Private gun sales have few regulations in Texas

Private gun sales have few regulations in Texas

Posted:
LUBBOCK, Texas -

For private citizens, it is legal to build or sell guns or parts to another person.

When it comes to these sales, there are few restrictions as far as state law goes.

Ed Clements, the National Firearms Act Manager at Sharp Shooters, said citizens only need a license if they are going to do it like a business.

"It is possible for individuals to purchase piece parts and assemble firearms," Clements said. "If you are a manufacturer, if you want to manufacture with the intent to sell, that's something you have to be licensed through the government for."

In person to person sales, there are also no laws requiring a background check.

"The only real prohibitions are, it's illegal to sell a gun to an intoxicated person, it's illegal to sell a gun to a minor and it's illegal to knowingly sell a gun within five years of their discharge, if they are a convicted felon, within five years of their discharge from supervision, parole, probation," Mark Snodgrass, an attorney in Lubbock, said.

If it is after those five years, you can sell to convicted felons and not get charged. It is still a state crime for that felon to have that gun, but the seller would not be criminally liable. These sales must also remain in the state.

If these rules are violated, it is a class A misdemeanor.

"Unless it is a handgun, then it becomes a state jail felony," Snodgrass said. "A class A misdemeanor's punishable up to a year in the county jail and a $4,000 fine, a state jail felony is punishable 180 days up to two years."

A citizen also cannot sell a gun to someone knowing they are going to use it for an unlawful purpose.

Criminally, Snodgrass said you cannot be held liable if you did not know that person intended to commit a crime with the weapon you sold them.

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