Blades and Knives

Warning: Tricky Knife Laws Still Active in Texas

SOG Knives folding knife with plain drop point blade with matte stainless finish and black handle

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.

Kirk Evans, president of Texas Law Shield and U.S. Law Shield
U.S. Law Shield and Texas Law Shield President Kirk Evans notified members that strict local knife laws were still active in San Antonio and Corpus Christi until a just-signed state preemption law takes effect on September 1, 2015.

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.

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Comments (20)

  1. Reference the section of Texas Penal Code 46.01 you quoted stating that switch-blade knives are illegal: didn’t Governor Rick Perry change this in September 2013, i.e., switch-blade knives are no longer illegal?

  2. truckjunkie, I don’t know if you have been to Texas lately, but most of the nail gun operators in these parts appear to be Mexicans. It is even possible that some of these Mexicans could be here illegally!

    Not that I am racist or anything like that.

    We need to get the ladies and gentlemen from the State Legislature to study this issue at their earliest convenience. They waste the taxpayer’s money on all manner of absurd and silly issues, they might as well take this one up and legislate a Nail Gun Operator’s Permit.

    While they are at it, how about a permit for a Ramset Gun?

    With my tongue firmly planted in my cheek,

    With Respect,


  3. You have to understand Texas history to understand the anti-weapon laws that exist(ed). Up until the end of the Civil War, Texas laws were quite libertarian and democratic with the exceptions for slaves. Following the Civil War, Texas like all the other states of the Confederacy attempted to keep the freed slaves unarmed. Since those laws didn’t meet the federal guidelines for readmission of those states into the USA, they adopted the more draconian laws that applied to everyone. In reality, none of them were in truly line with the US or TX Constitutions.

    The “Wild West” never existed as portrayed in the movies or TV shows, yet that seems to be where the leftists get their education on all things firearms related/

    G-man is correct in his explanation of the laws in SA and CC. In fact, most laws prohibiting weapons or requiring special permits/permission all have their basis in the laws written to keep certain races disarmed.

  4. After Obama is killed along with this illegal regime as the most illegal anti American politicians ever will change America back into a Constitutional Country, by the grace of God! Join your State Militia, be armed & train hard to back our US Armed Forces in the Coup! God Bless America & Death to muslims, libs, queers, invading illegal aliens like Obama!

  5. I often wonder why when I can carry a gun I cannot carry a double edged knife for protection. I carried an Applegate- Fairbairn in combat both in Viet Nam and Angola Africa. but coming state side the first thing they relieved me of was my knife though I was allowed to enter the country with my machetti and my Thompson full auto 45. It seemed I could not get a permit for the knife, so I had to have them ship it to my home. I stand convinced that pollititions are nuts and serve no good purpose.

  6. The two Texas cities mentioned – San Antonio and Corpus Christi, made the list of “10 Worst Anti-Knife Cities” for obvious reasons. Misguided politicians implemented the more restrictive knife ordinances in those cities as a result of the overwhelming Hispanic knife culture proliferated by gang violence.

    I am surprised no one is screaming racism.

    Though I was born in Corpus Christi, I base my comments more on my background experience in law enforcement along with the prevailing statistics. Interestingly, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety crime statistics, knife or cutting instrument assaults experienced the highest rate over any other weapon (including firearms).

    Combine those statistics with Census data, and you will discover both cities possess a majority Hispanic population with San Antonio listed as the largest Hispanic population over any other place in the US.

    So even while the escalation of such laws can be attributed to a specific culture or gang problem, one only need look at the crime statistics to see these knife laws still prove to be every bit as useless as gun law restrictions.

    1. Hi, G-Man. Not surprised at the crime stats.

      Knives are cheap and easy to obtain, and if they get caught carrying one, and it’s not nearly as big a deal as possession of a firearm especially for a felon.

      Added to this, most victims are unarmed, and a fairly significant body of anecdotal research indicates that people tend to be more afraid of a knife than a gun because of the sheer ruthlessness of a knife attack. So a knife is a good choice of weapons for criminals.

