Starting this fall, adults in Texas can openly carry lethal long-bladed weapons over 5.5 inches. The weapons Texans will be allowed to carry openly will include swords, spears, daggers, sabers, bowie knives, and machetes. There have been mixed reactions across social media regarding the Lone Star state passing a law that will allow residents to openly carry knives with extraordinarily long blades.
In June, Greg Abbott, an American lawyer and politician who currently resides as the governor of Texas, signed the bill that will go into effect in September of 2017.
Currently, people can already carry knives with blades that are under the 5.5 inches. In addition to this, longer weapons were not available for purchase. Now, those who possess anything from daggers to swords will not be breaking any laws.
However, after September, long knives will not be allowed in certain places including schools, prisons, hospitals, amusement parks, and places of worship, according to CNN. These places will be exempt from this law. For those attending local and national sporting events or wanting to hang out at the bar will be required to leave their weapons at home.
Texas is not the first state to enact such a law. Montana and Oklahoma have both passed legislation scrapping their bans on bladed weapons in the past few years.
Once a man was accused of killing a University of Texas at Austin student and wounding three others with a hunting knife, a debate on the legislation was delayed.
John Frullo, a state representative who authored the bill, told CNN that he stands by his law.
“House Bill 1935 provides a common sense solution by prohibiting any knife with a blade over five-and-a-half inches in certain location restricted areas.”
As Time magazine stated, many will be able to carry more weapons with them when they run errands or when acting out their favorite scenes from Game of Thrones in local parks.
In the past, many knife activists were being unfairly labeled as criminals for carrying knives. The legal ramifications of carrying this particular weapon was a major catalyst in the activists’ fight for the bill.
AJ Postell, co-founder of Lone Star Gun Rights, said Texans were being unfairly labeled as criminals for carrying knives.
“We were seeing a lot of Texans get in trouble for the mere possession of something that they were legally allowed to own and to buy, but they were getting in trouble for possessing that item.”
In addition to long knives and swords being banned from schools, amusement parks, and places of worship, those who conceal and carry knives may be asked and required to leave a place of business by the owner or to place the knife in their car.
“If someone goes into a business and the business owner or an employee is not comfortable with what they’re carrying, they can ask them to leave or ask them to go place it in their vehicle and, again, law abiding people are going to do that.”
Austin Police Department Assistant Chief Frank Dixon stated that they would look at the new law “in the same light that we saw from going to open carry from concealed carry.”
“We’re looking at this in the same light that we saw from going to open carry from concealed carry. There was a lot of concern prior to the bill being passed that was going to allow people to carry firearms on their sides versus being concealed and what we saw was very little of that going on in actual practice.”
The Knife Rights activist group celebrated the signing of the bill as seen through their website.
“Now in 2017, we have removed all of the ‘illegal knives’ in Texas law, finally allowing Texans the right to carry a Bowie knife. But we are not yet finished. We will be back in two years to see about striking those last remaining minor knife restrictions in Texas… We won’t stop until Texas is free as everyone thinks Texas is.”
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