Texas is making a stunning withdrawal to a previous ban the state made in 1871.
A bill has been signed by Governor Greg Abbott last Thursday that repeals the state’s initial ban on Bowie knives. The bill also repeals a state ban on other large blades.
The new bill will drop the carry of illegal blades from Texas’ penal code on weapons. These blades include dirks, stiletto knives, swords, poniards, and spears. This repeals the initial fine of up to $4,000 and/or a year in jail.
This bill removes the restriction on many types of blades. The majority of votes have shown support for the bill: Senate 131 – 1 and House 30 – 1.
According to Guns.com:
Still off limits for knives with blades over 5.5 inches will be places such as schools, correctional facilities, houses of worship, and bars that derive more than half their income from alcohol sales. The offense for bringing a restricted knife into a prohibited place will be a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of up to $500 and carries no jail time.
Those under 18 will not be able to buy or carry a location-restricted knife.
Texas has long held a historical connection to the Bowie knife in particular, with Alamo hero James Bowie making the long-bladed weapon famous. According to the Texas State Historical Association, during the 1835 Siege of Bexar, Texans used Bowie knives to dig through roofs and walls and to fight Mexican troops in hand-to-hand combat while the early Texas Rangers carried the blades into battle alongside their famous Colt Dragoon revolvers.
The new bill has had the backing of groups such as Open Carry Texas and Knife Rights. In fact, Knife Rights sees the bill’s passing as the pinnacle of the group’s work in knife law reform.
Previously, the group had shown support for the 2013 repeal for the ban on switchblades. They were also supportive of the achievement of knife law preemption in 2015.
The elimination of illegal knives from the Texas penal code marks another step toward knife law reform (as well as criminal justice reform) for Knife Rights. The repeal is also a symbol of Texans’ state pride and freedom.