  7. I have to admit that I’ve consistently been surprised at Texas weapon laws.

    For example the entire open carry law issue in Texas. At first I didn’t think it was all that big a victory for gun owners when the new open carry law only allowed open carry to people who already had a concealed carry permit. Here in Virginia, anybody can open carry and it’s common to see people openly carrying on motorcycles, in Wal Mart and other places that don’t prohibit it.

    But when folks explained to me that in Texas before the open carry law was passed, a concealed carry holder could be arrested if someone accidentally saw their gun, then I understood why it was an important victory. And now this thing with the knives.

    I guess I had an idealistic and inaccurate picture of Texas.

    1. You are not alone, Mikial. Somehow Texas gained the image of a rootin’, tootin’ gun-slinging state when in fact they had some of the most restrictive handgun laws in effect since 1866. Long guns were a different story and could be carried openly, but it wasn’t until after the Luby’s massacre in Killen over 20 years ago did Texas begin to lighten up on handgun carry. Even the fact that open carry is now enacted you certainly didn’t see any fanfare about it. BTW, I do not open carry, but I have no problem with those who do so.

    2. I was looking and hoping for constitutional carry in Texas, but since they passed a watered down version, I packed up and moved to Arizona. Everyone is nice and polite, because they know everyone has a gun. I loving it.

      Rob Out!

  8. There are a number of restrictive countries in an around the world that have laws like this. Australia comes to mind. Israel has had these restrictive laws for a very long time. England’s “weapons” restrictions also go back in history. Closer to home there’s also Canada. It is incumbent on the traveler to take some time to look into these things before they travel. There are places that have zero tolerance and don’t care in the least who or where your from and who’s legal systems are very difficult to navigate if you get caught up in it. A very bad deal all round.
    In comparison to US laws one should consider themselves lucky to live here! It is a pleasure to see that those laws that are restrictive in this country are being questioned and where able changed for the better.
    Thanks for the read Woody!

    1. Yup–Look at how frequently these types of disparate State-to-State laws/interpretations result in some cases in nothing less than the ruination of good people’s lives (contrast this with the leniency given to criminals and or illegals;Whiskey Tango Foxtrot…? New Jersey is but one such example that immediately comes to mind whereby people have entered the State absent first educating themselves on the Unconstitutional Laws therein…

  9. Too bad, Law Shield can’t do something about restrictive laws in other countries. Was in Israel, sometime back, they have metal detectors at all train and bus stations, got caught with 21/2 inch folder. Was asked why I thought that I needed to carry such a large knife. Seriously, thought I was going to jail, but fortunately, cooler heads prevailed. A supervisor intervened. Just told me to take the knife back to my hotel and leave it there while I was in Israel.

    1. 2 1/2 inch knife was a “large” knife? WTH? Seems incongruent in a country where police carry sub machine guns

      But had a similar problem a few years ago in London – getting on the London Eye they swept everyone with a hand held metal detector and found my pocket knife – they said it was illegal to carry a pocket knife with a locking blade – I told them it was an opportunity to accidentally lose a finger to use a folding knife without a locking blade – Brits have put senses of humor – had to surrender the damn knife

      A socialist anti-personal liberty country like England maybe makes sense, would expect better in Israel

    2. @ Roy Holbert and Archangel:

      Gentlemen, please keep in mind blades smaller than those you chuckle about were used to initiate the attacks on the planes that ultimately caused all the devastation of 9/11. It’s not the size that matters, but how you use it.

    3. Just carry a ball point pen, or a credit card with a sharpened edge. Credit card is what… three inches? It will cut a throat or jugular just as easy as the box cutters the muzzies used at 9-11.

    4. Excellent point.

      I occasionally have to enter USG buildings, to include the dept of Justice HQ in DC. I never even get a second look when the scan my bag that always contains a tactical pen.

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