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Antique Gun Laws And Regulations In Texas

Friday, September 27th, 2019
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Whether you are new to collecting guns and firearms or already have a collection, you probably know that ownership laws vary by state. You should also know that the laws and regulations are different for antique guns than they are for modern guns. The differences depend on how an antique gun is defined and how you will store the item. Here are some tips that will help you understand the laws in Texas.

What defines antique guns in Texas?

In Texas, as well as in much of the United States, the terms “gun” and “firearm” are often used interchangeably, but they can have different connotations depending on the context. However, in common conversation and even in legal contexts, these terms are typically used to mean the same thing. Always refer to specific local and state laws for precise legal definitions and distinctions.

  • A “firearm” is a broad term that refers to any portable barrelled weapon that expels one or more projectiles, often driven by rapidly expanding high-pressure gas produced by chemical reactions within a confined space. This encompasses rifles, shotguns, handguns, and more.
  • On the other hand, “gun” is sometimes used in a narrower sense to refer specifically to certain types of firearms, like small arms that can be handheld, used, or carried by a single person.

In the state of Texas, curio and antique guns manufactured before 1899 that do not use centerfire or rimfire ammunition are not considered firearms under the Texas Penal Code Title 10, Chapter 46, including replicas. These antique guns do not require a permit or license to own in Texas. However, federal law still applies and prohibits the ownership of any firearm by individuals who are prohibited from possessing firearms under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). This includes convicted felons, those with a history of mental illness, and other prohibited categories.

Laws regarding gun purchases

It is not legal for felons to own modern guns in Texas, nor is it legal to sell them guns. However, some antique guns can be bought by felons. This includes those that use black powder ammunition. It is best to check the laws in your area before attempting to buy or sell any weapon to make sure you are compliant.

How you can follow state gun laws

If you are in the market for antique guns, you should get to know all of the gun laws in Texas. Here are some tips to help you do this.

  • Research state and federal laws before you buy a gun. Although many states follow federal laws and regulations, you shouldn’t assume your state does. For example, while Texas does not require a permit or license for the possession of antique firearms, other states may have different laws.
  • Understand how to legally transport your firearm if you plan on taking it out of state. Some states have strict regulations on transporting firearms across state lines, so make sure you are following the applicable laws.
  • Contact an expert if you need help. A great place to start is speaking with the state agency that regulates firearms. You can also talk to a local licensed gun dealer or a gun auctioneer.
  • Get a license if you need one. Although you don’t need one to own a gun in Texas, you may need one in a different state. Be sure to get a license if you plan on traveling with your antique gun to a state that requires one. You may also need a license to carry your gun and to use it at a shooting range.
  • Consider getting a C&R license. This is also known as a curios and relics license and will help you buy and sell antique guns more easily. This federal firearms license isn’t necessary for most gun collectors.

Tips for buying antique guns

It is important to know how to purchase an antique gun, whether you are getting one from a dealer or auction house. Here are a few tips that will help you buy an antique gun in Texas.

Be sure to buy from reputable sellers

You can find out the reputation of a seller by doing some research. Ask about auctioneers and dealers in your area and try searching online. You will be able to find reviews and ratings on websites and social media. This may not seem like a legal issue, but if you go with a questionable dealer, you may get a modern firearm instead of an antique gun. You could also end up getting a fake rather than a piece of history.

Know the value of your antique gun

Before you buy an antique gun, be sure to know its true value. If you are buying from someone who is not well-versed in antique firearms, they may overvalue their items. This could result in you paying more than you should. Do some research and ask for expert opinions to ensure you are paying a fair price.

Be aware of potential scams

Unfortunately, there are people out there who try to take advantage of gun collectors. Be cautious and do not wire money or send personal information before receiving the gun. It is also a good idea to ask for multiple pictures of the antique gun you are interested in purchasing to verify its authenticity. If possible, see the item in person before making your choice.

Attending auctions is one of the safest ways to purchase an antique gun. Reputable auction houses understand the laws and know whether they are selling you a piece with documented history or a replica. They will also let you view the items they are selling so that you are prepared before you buy anything.

Know how to store your antique guns

Many states have specific regulations about storing antique guns. If you are a new collector, you must know how to store these before you buy any. This is important both for complying with laws and for displaying your guns. Be sure to speak with an expert that knows the gun laws for your state and city.

Buying antique guns in Texas

If you are looking to start or expand your collection of antique guns, High Plains Auctioneers can help. We offer a variety of auctions throughout the year, including estate and gun auctions with a large variety of items. We have sold guns, accessories, and storage for both antique and modern guns. If you would like to learn more, call us at (806) 244-6776 or Contact Us by Email. Don’t forget to check out our Upcoming Auctions to see what we will have available!