Texas "10 acre" rule for discharging a firearm outside of city limits?

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Russell
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Texas "10 acre" rule for discharging a firearm outside of city limits?

#1

Post by Russell » Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:34 pm

Can anyone point me to the section of law that restrictions discharging a firearm on your own property, outside of city limits, unless you are on more than 10 acres?

I am seeing this cited in random websites and forums, but no actual source to back it up.

I'm in Harris County, outside of any city limits, but in a neighborhood. Thank you!


On a secondary note that may or may not be related depending on whose asking, I am having trouble with raccoons coming into my back yard and tearing things up. I have a .22 at my disposal.
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Re: Texas "10 acre" rule for discharging a firearm outside of city limits?

#2

Post by Mike S » Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:59 pm

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs ... LG.229.htm

As I understand this statute, if you're outside the city limits, the city (if you're in their Extraterritorial Jurisdiction), nor the county can prohibit you from discharging a pistol, shotgun, bow, or BB gun on at least 10 acres, or a rifle on 50 acres.

So, it does not require 10 acres / 50 acres, it merely prohibits cities/counties from passing laws that prohibit discharge on properties that size.

ETA:.
Sec. 229.003 & Sec. 229.004 REGULATION OF DISCHARGE OF WEAPON BY CERTAIN MUNICIPALITIES
(scroll down on the same hyperlink as above) increases the property size and/or distance from other dwellings if the population is over a certain thresholds. However, since you said you're not in Houston city limits, this may not apply to you (Ignore what I previously posted, I overlooked the part of you NOT being in the city limits).

To be safe, I'd suggest contacting the county Animal Control and ask them to bring out some live traps (it's their job to dispose of nuisance animals).

ETA #2:. Another consideration would be if your neighborhood has any restrictions/covenants regarding discharge of firearms. Shooting in the neighborhood wouldn't be a criminal violation (unless the projectile crossed over your property line into the neighbors property, or violated some noise ordinance), however the HOA/POA could levy a fine based on any restrictions you signed, & failure to pay the fine could lead to a civil case being filed.
Last edited by Mike S on Wed Nov 20, 2019 1:29 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Texas "10 acre" rule for discharging a firearm outside of city limits?

#3

Post by Jago668 » Wed Nov 20, 2019 1:00 pm

It would be a county law/ordinance. I'm not aware of a state law for property outside city limits. There is a state law for inside city limits, with certain restrictions and limitations.
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Re: Texas "10 acre" rule for discharging a firearm outside of city limits?

#4

Post by anygunanywhere » Wed Nov 20, 2019 1:27 pm

Russell wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:34 pm
Can anyone point me to the section of law that restrictions discharging a firearm on your own property, outside of city limits, unless you are on more than 10 acres?

I am seeing this cited in random websites and forums, but no actual source to back it up.

I'm in Harris County, outside of any city limits, but in a neighborhood. Thank you!


On a secondary note that may or may not be related depending on whose asking, I am having trouble with raccoons coming into my back yard and tearing things up. I have a .22 at my disposal.
Google “dog proof traps”. Your neighborhood tractor supply should carry them. I use big marshmallows for bait. There is a tool sold for setting the trap but you can do it without one. Just watch where you put your fingers. There are some great YouTube videos on them.

You can deliver a deadly blow with an aluminum bat quickly and quietly.
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Re: Texas "10 acre" rule for discharging a firearm outside of city limits?

#5

Post by Russell » Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:24 pm

Jago668 wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 1:00 pm
It would be a county law/ordinance. I'm not aware of a state law for property outside city limits. There is a state law for inside city limits, with certain restrictions and limitations.

Thanks!

This is proving difficult to get a straight answer. Figured I'd give it a shot and call my local Constables who have contract jurisdiction in our area - the guy pointed me to 42.12, which is for incorporated areas. We're unincorporated. Not helpful.

Going to try the Sheriffs office next.
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Re: Texas "10 acre" rule for discharging a firearm outside of city limits?

#6

Post by Jago668 » Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:35 pm

Russell wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:24 pm
Jago668 wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 1:00 pm
It would be a county law/ordinance. I'm not aware of a state law for property outside city limits. There is a state law for inside city limits, with certain restrictions and limitations.

Thanks!

This is proving difficult to get a straight answer. Figured I'd give it a shot and call my local Constables who have contract jurisdiction in our area - the guy pointed me to 42.12, which is for incorporated areas. We're unincorporated. Not helpful.

Going to try the Sheriffs office next.
Might also try the county judge, and/or attorney.
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Re: Texas "10 acre" rule for discharging a firearm outside of city limits?

#7

Post by K-Texas » Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:49 pm

Last time I checked with the TX Dept of Wildlife, statewide, the minimum is 5 acres with counties having the ability to raise the minimum. For instance, here in Brown Co. the requirement is 10 Acres. When in doubt, ask a Game Warden! ;-)
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Re: Texas "10 acre" rule for discharging a firearm outside of city limits?

#8

Post by Russell » Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:52 pm

Mike S wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:59 pm

To be safe, I'd suggest contacting the county Animal Control and ask them to bring out some live traps (it's their job to dispose of nuisance animals).
> Yep. That's a route I am going as well, I can get some traps from a friend to take care of it.


