Can I Buy A Gun If I Have A DWI Conviction In Texas?
To understand whether you can purchase a gun after a DWI conviction in Texas, we have to look at the classification of your conviction.
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Can you buy a gun with a Class A or B Misdemeanor DWI?
Let’s first talk about Class A and B misdemeanor DWI’s.
Typically, a DWI in Texas is either a Class A or B misdemeanor. A first offense is usually a Class B, and a second offense is usually a Class A. Normally a Class A or B misdemeanor on your record does not affect your ability to purchase a gun in Texas.
The one big exception is if you are convicted of a Class A misdemeanor involving assault on a family member or a member of your household, usually referred to as “domestic” or “family” assault.
If you have a conviction for domestic or family assault on your record, you can’t purchase a gun until five years after your release from confinement or, if you were sentenced to probation, within five years after the end of your probation period.
Can you buy a gun with a felony DWI in Texas?
Now let’s talk about if you have a felony DWI conviction.
A third DWI conviction is typically a felony. However, you can face felony conviction for your first or second DWI if you were also charged with a more serious crime like Intoxication Assault.
If you do have a felony on your record, federal and Texas law impose certain restrictions on gun purchases. Texas Penal Code Section 46.04 tells us that you can obtain a gun after the 5th anniversary of your release from confinement or probation for a felony conviction.
However, that is only Texas law. Federal gun laws are unsurprisingly more restrictive. Federal law does not permit you to purchase a gun after a felony conviction, regardless of how much time has passed.
So if you have a felony on your record and purchase and possess a gun, even if it is after the 5th anniversary, you may not be violating Texas law but you will be violating federal law. And federal gun law violations tend to carry very harsh penalties.