Is it Illegal to Own Brass Knuckles in Texas?
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It is illegal to buy or sell brass knuckles in Texas. In fact, Texas Penal Code Chapter 46 prohibits possession, manufacture, transportation, repair, or sale of knuckles.
How are Illegal Knuckles Defined in Texas?
Knuckles are defined as “any instrument that consists of finger rings or guards made of a hard substance and that is designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by striking a person with a fist enclosed in the knuckles.”
Defenses for Brass Knuckles in Texas
Despite the law prohibiting the possession of knuckles, knuckles are sometimes sold as novelty items or paperweights. If you are arrested for possession of brass knuckles or any other prohibited weapon, it will be important to hire an attorney who is experienced in handling weapons charges. Possession of brass knuckles is generally a Class A misdemeanor in Texas, carrying a sentence of up to a year in jail and a fine of $4,000.
What Other Weapons are Illegal to Possess?
Unless the item is registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record maintained by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives or classified as a curio or relic by the United States Department of Justice, it is illegal to carry, possess, manufacture, transport, repair or sell any of the following:
- Explosive weapons
- Machine guns
- Short-barrel firearms
- Firearm silencers
- Armor-piercing ammunition
- Chemical dispensing devices
- Zip guns or
- Tire deflation devices.
What is the Punishment for Possession of a Prohibited Weapon?
Possession of these prohibited weapons is generally a third-degree felony with the exception of a tire deflation device which is generally a state jail felony.
One major exception is that a person may possess the items if it was pursuant to registration under the National Firearms Act. For example, under 18 U.S.C. 922(o)(2) and 26 U.S.C. 5812, a machine gun that was lawfully registered and possessed before May 19, 1986, may be transferred pursuant to approval by the ATF. A “machine gun” means any firearm that is capable of shooting more than two shots automatically, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.
Tire deflation devices were the most recent addition to the list of prohibited weapons. In Texas, a “tire deflation device” means a device, including a caltrop or spike strip, that when driven over, impedes or stops the movement of a wheeled vehicle by puncturing one or more of the vehicle’s tires. The term does not include a traffic control device that: (A) is designed to puncture one or more of a vehicle’s tires when driven over in a specific direction; and (B) has a clearly visible sign posted in close proximity to the traffic control device that prohibits entry or warns motor vehicle operators of the traffic control device.
For the defense of a weapons charge in North Texas, call Varghese Summersett PLLC. We have decades of experience and have handled a wide array of weapons cases, ranging from the possession of illegal firearms to explosive devices. Call us at (817) 203-2220 if you are facing allegations of possessing a prohibited weapon. You can also contact us online.
Also published on Medium.