WHAT IS FIREARM SMUGGLING IN TEXAS?
The Texas law against firearm smuggling prohibits engaging in the business of transporting or transferring an illegally-acquired firearm for profit or other form of remuneration, or on more than one occasion.
WHAT IS THE FIREARM SMUGGLING LAW IN TEXAS?
Tex. Penal Code § 46.14. FIREARM SMUGGLING.
(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.
(b) An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree, unless it is shown on the trial of the offense that the offense was committed with respect to three or more firearms in a single criminal episode, in which event the offense is a felony of the second degree.
(c) This section does not apply to a peace officer who is engaged in the actual discharge of an official duty.
(d) If conduct that constitutes an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under any other law, the actor may be prosecuted under this section, the other law, or both.
WHAT IS THE PENALTY CLASS FOR FIREARM SMUGGLING IN TEXAS?
Firearm smuggling is typically a third degree felony, punishable by two to ten years in prison. If a person smuggles three or more firearms in a single criminal episode, it is a second degree felony, punishable by two to 20 years in prison.
WHAT IS THE PUNISHMENT RANGE FOR FIREARM SMUGGLING IN TEXAS?
The punishment range for firearm smuggling charged as a third degree felony is two to ten years in prison, and a maximum $10,000 fine. If charged as a second degree, firearm smuggling carries between two and 20 years in prison, and a maximum $10,000 fine.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR FIREARM SMUGGLING IN TEXAS?
A person charged with firearm smuggling may be eligible for probation after a conviction, or deferred adjudication without a conviction, for a period not to exceed ten years.
Texas Code of Criminal Procedure article 42A.054 prohibits a judge from granting probation upon an affirmative finding the person convicted used or exhibited a deadly weapon during the commission of the crime or in immediate flight therefrom.
WHAT ARE THE DEFENSES TO FIREARM SMUGGLING IN TEXAS?
The statute does not authorize specific defenses to firearm smuggling. A person accused thereof may attempt to negate at least one of the elements the State must prove at trial.
Section 46.14(c) contains a non-applicability provision: peace officers who are engaged in the actual discharge of an official duty are not to be charged or punished with firearm smuggling.
WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR FIREARM SMUGGLING IN TEXAS?
The limitation period for firearm smuggling is three years.
FIREARM SMUGGLING IN TEXAS
Firearm smuggling is the business of transferring or transporting illegally-obtained firearms for profit, or on more than one occasion, and is punishable as a felony in Texas.
TEXAS FIREARM SMUGGLING COURT CASES
The case law regarding firearm smuggling in Texas demonstrates the prohibited types of conduct.
- In Pina v. State, the defendant traded two stolen handguns for an AK-47 rifle. He offered the person to whom he traded the stolen guns $100 to give police different serial numbers for the guns. The defendant spoke to police, and claimed he bought the stolen guns from a seller on Facebook. Police learned the defendant was a gang member, and the gang’s activities included trafficking stolen guns. The defendant was convicted of firearm smuggling, and the appellate court affirmed.