See our Prohibited Purchasers policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
Federal law prohibits certain persons from purchasing or possessing firearms, such as felons, certain domestic abusers, and certain people with a history of mental illness.
Texas law provides that a person who has previously been convicted of a felony commits a felony of the third degree if he or she possesses a firearm:
- After conviction and before the fifth anniversary of his or her release from confinement following the conviction of the felony or from supervision under community supervision, parole, or mandatory supervision, whichever date is later; or
- Anytime following the fifth anniversary of his or her release from confinement or supervision, if at any location other than the premises at which the person lives.1
Texas law also provides that a person who has been convicted of certain domestic assault-related misdemeanors involving a member of the person’s family or household commits a misdemeanor if he or she possesses a firearm before the fifth anniversary of the later of:
- The date of his or her release from confinement following conviction of the misdemeanor; or
- The date of his or her release from community supervision following conviction of the misdemeanor.2
For prohibitions against subjects of protective orders, see the Texas Domestic Violence and Firearms section.
For information on the background check process used to enforce these provisions, see the Texas Background Checks section.