Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 18.19. Disposition of seized weapons

(a) Weapons seized in connection with an offense involving the use of a weapon or an offense under Penal Code Chapter 46 shall be held by the law enforcement agency making the seizure, subject to the following provisions, unless:

(1) the weapon is a prohibited weapon identified in Penal Code Chapter 46, in which event Article 18.18 of this code applies;  or

(2) the weapon is alleged to be stolen property, in which event Chapter 47 of this code applies.

(b) When a weapon described in Paragraph (a) of this article is seized, and the seizure is not made pursuant to a search or arrest warrant, the person seizing the same shall prepare and deliver to a magistrate a written inventory of each weapon seized.

(c) If there is no prosecution or conviction for an offense involving the weapon seized, the magistrate to whom the seizure was reported shall, before the 61st day after the date the magistrate determines that there will be no prosecution or conviction, notify in writing the person found in possession of the weapon that the person is entitled to the weapon upon written request to the magistrate.  The magistrate shall order the weapon returned to the person found in possession before the 61st day after the date the magistrate receives a request from the person.  If the weapon is not requested before the 61st day after the date of notification, the magistrate shall, before the 121st day after the date of notification, order the weapon destroyed, sold at public sale by the law enforcement agency holding the weapon or by an auctioneer licensed under Chapter 1802, Occupations Code, or forfeited to the state for use by the law enforcement agency holding the weapon or by a county forensic laboratory designated by the magistrate.  If the magistrate does not order the return, destruction, sale, or forfeiture of the weapon within the applicable period prescribed by this subsection, the law enforcement agency holding the weapon may request an order of destruction, sale, or forfeiture of the weapon from the magistrate.  Only a firearms dealer licensed under 18 U.S.C. Section 923 may purchase a weapon at public sale under this subsection.  Proceeds from the sale of a seized weapon under this subsection shall be transferred, after the deduction of court costs to which a district court clerk is entitled under Article 59.05(f) , followed by the deduction of auction costs, to the law enforcement agency holding the weapon.

(d) A person either convicted or receiving deferred adjudication under Chapter 46, Penal Code, is entitled to the weapon seized upon request to the court in which the person was convicted or placed on deferred adjudication.  However, the court entering the judgment shall order the weapon destroyed, sold at public sale by the law enforcement agency holding the weapon or by an auctioneer licensed under Chapter 1802, Occupations Code, or forfeited to the state for use by the law enforcement agency holding the weapon or by a county forensic laboratory designated by the court if:

(1) the person does not request the weapon before the 61st day after the date of the judgment of conviction or the order placing the person on deferred adjudication;

(2) the person has been previously convicted under Chapter 46, Penal Code;

(3) the weapon is one defined as a prohibited weapon under Chapter 46, Penal Code;

(4) the offense for which the person is convicted or receives deferred adjudication was committed in or on the premises of a playground, school, video arcade facility, or youth center, as those terms are defined by Section 481.134, Health and Safety Code ;  or

(5) the court determines based on the prior criminal history of the defendant or based on the circumstances surrounding the commission of the offense that possession of the seized weapon would pose a threat to the community or one or more individuals.

(d-1) Only a firearms dealer licensed under 18 U.S.C. Section 923 may purchase a weapon at public sale under Subsection (d).  Proceeds from the sale of a seized weapon under Subsection (d) shall be transferred, after the deduction of court costs to which a district court clerk is entitled under Article 59.05(f) , followed by the deduction of auction costs, to the law enforcement agency holding the weapon.

(e) If the person found in possession of a weapon is convicted of an offense involving the use of the weapon, before the 61st day after the date of conviction the court entering judgment of conviction shall order destruction of the weapon, sale at public sale by the law enforcement agency holding the weapon or by an auctioneer licensed under Chapter 1802, Occupations Code, or forfeiture to the state for use by the law enforcement agency holding the weapon or by a county forensic laboratory designated by the court.  If the court entering judgment of conviction does not order the destruction, sale, or forfeiture of the weapon within the period prescribed by this subsection, the law enforcement agency holding the weapon may request an order of destruction, sale, or forfeiture of the weapon from a magistrate.  Only a firearms dealer licensed under 18 U.S.C. Section 923 may purchase a weapon at public sale under this subsection.  Proceeds from the sale of a seized weapon under this subsection shall be transferred, after the deduction of court costs to which a district court clerk is entitled under Article 59.05(f) , followed by the deduction of auction costs, to the law enforcement agency holding the weapon.


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