Texas relaxed restrictions on firearms recently by allowing open carry of guns. The state is doing the same with large knife carry after enacting legislation this summer.
On Sept. 1, a bipartisan bill repealing the state’s ban on Bowie knives and other large blades, came into law.
The bipartisan measure removing restrictions on the carry of knives. HB 1935, passed the House 131-1 and the Senate 30-1 in the summer before being signed by Governor Gregg Abbott in June, noted Guns.com.
The language of HB 1935 removed the carry of illegal knives such as “Bowie knives, dirks, daggers, stilettos, swords, poniards, and spears” from the Texas Penal Code.
Before Sept. 1, you faced up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both for carrying these weapons in Texas. The blades could be used in ceremonies and historical demonstrations.
These blades remain off limits in certain places including schools, prisons, churches, and bars that derive more than half of their income from the sale of alcohol.
People who bring a restricted knife into a listed prohibited place commit a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of up to $500 and no jail time.
People under 18 years old will not be able to buy or carry a location-restricted knife.
The change to the law was made following lobbying by Open Carry Texas and Knife Rights.
The ban was in force in Texas for around 150 years. The Observer noted the state experienced a period of lawlessness after the Civil War.
Armed organizations like Pale Face, Knights of the White Camellia and the White Brotherhood — commonly known as the Ku Klux Klan — brought its brutal brand of justice to the state.
The Bowie knife was named after Jim Bowie who used it at the famous defense of the Alamo.
However, after an upsurge in lawlessness, a 1856 act doubled the punishment for assault with intent to murder if a “Bowie knife or dagger” was used.
The Observer article provides further details of the new law. It points out the legislation allows students to be expelled from schools if they use, exhibit or possess knives with blades longer than 5½ inches.
There are still restrictions on sales. Vendors can’t intentionally or knowingly sell, rent or lease, any firearm, club or location-restricted blade to any child younger than 18.
The Texas bill was the culmination of Knife Rights efforts that started in 2013. Four years ago, Texas repealed its ban on switchblades.
If you are arrested under any laws on knives or gun laws like the new campus carry regime, your rights may be violated.