Texas Knife Laws

Second Amendment:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

I’m a knife woman.  I like knives as tools that can also be used as weapons of self defense.

Knives are more than just tools they are weapons (arms), as such one would think they would merit the same Constitutional respect as firearms.

They generally do not enjoy the same Constitutional respect that firearms do.

As I have pointed out in the past Gun Control Laws have largely been aimed at stripping minority groups of the means to defend themselves.  One of my favorite Firearms Rights Organizations, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership has numerous examples of how Gun Control Laws are aimed at stripping minority groups of the right to own guns for the purpose of personal protection.

I carry at least one knife and often two or three knives everywhere I go.

During much of my working life I have had to open packages, handle merchandise and often repackage it for shipping.

I started carrying a knife every day after being kidnapped, raped and threatened with murder. Knives multiplied the lethality of the Korean martial arts I studied.

Knives served a dual purpose as both tool and weapon.

I have heard people describe knives as a weapon of the assassin, the punk, the criminal.

What that mostly means is they are a weapon of the poor, the working people, who often use tools as weapons of self defense. I learned these things as a martial artist and as a student of history. The nunchaku, popularized by Bruce Lee films were used to thresh rice. Peasants in Europe pressed into service during times of war carried axes including hawk billed axes they used to harvest wood for heat and cooking.

The fearsome bearded axe used by many of the Vikings was also used to chop wood.

Earlier this month the New York Village Voice ran the following article: How a ’50s-Era New York Knife Law Has Landed Thousands in Jail. Everyone is familiar with New York’s strict gun control laws, which were aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of Jewish and Italian immigrants, just as California’s Gun Control Laws were aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of Black People.

Movies were behind many of the absurd laws aimed at keeping knives and martial arts weapons out of the hands of ordinary citizens.

We mainly sell every day carry knives at ORP Trading Post. For the most part we avoid selling combat or fighting knives.

Some of our Damascus fixed blade knives and large Bowie knives are purchased either for display or for wearing in connection with either cowboy action shooting or historical reenactments.

Therefore we assumed very few of our knives would run a foul of the Texas knife laws as most of the blade lengths fell within the 2.75 inch to 4 inch range, well under the Texas Law restriction on knives with blades measuring more than 5.5 inches.

Texas Penal Code:  http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.46.htm

6) “Illegal knife” means a:

(A) knife with a blade over five and one-half inches;
(B) hand instrument designed to cut or stab another by being thrown;
(C) dagger, including but not limited to a dirk, stiletto, and poniard;
(D) bowie knife;
(E) sword; or
(F) spear.

Now it appears the law is clear enough except:  How does one define blade? I would define it as the sharpened portion of the the blade. But that definition seems left up to the law enforcement officer.

In recent weeks I have had a small young woman with tiny hands tell me she had cops confiscate knives with a three inch blade while telling her that knives with a blade longer than the width of palm of her hand were illegal.  She had tiny hands so a 2.75 inch blade would be questionable.

Over the weekend we had a person stop by our table and tell us he had been hassled and had cops confiscate knives because their blades were longer than the width of a driver’s license.

Either the LEOs in question are unfamiliar with the actual law they are citing, ignorant of what 5.5 inches in length actually represents or are selectively abusing their authority by confiscating knives that are by definition legal to own and carry.

Further there are local ordinances.  San Antonio has one prohibiting folding knives that lock open.  This ordinance bans the carrying of the majority of the EDC knives that we sell and is pretty much identical to a New York City law abused by the NYPD as part of their questionable “Stop and Frisk” program.

No matter how the Gun Control and by extension Knife Control people try to frame gun ownership and usage hunting is only a partial reason why people own guns and carry knives.

The other reason we own and carry firearms and knives is for the far more primal human right, the right of self defense, the right to fight back against criminals who would choose to attack us and harm us.  The right to defend ourselves using an effective means of self defense without being persecuted for defending our lives from those who would assault, rob or rape us.

We need to remember knives and other weapons people use as defensive tools along with firearms when we defend our Second Amendment rights.

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