Texas Night Vision Gear Laws Explained

When we talk about the law regulations regarding night vision gear in general, there are things that
require additional attention to prevent possible further law complications and government interventions.

So if you live in Texas and would like to know the specific law regulations regarding night vision gear or you are just curious as to what is allowed and what is prohibited in other countries around the world – then this is definitely the right topic for you. Stick around and find out what night vision gear is legal or illegal in Texas and what the law regarding night vision gear possession and usage states.

First let’s cover the legality of the different activities that involve using a night vision gear.

The night vision topic has grown in population significantly, especially in the United States and Texas in general. The Texans are very keen on hunting – but only if there was a specific device that could greatly aid in the nighttime hunting activities – this Is where the Night Vision gear comes into play. But is it perfectly legal for every single average Texan to own some kind of a night vision device? According to the site that recites the laws for every single state in the United States, it is allowed by law to both possess and have a night vision device in your arsenal, no matter if you are going to use it for hunting or not.

It is absolutely legal to purchase and even sell any type of night vision equipment – although when we mention selling, things might get a bit more complicated, but I would advise you to keep on reading further as we will discuss what could possibly go wrong regarding the law with selling a night vision device.

Through an additional research, the only state that may have further complications with specific night vision gear would have to be California as it is stated by the California law that it is illegal to own night vision zoom in/sniper scopes.

The California law states that it is illegal to possess any attachment, tool or device that is similar to a device, adaptable to be used onto a firearm, which through the utilization of a PILS (Projected Infrared-Light source) enables the user to visually determine and detect the presence of objects and targets during the nighttime. With that said and in mind, all other night vision devices are completely safe from further law complications and are legal to own and use freely. Check law regulations of United States for more information.

IR Laser – a Night Vision device that is strongly prohibit to be possessed or used by civilians

The Infrared Lasers are governmentally controlled by the U.S Food and Drug Administration or the FDA as most of us know it. They are classified as IIIB or IEC-Class 3B Medical or Industrial Lasers. Those 3B Lasers have the power of emitting between 5 and 500mW raw power.

The Infrared Lasers can only be viewed through specific Image Intensifier Night Vision technology and are for the most part invisible to the naked eye – and mainly because of this, the higher power at which they operate combined with their property of being invisible to the naked human eye, the IR Lasers can cause extremely damage if targeted at a naked human eye. Humans as well as animals have a natural built in aversion to bright light.

When you are exposed to direct bright light your first reaction is to immediately look away or shut your eyes right?

Well with an Infrared Laser this powerful, it is enough for an exposure to a naked human eye of a millisecond – so fast a human mind cannot react, damaging the human eye permanently. This is why average civilians cannot possess/use Infrared night vision lasers.

So Infrared Lasers are illegal, but then why can civilians buy Infrared LED illuminators, aren’t they pretty much the same as the Infrared Laser, as they work on the same principle?

The two main properties that can cause great eye damage from laser-based night vision gear are directional and coherence. Basically the beam that is projected from a LED Illuminator is significantly less powerful and concentrated compared to the Infrared Laser. The Infrared illuminator does not focus and concentrate on one spot the same as the Infrared Laser and therefore will not cause damage if exposed to a naked human eye.

Exporting-Importing Night Vision Devices US Regulations.

The primary law in the United States and in Texas specifically, regarding night vision devices is that without an exclusive license, you don’t have the permission to export night vision devices overseas – the same goes with importing them also. Shipping between the states is fine, but a connection with a foreign country is forbidden by law – so this is where the possible selling problem occurs. Further if you are trying to sell and ship a night vision gear outside of the range of the United States, you could and probably will get yourself in quite the trouble.

