Strictest Gun Laws by State

Published: 2017-11-20
Strictest Gun Laws by State
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Policy Security Gun control
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1251 words
11 min read

Gun laws in Texas

Gun control laws do not only vary from federal to state laws but also vary further from state to state. Therefore, like in many other U.S state laws, the Texas gun laws are legislated so as to govern and regulate the sale, possession and use of guns and other firearms in the American state of Texas. However, the Texas Gun control laws seem to be among the least restrictive laws of all the other U.S. states’ laws, but this does not mean that the State of Texas does not have any gun regulations. As it is a case in various states, the possession of different guns such as machine guns, silencers, explosive weapons and zip guns, among others, is illegal. This also applies to the Texas state laws but differs from other states in the fact that their law does not include a waiting period for one to purchase a gun (Cramer).

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Additionally, the wording of the Texas Constitution, which exclusively permits the Texas Legislature “to regulate the wearing of arms, to prevent crime,” overrides every county and municipal ordinances on possession and carrying of firearms. Moreover, the Texas state law generally prohibits anyone to carry a handgun openly outside their premises but at the same time allows its residents to carry open or concealed shotguns and rifles in a non-threatening manner.

Regardless of the fact that this particular law prohibits individual citizens from carrying a handgun openly, there are, however, some places where the law legalizes the possession of these kinds of firearms, with or without the benefits of a Texas Concealed Handgun License (CHL). Some of these places are such as;

i. An individual’s place of residence or their property that is under their control

ii. A person’s private motor vehicle.

iii. The immediate premises where a person who is engaged in lawful hunting, fishing or other sporting activities which require the use of their legalized firearm.

Gun control in Texas

On this note, the Texas State laws are in the prohibition of all the local ordinances to regulate ownership, licensing or even transfer of guns and ammunitions. Meaning that, the municipal or the county government can only regulate firearm discharge in instances where they are a nuisance or when the public safety is compromised. This should, however, not contradict the Texas state laws about the justified use of firearms. Moreover, the Texas state gun control laws are in line with the NFA compliance and therefore prohibits any guns or firearm ownership that is outside the NFA compliance. Thus, according to the Texas law penal code, besides the above mentioned non-prohibited places, any other unlawful possession of a gun or any other firearm is regarded as a third-degree felony that is punishable with a range of two to ten years for any defendant who has previously been convicted of a crime.

Like in Texas, every other American state has some form of restrictions imposed on the sale and purchase of guns and firearms. Similarly, gun control laws in these states put restrictions on gun possession and ownership on various people such as the convicted felons, individuals confined in penal institutions and the minors. Also, regarding the second amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the Texas law compares to several other state laws by not allowing citizens to own every other type of firearm. For example, many states, including Texas prohibit individual citizens to purchase or to possess firearms such as the silenced firearms, zip guns, machine guns, among others. Nonetheless, despite the clear spectrum that exists among the different state laws, the federal law is the single commonality that is specially shared by all the State laws (Trevino).

However, the less restrictive nature of the Texas gun control law brings about disparities between the law and other states’ gun control laws. For instance, while other State laws enforce the controversial restriction issue that imposes a waiting period, an amount of time that one has to wait between their gun purchases and when they are allowed to possess it, the Texas law does not include this waiting period. The reason as to why other states have this waiting period instituted in their laws is in order to discourage rash actions which are known to be primary propagators of gun related crimes. Additionally, the Texas law abides by the Federal law that up to this time has no restrictions on “assault weapons” which include FAL, HK91 rifles, semi-auto AR15, among others. In a nutshell, when compared to other states’ gun control laws, the Texas laws are way less restrictive. This is evidenced a ranking done in March 2000, by one of the lobbyists for gun controls, The Open Society Institute, which ranked Texas among the lowest States when an evaluation about those restrictions that are imposed by the Texas State gun control laws. One of the major factors that saw Texas scoring this laws rank is due to the fact that these State’s gun control laws, do not clearly indicate a minimum age requirement that is legal for possession of guns and firearms. States such as California and New Jersey, which were among the highest scoring states are thus considered to be the ones with the toughest and the strictest gun control laws.

California gun storage laws

Of all the American states, California is known to have the most stringent gun rules. While purchase and sale of guns in other states say, Texas, can be done by individual citizens, the sale and transfer of guns and every other firearm, including gun shows transactions, in California must be done by a California Licensed firearm dealer. Additionally, the strict Californian gun control ruled requires that one should have a Firearm Safety Certificate as well as their proof of residency prior to the purchase of the firearm. Additionally, unlike in the Texas State, where no waiting period is included in their gun control legislation, the Californian State law has a 10-day waiting probation before any firearm purchase or transfer. Moreover, California is among the few American States whose state constitution does not explicitly guarantee the right for an individual citizen to keep and to bear arms. This, in essence, shows the disparity and the spectrum between the Californian State gun control laws and those of the state of Texas.

Texas gun control laws

Consequences of the Texas gun control Laws

While 42 of the 50 American states have imposed legislations which directly or indirectly affect the possession of guns in schools, Texas became one of the eight American states which allow students to carry guns in school and college buildings. This was after a new legislation that allows students to carry and to be in possession of guns in schools and particularly in classrooms came to effect in this state. The passing and the bringing to the effect of this law has invited debates from both supporters of the law and critics. The proposers of the law argue that the law that allows students to carry guns in college buildings is justified for purposes of self-defense. This comes after the affirmation by the Republicans that gun-free-zones such as colleges, university campuses, and cinemas have become some of the most obvious targets for deranged gunmen. On the other hand, critics, who strongly oppose the “Campus carry law” argue that this law is an ill sort solution that has the possibility to trigger even more violence (Kleck).

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Strictest Gun Laws by State. (2017, Nov 20). Retrieved from

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