Knife Rights’ Texas HB 1935 Bottom Line
The new law was effective on September 1st, 2017. The following is a summary of the new law with respect to carry of knives. Read the actual bill here: http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/85R/billtext/pdf/HB01935F.pdf
For the 2021 legislative session HB 965 has been introduced to remove from statute a number of places where Location-Restricted Knives (having blades over 5 1/2 inches) are banned. Sign up for our FREE News Slice Newsletter to keep up with this bill.
All “illegal knives” (Penal Code Sec. 46.01(6)) that were previously prohibited to carry (Penal Code Sec. 46.02) were removed from Texas statute: This includes: knives with blades longer than 5.5 inches, hand instrument designed to cut or stab another by being thrown, daggers, dirks, stilettos, poniards, swords, spears and Bowie knives.
NOTE: Knives that incorporate “knuckles” as part of the handle (Penal Code Sec. 46.01(8)), such as the iconic Model 1918 WWI Trench Knife and similar, remain illegal to possess in Texas (Penal Code Sec. 46.05(2)). REPEALED HB 446 Effective Sept. 1, 2019
NOTE: Tomahawks remain classified as “clubs” (Penal Code Sec. 46.01(1)(D)) that are still illegal to carry (Penal Code Sec. 46.02) in Texas. REPEALED HB 446 Effective Sept. 1, 2019
BOTTOM LINE Summary: Any adult can carry any knife legal to possess anywhere as long as it is not over five and a half (5.5) inches. You can carry longer knives almost everywhere, except as noted below. There is no separate rule for concealed carry, you may carry open or concealed, however you want. There is no limit on the number of knives you can carry.
After the fatal stabbing on the University of Texas Austin campus threatened to sink the “illegal knives” repeal entirely, a compromise was made to create a new category of knives called “location restricted” knives that only applies to knives with blades over 5.5″. Based on Texas judicial precedent, blade length is measured in a straight line from the most forward part of the handle (or where that would normally be if there is no added handle to the tang of the knife) to the point of the blade.
BOTTOM LINE Location Restricted Knives (those with blades over 5.5″), including swords and spears, cannot be carried in the following locations:
Schools and on any passenger transportation vehicle of a school
Airports past Security Screening (all knives are already prohibited by TSA)
Within 1,000 feet of the premises where an Execution is being conducted, if posted
Sporting Events (high school, collegiate or professional sporting event or interscholastic sporting event)
Churches, Synagogues and Established Places of Worship.
The penalty for carry of a location restricted knife in a prohibited location is a Class C Misdemeanor except for Schools where it is 3rd-degree Felony
MINORS & Location Restricted Knives (under 18 years of age):
You cannot sell, rent, lease, loan, or give a location restricted knife (or offer to do any of those things) to anyone under 18 years old without their parent’s written permission (for selling) or effective consent (for anything besides selling). The penalty is a Class A Misdemeanor.
If you’re under 18, you may not carry a location restricted knife outside of your home, property or a motor vehicle/watercraft owned by you and under your control (or directly enroute to the motor vehicle or watercraft), unless you’re under a parent or legal guardian’s direct supervision. The penalty is a Class C Misdemeanor.
We Will Be Back!
As promised, in 2021 HB 965 has been introduced to remove from statute a number of places where Location-Restricted Knives (having blades over 5 1/2 inches) are banned. Sign up for our FREE News Slice Newsletter to keep up with this bill.
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, dagger and virtually any other knife. But, we are not yet finished. in 2019 the ban on Knuckles (including Trench Knives and the like) and Tomahawks was repealed. We will be back to see about striking these last remaining knife restrictions in Texas. We won’t stop until Texas is a free as everyone thinks Texas is.