Law Shield recently warned its members that until September 1, they still have to obey tricky local knife laws in Texas — especially if they live in or travel to San Antonio and Corpus Christi.
Those two Texas cities were among the “10 Worst Anti-Knife Cities” in America for 2014 — San Antonio at No. 4 and Corpus Christi at No. 9, according to a national knife-rights organization. That should change in about two months because Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently signed the Knife Law Preemption bill (HB 905), along with the more-heralded Open Carry and Campus Carry bills.
HB 905 preempts local knife ordinances that are more restrictive than state law and ensures that the repeal of the Texas ban on switchblade (automatic) knives will now be the law throughout the state.
Kirk Evans, president of Texas Law Shield and U.S. Law Shield, said, “The new law goes into effect September 1. We advised all of our members nationally that until the new law is in effect, they can still be charged with violations under existing law. In particular, we warned them about strict local laws in San Antonio and Corpus Christi.” Abbott signed into law HB 905, which prohibits a city or county from passing or enforcing knife laws more restrictive than state law. HB 905 simplifies the law for both travelers and law enforcement, ensuring that a single, easily understood knife law applies statewide, Evans said.
The measure was promoted by Knife Rights, a grassroots knife owner’s organization. Since 2010, Knife Rights has passed legislation eliminating knife restrictions in 13 states. Knife Rights is also lead plaintiff in a federal civil rights lawsuit against New York City over their knife laws.
Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter said, “Removing two of the nation’s worst anti-knife cities from our list in a single act is an example of what can be done when we all work together towards greater freedom in America.” Knife Rights honored HB 905 sponsor Representative John Frullo (R-Lubbock) with its 2015 Freedom’s Edge Award for his efforts in passing HB 905. Texas Knife Rights supporter W. Scott Lewis was honored with Knife Rights’ 2015 Freedom’s Point Award in part for his efforts supporting passage of HB 905.
Strict local knife laws can confuse and entrap law-abiding citizens traveling within a state, Evans said. Preemption ensures citizens can expect consistent enforcement of knife laws throughout the state.
To review how the Texas Penal Code defines weapons (46.01), click here. It’s also worth reviewing 46.035 and 46.03 at the same link.