Understanding Disorderly Conduct with a Weapon Charges

The gun control laws in Texas stack up as some of the least restrictive in the nation. However, that does not mean that people may show or discharge their weapons at any time and in any place. Rather, the state imposes laws that specify when, where and how people may carry their firearms. 

To help avoid unnecessary arrests and possible criminal penalties, it behooves gun owners to understand when carrying, brandishing or firing their weapons may become a criminal offense. 

What is disorderly conduct?

Crimes involving offenses against public decency and order may fall under the umbrella of disorderly conduct. According to state law, disorderly conduct in Texas includes displaying or firing a gun under certain circumstances. For example, gun owners may face disorderly conduct charges for wearing or otherwise showing their firearms in a way intended to cause distress or to alarm others. People may also face such gun charges for discharging their weapons in public places not designated as shooting ranges or across public roads. 

As a defense to such charges, people may argue that they discharged their firearms out of a reasonable fear that they or another may suffer an injury due to a dangerous wild animal. 

What are the penalties for disorderly conduct?

Generally, disorderly conduct qualifies as a Class C misdemeanor offense. When it involves the use of a firearm, however, the authorities charge disorderly conduct as a Class B misdemeanor. According to state law, a criminal offense of this level may result in consequences including a fine of up to $2,000, a maximum of 180 days in jail or both. 

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