The Texas Unlawful Transfer of Certain Weapons offense prohibits selling or giving away a handgun to someone who you know is going to use it illegally.
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It also prohibits giving certain weapons to children, selling firearms and ammunition to people who are intoxicated, and selling guns to felons and people under protective orders. Learn more detailed information about the Unlawful Transfer of Certain Weapons offense below. There are some interesting loopholes in this offense. Read the law carefully.
Unlawful Transfer of Certain Weapons 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 Unlawful Transfer of Certain Weapons?
The current Texas law defines the offense of Unlawful Transfer of Certain Weapons in Penal Code Section §46.06 as follows:
(a) A person commits an offense if the person:
(1) sells, rents, leases, loans, or gives 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;
(2) intentionally or knowingly sells, rents, leases, or gives or offers to sell, rent, lease, or give to any child younger than 18 years of age any firearm, club, or location-restricted knife;
(3) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly sells a firearm or ammunition for a firearm to any person who is intoxicated;
(4) knowingly sells 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:
(A) the person’s release from confinement following conviction of the felony; or
(B) the person’s release from supervision under community supervision, parole, or mandatory supervision following conviction of the felony;
(5) sells, rents, leases, loans, or gives a handgun to any person knowing that an active protective order is directed to the person to whom the handgun is to be delivered;
(6) knowingly purchases, rents, leases, or receives as a loan or gift from another a handgun while an active protective order is directed to the actor; or
(7) while prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law, knowingly makes a material false statement on a form that is:
(A) required by state or federal law for the purchase, sale, or other transfer of a firearm; and
(B) submitted to a licensed firearms dealer, as defined by 18 U.S.C. Section 923.
This law was amended in 2017 by the 85th Texas Legislature. It now covers “location-restricted knives” where it used to cover “illegal knives.”
How can I be charged with Unlawful Transfer of Certain Weapons?
You can be charged with Unlawful Transfer of Certain Weapons if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 46.06(a) as described in the section above have been met.
What is the punishment for Unlawful Transfer of Certain Weapons?
A conviction for Unlawful Transfer of Certain Weapons is punished as a Class A misdemeanor unless you are convicted under (a)(2) for giving a handgun to a child, in which case the punishment is at the State Jail Felony level. Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors
What if the parents consented to the sale?
The statute says that if you prove to a jury that the parents consented to the sale of the weapon to the child, then you can avoid a conviction under (a)(2) if you received written consent from the parent.
^1. Texas Penal Code §46.06^2. House Bill 1935, Section 7^3. Texas Penal Code §46.06(d)^4. Texas Penal Code §46.06(c)