Texas Penal Code § 31.03

As both The Volokh Conspiracy and Snowflakes in Hell have both pointed out, updates to Texas Penal Code § 31.03 introduced in the 82nd Texas legislative session under SB 694 could very well have some dramatic effects for us Texans that spend time at the range.

The relevant section of SB 694 can be found below, with the most critical portion highlighted in red:

Sec. 411.422. GRANTS TO FUND SCRAP METAL THEFT PREVENTION.

  • (a) From fines collected and distributed to the department under Sections 1956.040(a-2) and (a-4), Occupations Code, the commission by rule shall establish and implement a grant program to provide funding to assist local law enforcement agencies in preventing the theft of regulated material.
  • (b) To be eligible for a grant, a recipient must be a local law enforcement agency that has established a program designed to prevent the theft of regulated material.
  • (c) Rules adopted under this section must:

    • (1) include accountability measures for grant recipients and provisions for loss of eligibility for grant recipients that fail to comply with the measures; and
    • (2) require grant recipients to provide to the department information on program outcomes.
  • SECTION 21. Subsection (e), Section 31.03, Penal Code, is amended to read as follows:

  • (e) Except as provided by Subsection (f), an offense under this section is:

    • (1) a Class C misdemeanor if the value of the property stolen is less than:

      • (A) $50; or
      • (B) $20 and the defendant obtained the property by issuing or passing a check or similar sight order in a manner described by Section 31.06;
    • (2) a Class B misdemeanor if:

      • (A) the value of the property stolen is:

        • (i) $50 or more but less than $500; or
        • (ii) $20 or more but less than $500 and the defendant obtained the property by issuing or passing a check or similar sight order in a manner described by Section 31.06;
      • (B) the value of the property stolen is less than:

        • (i) $50 and the defendant has previously been convicted of any grade of theft; or
        • (ii) $20, the defendant has previously been convicted of any grade of theft, and the defendant obtained the property by issuing or passing a check or similar sight order in a manner described by Section 31.06; or
      • (C) the property stolen is a driver’s license, commercial driver’s license, or personal identification certificate issued by this state or another state;
    • (3) a Class A misdemeanor if the value of the property stolen is $500 or more but less than $1,500;
    • (4) a state jail felony if:

      • (A) the value of the property stolen is $1,500 or more but less than $20,000, or the property is less than 10 head of sheep, swine, or goats or any part thereof under the value of $20,000;
      • (B) regardless of value, the property is stolen from the person of another or from a human corpse or grave, including property that is a military grave marker;
      • (C) the property stolen is a firearm, as defined by Section 46.01;
      • (D) the value of the property stolen is less than $1,500 and the defendant has been previously convicted two or more times of any grade of theft;
      • (E) the property stolen is an official ballot or official carrier envelope for an election; or
      • (F) the value of the property stolen is less than $20,000 and the property stolen is:

        • (i) aluminum;
        • (ii) bronze;
        • (iii) copper; or
        • (iv) brass;
    • (5) a felony of the third degree if the value of the property stolen is $20,000 or more but less than $100,000, or the property is:

      • (A) cattle, horses, or exotic livestock or exotic fowl as defined by Section 142.001, Agriculture Code, stolen during a single transaction and having an aggregate value of less than $100,000; or
      • (B) 10 or more head of sheep, swine, or goats stolen during a single transaction and having an aggregate value of less than $100,000;
    • (6) a felony of the second degree if the value of the property stolen is $100,000 or more but less than $200,000; or
    • (7) a felony of the first degree if the value of the property stolen is $200,000 or more.

3 thoughts on “Texas Penal Code § 31.03

  1. Just be sure and ask the other shooters present if you can pick up brass. If no one complains, you are not stealing the brass. You are salvaging with permission and or recovering your own personal property. HOWEVER< if someone is caught breaking into the range or is on the range without permission and is collecting brass, the charge becomes a felony! OK

  2. This is a bad law. It’s already wrong to steal. I’ll be glad when these sneaky commie bastards are out of office and we elect a real American like Rick Perry.

Leave a Reply