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UPDATE: Texas “Illegal Knife” Reform Bill Advances

Knife Rights’ bipartisan Texas Knife Law Reform Bill, HB 1935, to repeal all “illegal knives” in Texas statute, passed a critical milestone in the Texas House of Representatives in an unrecorded “Second Reading” vote today. With the tragic stabbing at the University of Texas, right in the state capital of Austin, and still fresh in everyone’s minds, the timing could not have been worse.

Knife Rights Director of Legislative Affairs, Todd Rathner, has been in Austin for a week working to salvage the bill and ensure that any bill that emerged would still be an advance for Texas knife owners.

In the end, the bill was amended from its original form that eliminated entirely all the “illegal knives” in state statute. HB 1935, as amended, now eliminates daggers, dirks, stilettos, poniards, swords, spears and most notably, Bowie knives, completely from the statute, effectively allowing them to be carried anywhere in the state.

However, in order to get the bill moved, the amendment stipulates that knives with blades over 5 1/2 inches are now defined as “location restricted” knives. These knives may be carried all over the state except in a narrow list of places such as schools, colleges, correctional facilities, houses of worship, and bars that derive more than 51% of their income from alcohol sales. This is an unfortunate amendment, but the alternative would have been to watch the bill die and throw years of work in Texas down the drain. Plus, then we’d have to wait another two years for the next session of the Texas legislature, and who knows what might happen between now and then?

This bill’s passage would still be a huge win for knife owners in Texas and given the tragic circumstances, Todd’s done an incredible job not just saving the legislation, but ending up with 95% of what we wanted. If we get this bill passed, we will be back in two years and again try to finish the job in Texas. The floor vote in the House should take place in the next few days and Todd can finally go home. We like to express our appreciation to our House sponsors, Primary Author, Rep. Frullo, Joint Authors, Reps. Dutton, Kuempel, Moody and Springer and Coauthors, Reps. Canales and Lambert for standing firm in challenging circumstances.

This is a perfect example of why your support is so important. Otherwise, Todd could not have spent the last week in Austin and this bill would have died. It’s that simple. Your support is critical!

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