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Texas Legalizes Open-Carry Swords

by Countable | 8.2.17

Talk Twangy and Carry a Big Sword

The Texas legislature repealed the ban on "illegal knives"—meaning Lone Star Staters will soon be able to carry daggers, dirks, stilettos, machetes, swords and spears. Undoing the prohibition on blades over 5 ½ inches, Texans will also be allowed to wield a weapon named for one of the heroes of the Texas Revolution, the Bowie knife. (For those of you old enough to remember, this is the Crocodile DundeeThat’s not a knife—this a knife!” knife.)

HB 1935, signed into law on June 15 by Governor Gregg Abbott, goes into effect on September 1, 2017. On that date, Texans can start brandishing swords and spears anywhere in the state except schools, colleges, bars, government buildings, correctional facilities, and houses of worship. (Under a new state law from 2016, concealed handguns are now allowed on college campuses.)

If you desperately need that spear for a church function, or sword for your Russo-Turkish War reenactments? There’s an exception for location-restricted knife use for historical demonstrations or ceremonies.

Minors under 18 are still banned from possessing knives over 5 ½ inches unless they’re in a car, boat, or supervised by a parent or guardian.

Beyond these restrictions, the knife rights’ bill effectively removes the term "illegal knife" from state law:

"…HB 1935 would complete Knife Rights’ efforts to bring knife freedom to Texas by removing entirely the definition of “illegal knife" in Section 46.01(6) of the Penal Code. This includes the prohibition on double edge blades, Bowie knives and the 5.5-inch carry limit.”

This law lifts a ban put into place nearly 150-years ago. After the Civil War ended, Texas saw a rise in lawlessness stemming from an increase in vigilante justice and white supremacist gangs like the Pale Face, Knights of the White Camellia and Ku Klux Klan. To stem the rise in violence, Texas lawmakers in 1871 passed a law banning Bowie knives and other arms such as swords, canes, slingshots, etc.

The new law was passed less than two months after a stabbing on the University of Texas at Austin campus. On May 1st, one person was killed and three others injured before police arrested a 21-year-old student armed with a hunting knife.

Should the right to bear arms include the right to bear swords? Hit the Take Action button and tell your Reps.

--Josh Herman

(Photo Credit: Søren Niedziella)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(104)
  • Leslie
    08/02/2017
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    This is another example of red neck stupid. I moved to Texas from the North two years ago. My ancestors left the South in the early 1800's to protest slavery and as a Northerner I have every knee jerk prejudice against the South. Unfortunately my prejudices have been confirmed. Dan Patrick and his Bible waving Neanderthals embarrass me. This is shear bat-s*** crazy. What century do we want to go back to?!? The brand of Christianity I see practiced would make Jesus weep. Puleeze! Do we really want our fellow citizens armed to the teeth feeling entitled to respond like some swashbuckler from the 1500's?

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  • Camelotagain
    08/02/2017
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    Yet another way in which Texas proves it is several centuries behind the rest of the country--armed men and women reach for their weapons at the slightest fear or provocation. Using or carrying a weapon in regular society is a fear based action; it is not courageous or thoughtful.

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  • SL4
    08/03/2017
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    Dear Texas, I love you, but what? We can't/ won't take care of our teachers, we can't/ won't finance our schools, we can't/ won't provide safe reproductive health, we can't/ won't refuse to discriminate, but we can openly carry more weapons? Moments (and policies) like these are why we are (too often) looked at as backwards, why we become the laughingstock of the nation.

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  • Roxanne
    08/02/2017
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    Apparently Texans have blinders on with respect to violent attacks in other countries. Openly carrying swords is ridiculous!

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  • Flynn
    08/02/2017
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    More freedom is always a step in the right direction regardless of your opinions on what constitutes a civilized society. The south is very civil. Their kids' manners far exceed the majority of kids here in California I can tell ya that. An armed society is a polite society because it detracts those with nefarious intentions.

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  • John
    08/03/2017
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    Can Texans get any more insecure about themselves?

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  • Jesse
    08/03/2017
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    I would feel a lot safer in a place where people carried swords rather than guns. At least a sword is less likely to hit a bystander two blocks away.

    Like (9)
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  • HockeyGuy
    08/02/2017
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    Can we build a wall around Texas so that the insane asylum occupants in there and their swords can be contained???

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  • Leslie
    08/03/2017
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    What!!! No light sabers!?!!

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  • Clay
    08/02/2017
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    Can I mount my swords and big Bowie knives, machetes, double edge 12" razor blades on the bumpers of my pickup truck right next to my "make America great again" signs when I visit Texas? I think we should give Texas back to Mexico, that would help lessen the national debt, cause they surely use a lions share of federal funds. Will it be legal to swing the swords and other assorted blades around your being while walking down the river walk in San Antonio? On second thought, why would Mexico want Texas back anyway?

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  • Laura
    08/03/2017
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    Holy dagger! What a bunch of jerks wasting legislative effort.

    Like (7)
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  • Bernadette
    08/03/2017
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    Is it that bad in Texas that you have to walk around fully armed. Looks like they need a lot of therapy.

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  • James
    08/03/2017
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    Of all the problems facing Texans, this is what your legislators are spending their time on? Clean your house and vote stupid, time-wasting legislators out. The legislation being passed in Texas would be comical if it weren't so seriously bad for Texans.

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  • Steady
    08/03/2017
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    Is this a joke?

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  • Lucie carter
    08/02/2017
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    What the Hell? Are Texas males so insecure they must carry a myriad of weapons to prove how manly they are? This is has passed ridiculous!

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  • Rose marie
    08/02/2017
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    Clearly you have lost your collective little minds!

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  • Sheila
    08/03/2017
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    What a waste of taxpayer money.

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  • Luther
    08/03/2017
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    If Texans want to look like fools, they should carry swords!

    Like (5)
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  • Jean
    08/03/2017
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    OMG!!! WTH is this the Middle Ages!!

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  • Bruce
    08/03/2017
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    And now comes the Liberal attacks in 3....2....1....

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