Author Topic: Clarifying age/ownership/familial restrictions foir weapons possession in a car  (Read 1431 times)

Halftime Oracle

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Will you clarify (confirm or correct) the following, please?  All questions relate to TEXAS and ONLY TEXAS gun laws: 
1.   To get an LTC, you must be a minimum of 21. 
2.   To purchase your own shotgun or rifle, you must be a minimum of 18, correct?
3.   To purchase your own handgun, you must be a minimum of 21, correct?
4.   To possess a weapon (which anyone has loaned or gifted to you), there is no age restriction as long as you are on property you own or control while in possession of the weapon, or going to/from your home from/to your car while carrying the weapon?
5.   In item 4 above, is there a criminal liability for the adult guardian responsible for someone under 18 who injures themselves or others with a weapon, and access to the weapon was provided to the minor by the guardian, whether intentionally or unintentionally?  (i.e., child protection laws related to minors’ access to weapons)
6.   For Item 4 above, “Property you own or control” includes your automobile, correct?  So for example a 16 year old who is legally licensed to drive, and who is not engaged in any other criminal activity, can possess a weapon given or loaned to them by a parent, guardian, or any other individual (?) in their own car, as long they have some rightful ownership stake in (or rightful possession of) the automobile, and the weapon is not in plain sight in the automobile?


And now for a few other complexities, if you are able to answer:
•   Does the law require that rightful possession of an automobile must have been granted to the minor at the time a weapon is carried?  (i.e., they can lawfully access and possess the weapon, but they weren’t supposed to be driving the car and didn’t have permission).  That is a weapons violation because they possessed the weapon while committing another crime, correct?
•   Does the law require that the automobile be personally or family owned, or does mere granting of permission to drive a car by anyone constitute rightful “control” of property with regard to the weapons carry law?
•   Does the law require that a weapon carried in a car by a minor be provided to the minor by someone with a parental or guardian relationship, or can some other individual with no guardianship responsibility (an uncle, a cousin, or even an adult friend, etc.) provide a legally loaned or gifted handgun or rifle to a minor who has no familial relationship with the minor? 
•   Must the legal guardian(s) of a minor have approved the possession of the weapon by the minor in order for the minor to rightfully be in possession of the weapon in their car, or is the relationship of the person providing the weapon to the minor even relevant to whether possession of a weapon in a car is lawful?   
•   Presume I am 16 and an adult (over 21) friend with no familial relationship has loaned me his/her gun, and I am legally licensed to drive.  I am driving my parents car, which they have allowed me to drive as a member of the family, but in which I have no ownership stake.  Is there any UCW criminal liability in that I rightly possess and control the automobile at the time I am driving, and doing so by permission, but it is not my automobile when I am found to be in possession of a weapon?
•   If both the automobile and the weapon are loaned to a minor, but the loan of neither the automobile nor the weapon was from someone with a guardianship / parental relationship with the minor, is there criminal UCW liability for a weapon concealed in the car by the minor?

Thanks!

TexasLawShield

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Halftime Oracle,

He are all the answers you requested. There are endless hypothetical that could be posed in regards to this issue. So in the future, when you have long questions like this, with multiple hypotehticals, please call us on the business line.

Will you clarify (confirm or correct) the following, please?  All questions relate to TEXAS and ONLY TEXAS gun laws: 

1.   To get an LTC, you must be a minimum of 21.
Yes, or age 18 if the person is an active or honorably discharged member of the armed forces.

2.   To purchase your own shotgun or rifle, you must be a minimum of 18, correct?
Yes, under both Texas and Federal law.

3.   To purchase your own handgun, you must be a minimum of 21, correct?
Under Federal law you must be 21 years of age to purchase a handgun, but Texas law only requires a person to be 18 years of age.

4.   To possess a weapon (which anyone has loaned or gifted to you), there is no age restriction as long as you are on property you own or control while in possession of the weapon, or going to/from your home from/to your car while carrying the weapon?
Wrong. Under Federal law you must be at least 18 years of age to possess a handgun or ammunition for a handgun. There is no federal age requirement for the possession of a rifle or shotgun. Likewise, Texas does not require a certain age requirement for possessing a firearm. But, Texas law requires that persons under the age of 17 be supervised or that other conditions be met for a juvenile to possess a firearm. There are some exceptions, under Texas Penal Code § 49.13(c)(1). For example, an adult may legally take a child hunting, or to a shooting range, so long as an adult supervises the child. 

