The Firearm Smuggling crime in the state of Texas gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you operate a business that deals in illegally-obtained firearms. The state doesn’t have to prove that the business was large or even that you made any profit or did it regularly. Learn more detailed information about the Firearm Smuggling offense below.
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Federal law enforcement more frequently prosecutes these types of crimes, but the state can choose to prosecute firearm smuggling if it so chooses. Firearm Smuggling is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 10 “Offenses Against Public Health, Safety, and Morals”, Chapter 46 “Weapons.”
What is the current Texas law about Firearm Smuggling?
The current Texas law defines the offense of Firearm Smuggling in Penal Code Section §46.14 as follows:
(a) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly engages in the business of transporting or transferring a firearm that the person knows was acquired in violation of the laws of any state or of the United States. For purposes of this subsection, a person is considered to engage in the business of transporting or transferring a firearm if the person engages in that conduct:
(1) on more than one occasion; or
(2) for profit or any other form of remuneration.
How can I be charged with Firearm Smuggling?
You can be charged with Firearm Smuggling if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 46.14(a) as described in the section above have been met.
What is the punishment for Firearm Smuggling?
A conviction for Firearm Smuggling is punished as a Felony of the Third Degree, with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and prison time of up to 10 years. Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors
However, if it is shown in trial that the actor smuggled three or more firearms in a single “criminal episode” then a conviction for Firearm Smuggling is punished as a Felony of the Second Degree, with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and prison time of up to 20 years.
^1. Texas Penal Code §46.14^2. Texas Penal Code §46.14(b)^3. Texas Penal Code §46.14(b)