The U.S. Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control state that the exporting of night vision gear is completely regulated by the government and  the purpose of that certain regulation is that importing/exporting of night vision gear freely, could affect the aspect of night vision gear manufacturers greatly. The government requests that the customer is familiar with the certain regulations, this way preventing further government interventions. The shipment, sale, transfer and any kind of water/air/road transportation of night vision devices outside of the U.S, restricted for export/import by law, is strongly considered illegal and may result in civil-based penalties because the government instantly states the action as a federal crime. The night vision company that the attempted night vision gear exportion / importion is acquired from, cannot and will not assist directly or indirectly if there are further complications and a customer attempts a federal crime.
Source: Official U.S government law/regulations

Specific law regulations that may possibly prohibit the usage of night vision gear, especially in Texas!

One thing that that is kept very strict and is paid a lot of attention to are the law regulations regarding night vision hunting, especially in Texas.

Every state in the United States is slightly different. Some states have specific date ranges for night vision usage while hunting/shooting, while others ban it all together. In some states, the use of night vision gear is prohibited to be used on certain animals only. Taking the differences into consideration, Texas as well as all states in the United States, strongly prohibit the night vision gear usage and hunting of game animals – Deer, Turkey, Elk, Moose, Smaller Game etc. at night while most states do allow the hunting of other animals such as wild boars, hogs, coyote and other wild animals.

This is where the hunting with a night vision device becomes questionable as laws change very quick.  This is infact the case with invasive species like feral hogs that are sweeping the southeast.

Federally speaking, there are no rules regarding night vision gear use while hunting. Each state regulates it to a certain extent while some states don’t have any issues with night vision gear whatsoever – they just straight up ban nighttime hunting altogether.

Texas’s law regulations go even beyond– using night vision gear on specific animals is a no go.

According to statistics – night vision gear in Texas is mostly used with one main purpose – night time hunting.

Hunting during the day has its very own challenges, changing weather or extreme heat/cold conditions and of course legally hunting at night is far more complicated. However, hunting at night offers its own set of rewards and can not only reward you with different varieties of game, but can give you some unique nighttime challenges as a hunter. It is important to gather some information before setting out into the night. Not forgetting that every state’s rules are different is crucial.

As in many states, it is illegal to hunt on public areas and lands at night in Texas, however if you are hunting non-game animals like feral hogs, Axis deer or Russian Boars, then you are in the clear to use night vision gear and hunt during the night. The usage of illumination or night vision scopes or other zooming night vision gear is legal when hunting on private property as long as the equipment is legally owned and additionally documented under the regulations by the state and federal law. A good rule to always keep in mind is that when doing any kind of activity that involves a night vision gear, it is important to notify a local warden before setting out into the night to avoid any undue confusion or further complications.

In Texas, when using night vision gear with the intent of hunting – there is another rule that is not law controlled, but is still an important factor to consider if you are going to go night-time hunting. This is a guidance for hunters to reduce wounding loss. As with any legal method of hunting, knowing the limitations of your possessed equipment is critical to reduce or even totally avoid wounding loss. Hunters should understand that although a number of guns and arrow guns may meet minimum standards to make them legal for hunting, different brands/models have different ballistic power and effectiveness. Other factors such as proficiency of the hunter using a gun or arrow gun, distance to target, and type and weight of bullet or arrow used, all factors to consider in order to deliver the ability of that air gun or arrow gun to perform well in the field and deliver a lethal shot. Additionally, the amount of air charged in the reservoir on the air gun is diminished after each successful shot which changes ballistics power and ultimately the effectiveness of the gun in taking game. Hunters should be cognizant of the number of shots an air gun or arrow gun can produce on a fully charged tank before becoming ineffective at delivering a fatal shot.

Shot placement into vital organs are also critical and mandatory in order to minimize wounding loss since cause of death from guns and arrow guns would be more similar to archery or historic equipment rather than that of a rifle. Similar to archery hunting, hunters taking animals with a gun or arrow gun are encouraged to wait an hour before going to retrieve the deer or other animals, allowing enough time for the animal to expire. Above all, hunters should strive to take fatal and precise shots which will reduce wounding loss to a minimum.


Whether you are a future hunter, that plans on implementing night vision gear into his arsenal or you just wonder what the law regulations are on night vision gear – then it is necessary and crucial to do a further investigation and pay close attention to what is legal and what is not in the state of Texas.

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