In our last newsletter, you heard from Independent Program Attorney Edwin Walker on what was legal and not legal to add to your gun under federal. Edwin is back to cover what attachments are legal and not legal to add to your firearm under state law.
Hi, I’m Edwin Walker, Independent Program Attorney, with U.S. & Texas LawShield. In our last video, we discussed how firearm accessories are regulated under federal law. In this video, I want to discuss the regulation of firearm accessories under Texas law.
State law does not prohibit any specific firearm accessories by name and most accessories escape scrutiny even under the broadest of Texas Penal Code definitions. However, with regard to grenade launchers, in Texas, possession of them could be troublesome.
As you will recall from our discussion of federal law, a grenade launcher is only considered an NFA regulated destructive device if it is possessed in conjunction with grenades, rockets, or other anti-personnel projectiles. Under Texas law, the prohibition is a bit more encompassing.
Texas Penal Code Section 46.05 prohibits the possession of an explosive weapon.
An explosive weapon is defined as an incendiary bomb, grenade, rocket, or, mine. This seems simple enough. If it is designed to blow up and injure people or property it is an explosive weapon.
Now, that is until you read the complete definition and see that it also includes any device designed, made, or adapted for delivery or shooting an explosive weapon.
The straightforward unambiguous interpretation of this sentence appears to prohibit grenade launchers outright, even in the absence of possessing any actual grenades.
We are unaware of any prosecutions of anyone who simply had a tube strapped to the bottom of their AR-15, and certainly if anyone were ever questioned by the police about such a device they would tell them that it is designed to shoot only non explosive projectiles in compliance with federal law.
Further, with the 2017 amendment to Section 46.05, it can be argued that since a grenade launcher without grenades is not subject to the federal NFA registration requirement it is no longer a prohibited explosive weapon under Texas law.
We know that the interpretation of statutes can be confusing. Therefore, we just want to remind all of the Texas LawShield members that with regard to many laws the devil is in the details and that is why you need to make sure that you’re both armed and educated.