Metal Detecting In Texas?

You Should Know The Law

Metal detecting in Texas follows the ARPA (Archeological Resources Preservation Act).

Please click on the link below for the ARPA explanation and some of the problems people face who break this law.

Be sure and read through the entire page.

Even though ARPA does not specifically mention "metal detecting", you need to understand what ARPA says about digging artifacts.

Pay particular attention to the section of stories that have been related to me about what happens when individuals break these laws.


When metal detecting in Texas you need to be aware of your city, village, and town laws as well.

Below is the law that deals with Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.

Rules & Regulations

Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission regulations adopted 9-9-96, governing the health, safety and protection of persons and property within state parks, historical parks, scientific areas or forts, including encompassed waters, administered by the Parks and Wildlife Department and selected legislative enactments governing the use of state parks.

(l) Metal detector.

It is an offense to operate or use a metal detector.

(dd) Cultural features and/or artifacts. It is an offense to take, remove, destroy, deface, tamper with, or disturb any artifact or cultural feature except by permit issued by the director.

To keep this law stuff as simple as possible;

If you are detecting in Texas, especially on State Land,

do not dig anything that you believe is an artifact, or anything that is older than ugh 100 years.

If you want to detect on private property, then be sure you get written permission from the landowner.

For detecting in Texas, town, village and city parks, you'll need to check with those local officials.

I cannot be responsible for any outdated laws from the time of this posting.

My home page is all about metal detecting in eastern ghost towns.

Have you been metal detecting in Texas ghost towns?