Texas Penal Code - PENAL § 46.01. Definitions




In this chapter:

(1) “Club” means an instrument that is specially designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by striking a person with the instrument, and includes but is not limited to the following:

(A) blackjack;

(B) nightstick;

(C) mace;

(D) tomahawk.

(2) “Explosive weapon” means any explosive or incendiary bomb, grenade, rocket, or mine, that is designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury, death, or substantial property damage, or for the principal purpose of causing such a loud report as to cause undue public alarm or terror, and includes a device designed, made, or adapted for delivery or shooting an explosive weapon.

(3) “Firearm” means 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.  Firearm does not include a firearm that may have, as an integral part, a folding knife blade or other characteristics of weapons made illegal by this chapter and that is:

(A) an antique or curio firearm manufactured before 1899;  or

(B) a replica of an antique or curio firearm manufactured before 1899, but only if the replica does not use rim fire or center fire ammunition.

(4) “Firearm silencer” means any device designed, made, or adapted to muffle the report of a firearm.

(5) “Handgun” means any firearm that is designed, made, or adapted to be fired with one hand.

(6) “Location-restrictedIllegal knife” means a knife with a blade over five and one-half inches.

(7) “Knife” means any bladed hand instrument that is capable of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by cutting or stabbing a person with the instrument.

(8) “Knuckles” means any instrument that consists of finger rings or guards made of a hard substance and that is designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by striking a person with a fist enclosed in the knuckles.

(9) “Machine gun” means any firearm that is capable of shooting more than two shots automatically, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.

(10) “Short-barrel firearm” means a rifle with a barrel length of less than 16 inches or a shotgun with a barrel length of less than 18 inches, or any weapon made from a shotgun or rifle if, as altered, it has an overall length of less than 26 inches.

(11) Repealed by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., ch. 324 (S.B. 1488), § 15.002.

(12) “Armor-piercing ammunition” means handgun ammunition that is designed primarily for the purpose of penetrating metal or body armor and to be used principally in pistols and revolvers.

(13) “Hoax bomb” means a device that:

(A) reasonably appears to be an explosive or incendiary device;  or

(B) by its design causes alarm or reaction of any type by an official of a public safety agency or a volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies.

(14) “Chemical dispensing device” means a device, other than a small chemical dispenser sold commercially for personal protection, that is designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of dispensing a substance capable of causing an adverse psychological or physiological effect on a human being.

<Text of (15) effective until April 1, 2019>

(15) “Racetrack” has the meaning assigned that term by the Texas Racing Act ( Article 179e, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes ).

<Text of (15) effective April 1, 2019>

(15) “Racetrack” has the meaning assigned that term by Section 2021.003(41), Occupations Code .

(16) “Zip gun” means a device or combination of devices that was not originally a firearm and is adapted to expel a projectile through a smooth-bore or rifled-bore barrel by using the energy generated by an explosion or burning substance.

(17) “Tire deflation device” means a device, including a caltrop or spike strip, that, when driven over, impedes or stops the movement of a wheeled vehicle by puncturing one or more of the vehicle's tires.  The term does not include a traffic control device that:

(A) is designed to puncture one or more of a vehicle's tires when driven over in a specific direction;  and

(B) has a clearly visible sign posted in close proximity to the traffic control device that prohibits entry or warns motor vehicle operators of the traffic control device.

<Text of (18), as added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., ch. 814 (H.B. 913), § 1>

(18) “Improvised explosive device” means a completed and operational bomb designed to cause serious bodily injury, death, or substantial property damage that is fabricated in an improvised manner using nonmilitary components.  The term does not include:

(A) unassembled components that can be legally purchased and possessed without a license, permit, or other governmental approval;  or

(B) an exploding target that is used for firearms practice, sold in kit form, and contains the components of a binary explosive.

<Text of (18), as added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., ch. 1143 (H.B. 435), § 10>

(18) “Volunteer emergency services personnel” includes a volunteer firefighter, an emergency medical services volunteer as defined by Section 773.003, Health and Safety Code , and any individual who, as a volunteer, provides services for the benefit of the general public during emergency situations.  The term does not include a peace officer or reserve law enforcement officer, as those terms are defined by Section 1701.001, Occupations Code , who is performing law enforcement duties.





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