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When it comes to firearm ownership, few states can compete with Texas! Per CBS, Texas is #18 for registered firearm ownership, which may seem a bit low. We’re talking about 12.8 guns for each 1,000 residents, so that’s 337,309 guns out of less than 27 million folks. But here’s the thing…in Texas, citizens don’t have to register handguns or long arms, nor do they even need a license.

So with such a friendly attitude towards gun ownership, can a felon own a gun in Texas or not? Well, kick off your boots and let’s dig into that question! Oh, and if you have an attorney, you might want to call them up, too! Because when it comes to gun laws, we all know it can get complicated quickly!

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Can a Felon Own a Gun in Texas

Texas State Law and Felon Gun Ownership

Texas Penal Code Sec 46.04 allows, in some cases, for a felon to own a firearm where they reside, but only after five years from the time of their conviction.

Here’s a further breakdown of those rules:

Sec. 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.

The code goes into a lot more depth, and you can read it here.

So, to translate that: it appears that a felon can possess a firearm. But it also appears they have to wait five years after their release from prison or from the time their probation or parole is up.

Federal Law, Felons and Guns

But…wait! Obviously states like to do their own thing, especially in Texas. But felons have to abide by federal laws, and can face serious consequences for not doing so. So unless a felon had their rights restored via the restoration process, the Federal law 18 U.S.C. 922(g) still applies. This law says persons “convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for longer than one year” may not possess any firearms or ammunition.” Thus, “Federal law makes it illegal for anyone with a felony conviction to own a firearm or possess one inside or outside the home.”

So yes, a felon’s Second Amendment rights are still suspended by Federal law. Right?

Well…yes, unless the felon has a full restoration of the rights which were lost, i.e. the right to serve on a jury, right to hold public office, and right to vote. So if a Texas felon receives a pardon and thus has those lost rights restored in accordance with Article 48.01 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, then the federal ban no longer applies to them. Good news (if you’re still with me?)!

Felony Expungement – In a number of states it is possible to have your felony conviction either expunged or sealed. Imagine having your record swiped clean! Learn more here.

Conclusion

Easy, huh? Well, not so much. But it’s possible!

So what does that mean in terms of Concealed Handguns? You guess it. Those are flat out. Texas does allow for Concealed Handgun Licensing, but those are not given out to felons or to anybody with a Class A or B misdemeanor (or even to anyone facing a criminal charge, for that matter).

Long story short, yes eventually a felon can own a gun in Texas, in some circumstances. But it can be tricky and may take time. A long time.

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Disclaimer: Help For Felons, this website does not offer legal advice, help or conversation. This article and all other articles on this website should be considered opinion only and not legal information.