5.   In item 4 above, is there a criminal liability for the adult guardian responsible for someone under 18 who injures themselves or others with a weapon, and access to the weapon was provided to the minor by the guardian, whether intentionally or unintentionally?  (i.e., child protection laws related to minors’ access to weapons)
Yes, under Texas Penal Code § 46.13 an adult may be criminally liable if a child gains possession of a readily dischargeable firearm and that adult with “criminal negligence: (1) failed to secure the firearm; or (2) left the firearm in a place to which the person knew or should have known the child would gain access.” The crime is judged on the standard of criminal negligence, not whether the act was intentional. Punishments can range from a class C misdemeanor. Up to a class A misdemeanor.

6.   For Item 4 above, “Property you own or control” includes your automobile, correct?  So for example a 16 year old who is legally licensed to drive, and who is not engaged in any other criminal activity, can possess a weapon given or loaned to them by a parent, guardian, or any other individual (?) in their own car, as long they have some rightful ownership stake in (or rightful possession of) the automobile, and the weapon is not in plain sight in the automobile?
First, as stated above, a 16-year old is prohibited from possessing a handgun.

If you are over 18, then “property you control” includes automobiles, but you do not have to be the owner of the automobile to be “in control,” as defined in the statue. Under Texas Penal Code § 46.02(a) the possession of handgun is prohibited unless (1) a person is on their own premises or premises under their control; or (2) a person is inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle or watercraft that is owned by a person or under the person’s control. A person need not be the owner of the vehicle or watercraft to carry a concealed handgun lawfully. For instance, a rental car is the property of the company that rents the car. However, a person who rents the car from the company and takes possession of the car is the person who has control over the vehicle.


And now for a few other complexities, if you are able to answer:

•   Does the law require that rightful possession of an automobile must have been granted to the minor at the time a weapon is carried?  (i.e., they can lawfully access and possess the weapon, but they weren’t supposed to be driving the car and didn’t have permission).  That is a weapons violation because they possessed the weapon while committing another crime, correct?
As stated above, a minor (person under 17) must be supervised when handling or possessing a handgun and other conditions must be met. If a minor commits a crime to gain access to a firearm, either by stealing the car or stealing the fun, the firearm’s owner is not guilty of a crime. Thus, if a minor illegally breaks into a person’s vehicle and takes possession of a weapon illegally, the gun owner will not be guilty of a crime.
•   Does the law require that the automobile be personally or family owned, or does mere granting of permission to drive a car by anyone constitute rightful “control” of property with regard to the weapons carry law?
See Answer to Question 6.
•   Does the law require that a weapon carried in a car by a minor be provided to the minor by someone with a parental or guardian relationship, or can some other individual with no guardianship responsibility (an uncle, a cousin, or even an adult friend, etc.) provide a legally loaned or gifted handgun or rifle to a minor who has no familial relationship with the minor? 
A minor may not possess a handgun unless the above (Question 4) exceptions apply.
•   Must the legal guardian(s) of a minor have approved the possession of the weapon by the minor in order for the minor to rightfully be in possession of the weapon in their car, or is the relationship of the person providing the weapon to the minor even relevant to whether possession of a weapon in a car is lawful?   
A minor may not possess a handgun unless the above (Question 4) exceptions apply. The first exception (hunting or sporting) only requires the supervision of someone older than 18. There is no requirement that it be supervised by a legal guardian or relative.
•   Presume I am 16 and an adult (over 21) friend with no familial relationship has loaned me his/her gun, and I am legally licensed to drive.  I am driving my parents car, which they have allowed me to drive as a member of the family, but in which I have no ownership stake.  Is there any UCW criminal liability in that I rightly possess and control the automobile at the time I am driving, and doing so by permission, but it is not my automobile when I am found to be in possession of a weapon?
Your adult (over 21) friend may be charged under Texas Penal Code § 46.13 for making readily dischargeable a firearm accessible to you, a child (under 17). Your friend will most likely be charged with a class C misdemeanor. However, if you discharge the firearm and cause death or serious bodily injury to yourself or another, your friend could be charged with a more serious class A misdemeanor.
•   If both the automobile and the weapon are loaned to a minor, but the loan of neither the automobile nor the weapon was from someone with a guardianship / parental relationship with the minor, is there criminal UCW liability for a weapon concealed in the car by the minor?
Yes, as stated above the person who made the weapon accessible to the minor will be charged under Texas Penal Code § 46.13 with either a class C or class A misdemeanor.