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Are fake guns illegal in Texas?

Do you remember playing with water guns when you were a kid? You’d point them at your brother and pretend you were the Sheriff, ruling the house. Whether that feeling stems from pride, protection or authority, Texas is seeing a big spike in this look-alike behavior much later on in life.

According to the Arlington Police Lieutenant, almost 20% of the weapons seized by police were fake during the summer of 2016. With another spring and summer rapidly approaching (crime rates are higher in the hotter months), we need you to know that you will not receive a “get out of jail free” card for using a fake weapon instead of a real one.

Why do people use fake guns?

Part of the motivation is that fake guns are cheaper, look like the real thing and do not require a background check to buy. Waving around a fake gun for self defense or using it to induce fear doesn’t seem like it would be that much of a problem, right? After all, you can’t actually hurt anyone with it.

Is it safer to use a fake gun?

This is a two-sided coin. On one hand, there’s the argument that it’s safer to use a fake gun if it’s just for self-defense or a warning. On the other, though, how do police officers distinguish between a fake gun and a real one, if it is made to look as similar as possible? Those two seconds that someone has to make a life or death situation could mean certain death for the gun handler.

It’s all about INTENT

That big shiny word we talk so much about is intent. Usually intent is the most important part of a criminal case. What was the intent – did he shoot her to protect himself or did he shoot her after planning it out? Intent is EVERYTHING in a case. When you point a gun at someone, whether it’s real or fake, it is enough to get you a first-degree felony charge. Instead of intent being the most important deciding factor, it becomes a game of belief. If someone believed you had a gun and felt threatened by it, you are in the running for a nice big criminal charge.

We can’t stress this enough: do NOT use a fake weapon. Police will not take this lightly and you can end up in prison or fatally wounded by an officer if they believe it is real. If you have had an issue with this, it needs to be treated differently than traditional charges.

For a free, confidential consultation contact the Law Offices of Daniel & Hudson at 210-222-2297. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.