Texas State NFA Rules and Allowable NFA Items

Texas is a state that generally respects the right of gun owners to own all types of firearms, including NFA weapons. However, Texas laws related to NFA items are a bit odd. In Texas the statute states that NFA items are illegal to possess, however it is a “defense to prosecution” if those items are registered pursuant to the National Firearms Act, i.e you can obtain NFA items through ATF Form 1 and ATF Form 4.  You must have a NFA Tax stamp to legally own NFA items in Texas.  When discussing the legality of NFA items, bear in mind that Texas is by far the largest NFA market in the country. In terms of suppressors, Texas has 86,579 in circulation as of March, 2014, according to the ATF’s 2014 Annual Statistical Update of Firearms Commerce in the United States.  The ATF would not have approved the transfer of over 136,000 suppressors to Texas if they were illegal.

Prohibited Weapons Statute:

Sec. 46.05. PROHIBITED WEAPONS. (a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly possesses, manufactures, transports, repairs, or sells:
     (1) an explosive weapon;      (2) a machine gun;      (3) a short-barrel firearm;      (4) a firearm silencer;      (5) knuckles;      (6) armor-piercing ammunition;      (7) a chemical dispensing device;      (8) a zip gun; or      (9) a tire deflation device.
(b) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the actor's conduct was incidental to the performance of official duty by the armed forces or national guard, a governmental law enforcement agency, or a correctional facility.
(c) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the actor's possession was pursuant to registration pursuant to the National Firearms Act, as amended.

(d) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the actor's conduct:
     (1) was incidental to dealing with a short-barrel firearm or tire deflation device solely as an antique or curio;
     (2) was incidental to dealing with armor-piercing ammunition solely for the purpose of making the ammunition available to an organization, agency, or institution listed in Subsection (b); or
     (3) was incidental to dealing with a tire deflation device solely for the purpose of making the device available to an organization, agency, or institution listed in Subsection (b).
     (e) An offense under Subsection (a)(1), (2), (3), (4), (6), (7), or (8) is a felony of the third degree. An offense under Subsection (a)(9) is a state jail felony. An offense under Subsection (a)(5) is a Class A misdemeanor.
     (f) It is a defense to prosecution under this section for the possession of a chemical dispensing device that the actor is a security officer and has received training on the use of the chemical dispensing device by a training program that is:
          (1) provided by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement; or
          (2) approved for the purposes described by this subsection by the Texas Private Security Board of the Department of Public Safety.
     (g) In Subsection (f), "security officer" means a commissioned security officer as defined by Section 1702.002, Occupations Code, or a noncommissioned security officer registered under Section 1702.221, Occupations Code.

(e) An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree unless it is committed under Subsection (a)(5) or (a)(6), in which event, it is a Class A misdemeanor. (f) It is a defense to prosecution under this section for the possession of a chemical dispensing device that the actor is a security officer and has received training on the use of the chemical dispensing device by a training program that is: (1) provided by the Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education; or (2) approved for the purposes described by this subsection by the Texas Private Security Board of the Department of Public Safety. (g) In Subsection (f), "security officer" means a commissioned security officer as defined by Section 1702.002, Occupations Code, or a noncommissioned security officer registered under Section 1702.221, Occupations Code.

Legal Disclaimer:

This information is provided as a service to the public. It is NOT intended as legal advice and should never be considered as such. This information was up to date at the time of publication.

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