The Second Amendment specifically applies to guns, of course, but many people believe that restrictions on carrying knives is a Second Amendment issue as well. Restriction on carrying one type of weapon often translates into restrictions on carrying a different type of weapon. A new Texas law, signed by Governor Greg Abbott in June, will allow knives, daggers, and swords to be carried in public by people over the age of 18 when a newly passed bill goes into effect September 1. House Bill 1935 will allow blades over 5.5 inches long to be open carried. Until then, those blades are illegal.
Edged weapons no longer restricted in the legislation are:
“…a knife with a blade over five and one-half inches; a hand instrument designed to cut or stab another by being thrown (e.g. throwing knives, “ninja stars”); a dagger, including a dirk, stiletto, and poniard; a Bowie knife; a sword; or a spear.”
In other words, you can now open carry a sword in Texas. The edged blades will be restricted in some public locations such as some bars, places of worship, hospitals and schools. Anyone carrying in a restricted area may face a Class C misdemeanor and a fine of up to $500. Montana and Oklahoma have similar legislation.
Texas lawmakers have said this bill aims to simplify current knife laws. Under the new law, Bowie knives, daggers, sabers, machetes, spears and Ninja stars will be permissible. Current law states that blades over 5.5 inches can be purchased, but not carried.
Some on social media are wondering: What’s the point? Is this about self-defense? Are you going to bring a knife to a gunfight? What is this—Game of Thrones? Others, knife collectors and sword play enthusiasts, are cheering the move. Lobbying group and advocacy organization Knife Rights is particularly celebratory, posting on its website:
“In 2013 Knife Rights’ repeal of Texas’ switchblade ban was enacted. In 2015 we got Knife Law Preemption enacted, removing all local knife ordinances more restrictive than Texas state law. Now in 2017 we have removed all of the “illegal knives” in Texas law, finally allowing Texans the right to carry a Bowie knife. But, we are not yet finished. We will be back in two years to see about striking those last remaining minor knife restrictions in Texas. We won’t stop until Texas is a free as everyone thinks Texas is.”
The legislation stalled for a period in May after a killing on the University of Texas at Austin campus. Three others were wounded and the accused used a hunting knife. Knife Rights asserts the Second Amendment applies to knives as well as firearms.
What do you think of the new Texas law? Please leave your comments below.