2031(e), or on the grounds or building on which activities sponsored by the institution is being conducted, or in a passenger transportation vehicle of such an institution, regardless of whether a handgun is concealed, provided the institution gives effective notice.

It is also an offense for a license holder to intentionally carry a concealed handgun on any portion of a premises located on the campus of an institution of higher education in Texas on which carrying a concealed handgun is prohibited by any rules, regulations, or other provisions established under Texas Government Code § 411.2031(d-1), provided the institution gives effective notice under Texas Government Code § 30.06 with respect to that portion.

An additional criminal offense can relate to a license holder intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carrying a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H of Chapter 411 of the Texas Government Code, regardless of whether their handgun is concealed or carried in a shoulder or belt holster, on or about their person on the premises of any business with a permit or license issued under Chapter 25, 28, 32, 69, or 74 of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, when 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 Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission under Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 104.06; on the premises where a high school, collegiate, or professional sporting event or interscholastic event is taking place, unless a license holder is a participant in the event and a handgun is used in the event; on the premises of a correctional facility; on the premises of a hospital licensed under Chapter 241 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, or on the premises of a nursing facility licensed under Chapter 242 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, unless a license holder has written authorization from the hospital or nursing facility administration, as appropriate; in an amusement park; or on the premises of a civil commitment facility.

A license holder also commits a criminal offense if they intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carry a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H of Chapter 411 of the Texas Government Code, regardless of whether a handgun is concealed or carried in a shoulder or belt holster, in the room or rooms where a meeting of a governmental entity is held and if the meeting is an open meeting subject to Chapter 551 of the Texas Government Code, and the entity provided notice as required by that chapter.

The phrase “amusement park” means permanent indoor or outdoor facilities or parks where amusement rides are available for use by the public and are located in counties with populations of more than one million people, encompass at least 75 acres in surface area, are enclosed with access only through controlled entries, are open for operation more than 120 days in each calendar year, and have security guards on premises at all times. It does not include any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking areas. 

“Institution of higher education” and “private or independent institution of higher education” have meanings assigned by Texas Education Code § 61.003, which are any public technical institutes, public junior colleges, public senior colleges or universities, medical or dental units, public state colleges, or other agencies of higher education as defined in this section for institution of higher education while private or independent institutions of higher education include only private or independent colleges or universities organized under the Texas Non-Profit Corporation Act (Article 1396-1.01 et seq., Vernon’s Texas Civil Statutes); exempt from taxation under Article VIII, Section 2, of the Texas Constitution and Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. Section 501); and accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; the Liaison Committee on Medical Education; or the American Bar Association.

License holder means an individual licensed to carry a handgun under Subchapter H of Chapter 411 of the Texas Government Code. Premises is defined as a building or a portion of a building but does not include any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking areas.

Texas Penal Code § 46.06 further establishes that a person commits the crime of unlawful transfer of certain weapons if they sell, rent, lease, loan, or give a handgun to any person knowing that the person to whom the handgun is to be delivered intends to use it unlawfully or in the commission of an unlawful act; intentionally or knowingly sell, rent, lease, or give or offer to sell, rent, lease, or give to any child younger than 18 years of age any firearm, club, or location-restricted knife; intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly sell a firearm or ammunition for a firearm to any person who is intoxicated; knowingly sell a firearm or ammunition for a firearm to any person who has been convicted of a felony before the fifth anniversary of the later of the following dates: 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 following conviction of the felony; sell, rent, lease, loan, or give a handgun to any person knowing that an active protective order is directed to the person to whom the handgun is to be delivered; or knowingly purchase, rent, lease, or receive as a loan or gift from another a handgun while an active protective order is directed to the actor.

Intoxicated means substantial impairment of mental or physical capacity resulting from the introduction of any substance into the body. While an offense is usually a Class A misdemeanor, an offense under Subsection (a)(2) will be a state jail felony if the weapon that is the subject of the offense is a handgun.

Possession of Firearm While Intoxicated Penalties in Denton

Class A misdemeanors are punishable by fines of up to $4,000 and/or up to one year in jail. State jail felonies are punishable by fines of up to $10,000 and/or up to two years in state jail. 

Even though misdemeanors seem less consequential than felonies, do not be fooled. Even a misdemeanor conviction could potentially impact your future right to own or possess a firearm.

Denton County Possession of Firearm While Intoxicated Resources

Alcohol Use and Firearm Violence – NCBI – NIH — This is a 40-year (1975–2014) systematic literature review that includes meta-analysis. Several studies show that more than one-third of firearm violence decedents acutely consumed alcohol and over one-fourth heavily consumed alcohol prior to their deaths. Another group of studies demonstrated alcohol was significantly associated with firearm use as a suicide means, and two controlled studies also showed that gun injury after drinking, especially heavy drinking, was statistically significant among self-inflicted firearm injury victims.

Alcohol & Firearms – The National Academies Press — This comprehensive review of scientific literature pertains specifically to alcohol and firearms conducted to identify gaps in research and knowledge and potential policy and public health interventions to assist communities in gauging the relative value of different alcohol-related prevention strategies in reducing gun injury, and making the best use of limited prevention resources. Research findings and gaps in knowledge specific in relation to alcohol and firearms included over one-third of firearm injury decedents acutely consuming alcohol prior to their death and over one-quarter of decedents heavily consuming alcohol. The risk of becoming a victim of a gun injury after drinking, especially heavy drinking, appeared to be most significant among self-inflicted firearm injury victims. 

Find A Denton County Defense Attorney for Possession of a Firearm While Intoxicated Charges | The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy

Were you arrested for possession of a firearm while intoxicated anywhere in Denton County? Make sure that you are going to have a criminal defense lawyer by your side when you go to court.

Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at (940) 222-8004 for a consultation about your alleged offense in Denton, Frisco, Lewisville, Flower Mound, and surrounding areas of Denton County, Texas. We can examine the details of your case and begin exploring your legal options.