What Happens If You Get Caught with a Ghost Gun in Dallas

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Are you wondering about the legal consequences of possessing a ghost gun in Dallas? The laws around ghost guns are in flux, and understanding your rights under Texas and federal law can be challenging. Being familiar with these regulations will help you stay within the bounds of the law and can help minimize the risk of serious charges. A Texas attorney with experience in firearms law can provide the additional support and clarification you need.

What Is a Ghost Gun?

A ghost gun is a firearm that lacks serial numbers, making it untraceable by law enforcement. These guns typically arrive in parts and are assembled by the purchaser at home. Ghost guns don’t require the usual documentation and background checks that come with buying traditional firearms.

For years, the legal framework didn’t explicitly cover ghost guns, which managed to evade regulation because they came as separate parts. Purchasers could acquire and assemble these firearm components without background checks, effectively sidestepping federal firearm regulations.

However, a significant change occurred with the Ghost Guns and Untraceable Firearms Act of 2023, which expanded federal authority to regulate the parts necessary to build a ghost gun. These parts must now have serial numbers, and manufacturers or sellers must conduct background checks before selling these parts, aligning them more closely with traditional firearms regulations.

The law also requires individuals who manufacture their own firearms to obtain a serial number from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and include this number on the firearm.

Why Do Criminals Use Ghost Guns?

Criminals often choose ghost guns because they provide anonymity and evade traditional firearm tracking systems. These weapons are more challenging for law enforcement to trace back to their origins, making them appealing for illegal activities.

The lack of a serial number is a key feature of ghost guns that attracts those intent on breaking the law. Since these firearms don’t appear in any official records, they effectively bypass the usual checks and balances that prevent convicted felons and others prohibited from owning firearms from purchasing them legally.

Ghost guns also pose a challenge to law enforcement because they complicate efforts to link a particular firearm to a crime scene. It’s nearly impossible to track the ownership history of the gun or determine how many hands it may have passed through.

Is it Illegal to Have an Unregistered Gun in Texas?

In Texas, it is generally legal to own an unregistered gun. Texas law does not require firearms to be registered with the state, allowing residents to possess guns without official records.

While Texas permits the ownership of unregistered firearms, it’s important for gun owners to follow all laws and regulations regarding the purchase and transfer of guns.

What Does the Supreme Court Say About Ghost Guns?

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The Supreme Court will consider the matter of ghost guns in Garland v. VanDerStok during its 2024-2025 term. Until the Supreme Court clarifies the issue, existing state and federal laws and the ATF regulations enacted in 2022 govern ghost guns. It is vital for those in possession or considering the acquisition of ghost gun parts to adhere to these regulations so they comply with the law.

Defending Against Ghost Gun Charges

Mark Lassiter is recognized as a Top 100 lawyer with extensive experience in all state and federal court levels and is a Member of the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court. If you’re facing a weapons charge involving a ghost gun in Dallas, The Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter is fully prepared to defend your rights. Some of the key defense strategies we utilize for weapons charges include:

  • Validity of Search and Seizure – We rigorously assess the legality of the search that led to the discovery of the ghost gun, helping protect your constitutional rights against violation.
  • Clarification of Possession – We carefully evaluate the evidence to determine if there is clear and conclusive proof of your ownership or control over the weapon, addressing any ambiguities related to possession.
  • Intent Analysis – We analyze and argue the specifics surrounding your intent, emphasizing any lack of intent to commit a crime with the weapon, which can be crucial for a robust defense.

These strategies reflect our commitment to upholding our clients’ legal rights and providing a diligent defense. For the legal support you need when confronting ghost gun charges, contact The Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter online or call us at (214) 845-7007 for a free consultation. Let us use our experience to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your situation.

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