Bowie Knives, Swords, And Daggers Are About To Be Street-Legal In This State

Gear
Flickr photo/Mika Järvinen

Bowie knives, swords, spears, daggers and machetes, all of which have been illegal to carry in Texas for years, will be back on the streets beginning Sept. 1.


Any knife sporting a blade longer than 5 1/2 inches will now be legal to carry in the state — a few restricted areas remain — under a plan approved by Texas lawmakers and signed into law by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.

“This bill simplifies the complexity in our current knife laws, which can be confusing for Texans,” state Rep. John Frullo, a Lubbock Republican who sponsored House Bill 1935, has said.

There’s already a lot of buzz about the new law.

“People are talking about it a lot,” said Matt Salazar, store manager at House of Blades in Fort Worth. “Our customers are knife gurus. They tell us this stuff before we even know about it.”

All that talk about knives hasn’t translated into growing sales — yet.

“But there’s definitely an increase in interest,” Salazar said.

Though legal in public, the knives are still off-limits in some areas, such as schools, churches, jails, polling places and many bars. Anyone who carries them into restricted areas will face a Class C misdemeanor, which comes with a fine of as much as $500.

Knife aficionados cheer the new law, but already are talking about heading back to the Texas Legislature in 2019 to see what lawmakers can do about removing the remaining restrictions.

“We won’t stop until Texas is as free as everyone thinks Texas is,” according to a statement from the Knife Rights advocacy group.

Texas lawmakers have whittled down various knife laws through the years.

Many point to 2013 as the year the switchblade ban was repealed, letting Texans publicly carry knives with blades that fold, retract, or close and open automatically.

And in 2015, HB905 made knife laws uniform across the state, stopping communities from approving or enforcing ordinances stricter than state laws.

This year’s law repeals the state’s 1871 ban on Bowie knives and removes other long knives — such as dirks, poniards and stilettos — from the prohibited weapons list in the state’s penal code.

But just because the law is changing, that doesn’t mean Texans will suddenly start walking down the street strapped down with swords and Bowie knives.

“It’s like when open carry became legal in Texas,” Salazar said. “During that first week, you’d go to Walmart and see people open carrying their guns because they could.

“But after that, it got real quiet.”

WATCH NEXT

———

©2017 Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.

Read More Show Less
Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces control the monitor of their drone at their advanced position, during the fighting with Islamic State's fighters in Nazlat Shahada, a district of Raqqa. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)

MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.

Read More Show Less

President Donald Trump claims the $6.1 billion from the Defense Department's budget that he will now spend on his border wall was not going to be used for anything "important."

Trump announced on Friday that he was declaring a national emergency, allowing him to tap into military funding to help pay for barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Read More Show Less

Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."

"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."

First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.

"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."

Read More Show Less

D-Day veteran James McCue died a hero. About 500 strangers made sure of it.

"It's beautiful," Army Sgt. Pete Rooney said of the crowd that gathered in the cold and stood on the snow Thursday during McCue's burial. "I wish it happened for every veteran's funeral."

Read More Show Less