Lawmakers have passed a bill in Texas that should prove interesting to knife enthusiasts everywhere. The law makes blades that have long been considered illegal once again legal.
The legislation, passed in May by both the House and Senate in Austin, changes the definition of illegal knives to “location-restricted” knives. That means any blade over 5 ½ inches long cannot be brought onto school property. This is inclusive of the state’s university campuses, according to Rep. Harold Dutton of Houston.
The bill changes the current law, removing daggers, dirks, stilettos, poniards, swords, spears and Bowie knives from the list of illegal knives.
Texas Law: Last-Minute Amendment
According to Knife Rights, an organization that supports more freedom in the types of knives people are allowed to carry, the bill had to be amended at the last minute in order to be passed.
That happened because of a recent incident at the University of Texas. During that incident, one person was killed and three others injured after they were attacked on campus by a student with a knife. Separating that incident from the overall drive to grant rights for responsible knife owners took a great deal of effort, Knife Rights reported.
The resulting compromise made blades of 5 ½ or more inches illegal in certain locations. For example; on campuses, all public schools, places of worship, correctional facilities and bars that make more than 51 percent of their income from the sale of alcohol.
“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,” knife Rights wrote.
On To Gov. Abbott’s Desk
Knife Rights and other advocacy groups and sites, such as Ammoland, urged those who live, work or travel through Texas to contact Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
Abbott must now sign the bill in order for it to become law.
In related news, the long battle to get gravity knives made legal in New York also reached a critical point in May. The New York Assembly passed a law changing the definition of gravity knife, and the bill now will go to the Senate.
The Texas law effectively would make knives carried every day, particularly by workmen, legal in the state. The ban on the knives has led to the arrest of more than 60,000 people in New York City alone, a fact that Gov. Andrew Cuomo called “absurd” earlier this year.