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A firearm is generally a rifle, pistol, shotgun, or other portable weapon that expels a projectile (bullet) by use of an explosive action. The definition of a firearm may vary from state to state under state statutes—and under federal statutes—and related items such as a muffler or silencer may be included in the definition of a firearm for purposes of certain criminal offenses (crimes).

In Texas, a firearm is defined under the Texas Penal Code as any device designed, made, or adapted to expel a projectile through a barrel by using the energy generated by an explosion or burning substance or any device readily convertible to that use. This includes rifles, pistols, and shotguns. Texas law generally aligns with federal definitions, which also consider a firearm to be any weapon that will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive. Under both Texas and federal law, items such as silencers are considered firearms as well, and their possession and transfer are subject to specific regulations. It's important to note that Texas has relatively permissive firearm laws compared to other states, with no state licensing requirements for the purchase of guns and no requirement for a permit to carry long guns in public. However, carrying handguns openly or concealed in public does require a license. Federal law also imposes background checks and other restrictions on the sale and possession of firearms, which apply in Texas as in other states.

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