Restoring Gun Rights in Texas after a Felony or Family Violence Conviction
Felony Convictions in Texas result in the loss of Second Amendment Rights
If a person is convicted of a felony, he or she may not possess a firearm until the later of:
- five years after being released from parole,
- five years after being released from probation, or
- for five years after a felony conviction.
During that time frame, he or she may not possess a firearm anywhere, including in their own home.
Family Violence Convictions in Texas result in the loss of Second Amendment Rights
After the initial prohibition period has passed, they may possess a firearm in their own home.
Similarly, once a person has been convicted of Assault causing Bodily Injury Against a Family Member
-for five year’s after being released for the offense
-for five years after completing probation for the offense.
Felons Lose Gun Rights under Federal Law
Under federal law, a felon may not possess, ship, transport, or receive any firearm or ammunition. See 18 USC 922(g).
[x_accordion_item title=”18 USC 922(g)”](g) It shall be unlawful for any person— (1) who has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year; (2) who is a fugitive from justice; (3) who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802)); (4) who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution; (5) who, being an alien— (A) is illegally or unlawfully in the United States; or (B) except as provided in subsection (y)(2), has been admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa (as that term is defined in section 101(a)(26) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(26))); (6) who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions; (7) who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his citizenship; (8) who is subject to a court order that— (A) was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice, and at which such person had an opportunity to participate; (B) restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child; and (C) (i) includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or (ii) by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury; or (9) who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.[/x_accordion_item]
Setting Aside a Felony Conviction through Executive Clemency or a Pardon
One way to restore federal firearm rights after a state conviction is through a full pardon. Under Code of Criminal Procedure Article 48.01, the Governor has the power to pardon someone after they have been convicted. A pardon restores an individual’s right to bear arms. Read our article about pardons in Texas to learn more about this process.
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles may also consider recommending a pardon to restore the right to receive, possess, bear and transport firearms. In order to receive such a recommendation, the application must be accompanied by a letter from an employer or prospective employer that outlines the need to have those rights restored in order to gain or maintain employment. In fact, under Texas Administrative Code Section 143.12, the applicant is required to show “extreme and unusual circumstances” in order to receive a recommendation to have firearm rights restored.
Setting Aside a Felony Conviction After Discharge from Probation
In Cuellar v. State, 70 S.W.3d 815, the Court of Criminal Appeals held that once a conviction has been set aside under Article 42.12 Sec. 20, it releases a person from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the crime of offense. The result of a discharge under Article 42.12 Section 20 is that the conviction “is wiped away, the indictment dismissed, and the person is free to walk away from the courtroom ‘released from all penalties and disabilities’ resulting from the conviction.” In other words, if a felony conviction has been set aside under this section, that person may lawfully possess and transport firearms and ammunition.
Furthermore, once judicial clemency has been granted in Texas under Article 42.12 Section 12, a person’s federal right to possess a firearm is also restored.