Big News on Big Knives

As noted in a recent legislative update, Texas Law Shield Members will soon have a major expansion in their ability to defend themselves with bladed weapons.

On September 1, 2017, H.B. 1935 becomes effective. It amends Texas Penal Code § 46.01(6) to remove the term “Illegal” knife and create the term “Location restricted” knife. Knives will no longer be classified as throwing knife, dagger, dirk, stiletto, poniard, bowie knife, sword, or spear. The only requirement to be a “Location restricted” knife is having a blade over 5 ½ inches long, from the guard to the tip.

Also, the new law creates TPC § 46.02(a-4), which prohibits a person under the age of 18 from carrying a location-restricted knife except on their own property, their motor vehicle or watercraft, or under the direct supervision of a parent or legal guardian.

And the new law creates TPC § 46.03(a-1), which adds the following prohibited places for location-restricted knives to the list of weapons prohibited places already in TPC § 46.03. These places include:

  • —51% businesses;
  • —high school, collegiate, professional sporting events, or interscholastic events;
  • —correctional facilities;
  • —hospitals, nursing facilities, mental hospitals;
  • —amusement parks; and
  • —places of religious worship.

The offense for taking a location-restricted knife into the premises of a school or educational institution is a 3rd degree felony. The offense for taking a location-restricted knife into any other prohibited place is a Class C misdemeanor. There is no requirement to give notice of the location-restricted knife prohibition, i.e. no 30.06 or 30.07 criminal trespass notice, or 51% business establishment notice needed.

To hear more about the law in the video at the top, watch Independent Program Attorney Edwin Walker of the Walker & Taylor law firm discuss it in an excerpt from a U.S. Law Shield News live event with host Sam Malone.

Also, to find out more before the new knife-carry law becomes effective on September 1, be sure to attend an upcoming Gun Law Seminar. In the “Event Type” column, look for the description “Legislative Session Results in New Laws–Get the Update.”

If you are a Member and can’t make a seminar, but you have questions about the new knife law, please call the non-emergency number at (281) 668-9957, and Independent Program Attorneys will be happy to explain your options.  —Texas & U.S. Law Shield Staff

 

 

 

9 comments on “Big News on Big Knives

  • Randy Haskins says:

    As a retired law enforcement officer, I greatly disagree with this new law. I don’t have a problem with someone carrying a hunting knife in a holster but I greatly disagree with a person being allowed to walk around with a samari sword in Walmart or the mall. That is a menacing act waiting to happen. The legislature should have made exceptions to this new law, or at the very least, read it before they signed it. Innocent persons are going to be injured or killed because of this being allowed, and police officers are going to be confronted by idiots carrying swords and machetes, and not knowing if it is a viable threat or “just because I can” act. Think about it. Do you want your child going to school and know there are a bunch of idiots there with swords and machetes walking around on the grounds also. This is what started this change in the law in the first place. Because of an idiot with a sword on a college campus that killed and maimed several students. It was illegal to carry then, so the legislatures made LEGAL to Do now. What a bunch of idiots. Just saying

  • Allen Alexander says:

    Does this revision to the law include double edge knives? I have read it, but didn’t see that addressed.

    • U.S. & Texas LawShield Admin says:

      Hi Allen. Thanks for your question! Please see the below response from one of our Independent Program Attorneys here in Texas.

      “Yes, the new law allows for the carrying of double-edged knives. The new law only considers the length of the blade and no other feature of the knife. Therefore, there are no restrictions on carrying a double-edged knife that has a blade that is 5 ½ inches or less.”

  • I already carry a knife daily, but it is under 5 1/2 inches. It is a “tool to open boxes at work”.

  • Robert Marshall says:

    I wish they would have included batons in the law, gives us an opinion of less than lethal force. I wonder how soon we will be seeing people carrying swords again?

  • John Knox says:

    Thanks for the knife update. Old laws that don’t impact true crime reduction should go away. Maybe we have turned the corner on legislative “good sense”!

  • Robert Patridge says:

    First, I have zero idea what 51% businesses means. Nor how to identify one.

    Second, I think it silly to have restricitons on knives more stringent than on firearms anywhere. For example, just using a machete to clear a cactus in West Texas today is a felony offense. Not one rancher can own or use a Machete right now!

    Third, I carried three folders clipped to my front and rear pockets as a high school teacher in Compton California and was in compliance with California law. Even after the new Texas Laws take effect, taking just one into the parking lot of any school in my car is a felony. So no, I think Texas is simply using the code to allow more police arrests, fines, and asset foreitures.

    Lastly, the author’s article left me confused. If the term “illegal” is remover and the term “location restricted” applies to blades over 5.5″, the questions remain are these: Are throwing knives et al legal? TPC § 46.03(a-1) addresses blades over 5.5″ but what about throwing knives et al? Legal to take into those places or not?

    • U.S. & Texas LawShield Admin says:

      Hi Robert. Thanks for your question! Please see the below response from one of our Independent Program Attorneys here in Texas.

      “Thanks for the questions. Many of the problems addressed in your question have been resolved by the new knife legislation. Texas House Bill 1935 almost completely removed all criminal restrictions on carrying bladed weapons. With the elimination of the term “illegal knife” and the prohibition on carrying many categories of knives, the only criminal act left regarding the possession of a knife is the carrying of a knife that has a blade over 5 ½ inches in a few limited locations. It is not against the law for a rancher to own or carry a machete, regardless of why he is carrying it, he doesn’t have to be cutting down cactus with it. It is not illegal for a teacher to carry a folding knife into a school as long as the knife does not have a blade longer than 5 ½ inches. Throwing knives were knives that were specifically listed as being “illegal knives” under the old law. The new law removes any specific mention of throwing knives, along with Bowie knives, daggers, dirks, stilettos, poniards, swords, and spears, so that these are no longer illegal to carry.

      As of September 1, 2017, the only knife restrictions in Texas are as follows:
      A person under the age of 18 cannot carry a knife with a blade over 5 ½ inches off of their own property unless they are under the supervision of their parent. A person of any age cannot carry a knife with a blade over 5 ½ inches into the following locations: a school building; a school-sponsored activity; a polling place on election day; inside of a government court or office used by a court; a racetrack used for pari-mutuel betting on horse or dog racing; the secured part of an airport; within 1000 feet of an execution on execution day; inside of a business that receives 51% of its revenue from the sale of alcohol purchased for on-premises consumption; a high school, collegiate, or professional sporting event; an interscholastic event; inside of a correctional facility; inside of a hospital; inside of a nursing facility; inside of a mental hospital; at an amusement park; or inside of a church, synagogue, or other place of religious worship. As you can see, the new law creates less opportunity for the police to arrest, fine, or forfeit the assets of someone, it does not increase them.”

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