The Constitutional right to bear arms is both enthusiastically protected and practiced in Texas – so much so that the state’s laws sometimes protect gun ownership to a greater degree than the federal government’s.
A clear instance of this is a convicted felon’s right to regain gun ownership rights in Texas once five years have passed since the conclusion of their sentence, parole, or probation. While both federal and Texas law strip a convicted felon of the right to bear arms, under federal law, convicted felons never naturally regain this right.
That said, it’s worth considering those five years during which a convicted felon in Texas can’t possess a firearm. If that person is living under the same roof as an otherwise lawful gun owner – such as a spouse or a roommate – would either the convicted felon or other person be in violation of any laws?
Unfortunately, the law isn’t very direct on this matter, but the legal concept of constructive possession might apply.
What Is Constructive Possession of a Firearm?
First of all, owning a firearm is a different concept than possessing one. Even so, though, convicted felons in Texas are barred from both for five years after the conclusion of their sentence.
It’s clear that a convicted felon would be unable to walk into a gun store and purchase a firearm, but could they be considered “in possession” of a firearm if they’re simply living under the same roof as someone who legally owns that weapon? This is where constructive possession comes into play.
One can be convicted of constructive possession of a firearm under the following circumstances:
- The convicted felon knows that there’s a firearm in the home
- The convicted felon has the ability to maintain control over the firearm
This means that a convicted felon violates the law if they know that their spouse or roommate owns a firearm and can access it. This means that the convicted felon could potentially be convicted of constructive possession without even handling the weapon. What’s more, the lawful gun owner themselves could be charged with a crime under these circumstances.
Do You Need Legal Assistance?
Although Texas is very friendly toward the right to own firearms, it takes firearm-related crimes very seriously. If you are facing charges related to an alleged gun crime, we at The Alband Law Firm can provide the legal assistance you need to defend against such accusations.
Learn more about what we can do for you by contacting us online today.