Update Regarding Possession of an Explosive Device

The Metal Recycling Entities statute prohibits knowingly selling, buying, storing or allowing to be stored on the MRE's premises an explosive device, Tex. Occ. Code 1956.040. The offense is a Class A misdemeanor (or a second degree felony if death or serious bodily injury is caused by detonation).

The statute requires a metal recycling entity report to the department by telephone, by e-mail, or through the department's Internet website the entity's possession of an explosive device unknowingly purchased or otherwise obtained by the entity not later than the close of business on the entity's first working day after the date the possession of the device is discovered, Tex. Occ. Code 1956.036 (f). In other words, if an explosive device is unknowingly purchased, its possession must be reported before the close of the next working day after it is discovered.

A violation of either of the above provisions may result in administrative action against the licensee, independently of whether criminal charges are filed, Tex. Occ. Code 1956.041;  Tex. Admin. Code 36.60.

Currently, administrative rule 36.36(c) provides "A metal recycling entity must not purchase, sell, or possess an explosive device, as defined by §1956.001(6-a) of the Act." The MRE industry has raised concerns that the scope of the rule is not limited to knowing violations. The department has determined the rule should be repealed. In the interim, the rule will not be enforced in the absence of intentional or knowing violations.


Effective September 1, 2017, MREs are required to report the possession of an explosive device, whether unknowingly purchased or otherwise obtained by the entity, no later than the close of business on the first working day after the explosive device is discovered. Violation of this requirement is a Class A misdemeanor.

SB 208 also expands the violations for which the Department may impose administrative penalties. A proposed penalty schedule, along with other rule amendments, became effective November 2,2017. Please see Texas Metals Program Administrative Rules.

SAFETY ALERT: All MREs need to know the dangers of receiving materials containing explosives at their facility. Please see Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) Safety and the latest RSD Safety Alert.