ETA #2:. Another consideration would be if your neighborhood has any restrictions/covenants regarding discharge of firearms. Shooting in the neighborhood wouldn't be a criminal violation (unless the projectile crossed over your property line into the neighbors property, or violated some noise ordinance), however the HOA/POA could levy a fine based on any restrictions you signed, & failure to pay the fine could lead to a civil case being filed.
> No restrictions on that route :-)
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Re: Texas "10 acre" rule for discharging a firearm outside of city limits?

#9

Post by Russell » Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:53 pm

K-Texas wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:49 pm
Last time I checked with the TX Dept of Wildlife, statewide, the minimum is 5 acres with counties having the ability to raise the minimum. For instance, here in Brown Co. the requirement is 10 Acres. When in doubt, ask a Game Warden! ;-)
I'm unable to find the law that says that. Are you able to source it for me?
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Re: Texas "10 acre" rule for discharging a firearm outside of city limits?

#10

Post by Lynyrd » Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:07 pm

Russell wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:53 pm
K-Texas wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:49 pm
Last time I checked with the TX Dept of Wildlife, statewide, the minimum is 5 acres with counties having the ability to raise the minimum. For instance, here in Brown Co. the requirement is 10 Acres. When in doubt, ask a Game Warden! ;-)
I'm unable to find the law that says that. Are you able to source it for me?
Check this. This is the current hunting regulations from Parks and Wildlife.
https://tpwd.texas.gov/regulations/outd ... nd-methods

This quote appears near the bottom of the page in the section titled: "It is unlawful to:"
hunt in a subdivision on lots 10 acres or less in an unincorporated area of a county if prohibited by local ordinance. Contact local county clerk and ask about §235.022, Local Government Code.
So they are directing you to contact your county clerk. The way I read this is the state gives counties the ability to prohibit hunting on less than 10 acres if they so choose to.
Do what you say you're gonna do.

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Re: Texas "10 acre" rule for discharging a firearm outside of city limits?

#11

Post by TxRVer » Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:22 pm

Why not use a live trap and have them relocated? The Game Warden might help with that.
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Re: Texas "10 acre" rule for discharging a firearm outside of city limits?

#12

Post by Russell » Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:25 pm

TxRVer wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:22 pm
Why not use a live trap and have them relocated? The Game Warden might help with that.

I'm considering that route too. This has turned into more of an information exercise than anything else now given the wide range of answers I am able to find. It's a little bit bonkers.

I'm just curious *what* my actual restrictions are in the law given where I live.
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Re: Texas "10 acre" rule for discharging a firearm outside of city limits?

#13

Post by Russell » Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:37 pm

Alright, Sheriff's office came back with more useful information.

For my case being in a neighborhood, he said he'd expect it to fall under 22.05, Deadly Conduct.
Sec. 22.05. DEADLY CONDUCT. (a) A person commits an offense if he recklessly engages in conduct that places another in imminent danger of serious bodily injury.
(b) A person commits an offense if he knowingly discharges a firearm at or in the direction of:
(1) one or more individuals; or
(2) a habitation, building, or vehicle and is reckless as to whether the habitation, building, or vehicle is occupied.
(c) Recklessness and danger are presumed if the actor knowingly pointed a firearm at or in the direction of another whether or not the actor believed the firearm to be loaded.
(d) For purposes of this section, "building," "habitation," and "vehicle" have the meanings assigned those terms by Section 30.01.
(e) An offense under Subsection (a) is a Class A misdemeanor. An offense under Subsection (b) is a felony of the third degree.

My guess were, if I were to take a raccoon out, it'd end up being my word versus the officers on if the firearm was discharged only towards the ground and not towards another person or building.
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Re: Texas "10 acre" rule for discharging a firearm outside of city limits?

#14

Post by TomV » Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:41 pm

Russell wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:25 pm
TxRVer wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:22 pm
Why not use a live trap and have them relocated? The Game Warden might help with that.

I'm considering that route too. This has turned into more of an information exercise than anything else now given the wide range of answers I am able to find. It's a little bit bonkers.

I'm just curious *what* my actual restrictions are in the law given where I live.
In many cases relocation isn't legal as it spreads disease. There are some exceptions, but I doubt raccoons would be one.
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Re: Texas "10 acre" rule for discharging a firearm outside of city limits?

#15

Post by K-Texas » Wed Nov 20, 2019 5:12 pm

Russell wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:53 pm
K-Texas wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:49 pm
Last time I checked with the TX Dept of Wildlife, statewide, the minimum is 5 acres with counties having the ability to raise the minimum. For instance, here in Brown Co. the requirement is 10 Acres. When in doubt, ask a Game Warden! ;-)
I'm unable to find the law that says that. Are you able to source it for me?
I just called the local TX Dept of Wildlife office. They said 5 acres statewide unless overridden by county. It's been a few years, but like I said, "when in doubt, ask a Game Warden." Last I heard, they still have more jurisdiction than any LE agency in TX. There have been instances around here where Game Wardens were even involved in busting meth labs. ;-)
Last edited by K-Texas on Wed Nov 20, 2019 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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