Knife Law reform in Texas has been a tough, multi-year slog, but has been one of KnifeRights.org greatest success stories. Switchblade legalization passed in 2013. However, preemption didn’t make it through in that legislative session. As KnifeRights.org’s Chairman Doug Ritter said in my interview with him at Blade:
“One of our secrets of success is we don’t take “No” for an answer. And we’re stubborn. If we don’t get it this year, we will get it next year”.
That is just what they did. They reorganized and with additional grassroots support spearheaded by “Freedom’s Point” award winner Scott Lewis, an ordinary Texas citizen who made it his mission to assist KnifeRights in whatever way he could. The bill was signed by Governor Abbot, and goes into effect September 1st, 2015.
Doug Ritter again (from KnifeRights.org ):
“Knife Law Preemption is our most important legislative effort and the foundation for ensuring all citizens enjoy any gains we make repealing knife bans. Preemption repeals and prevents local ordinances more restrictive than state law which only serve to confuse or entrap law-abiding citizens traveling within or through the state. Preemption ensures citizens can expect consistent enforcement of state knife laws everywhere in the state”
Preemption was needed in Texas more than about any place outside of New York. Both Corpus Christie and San Antonio were on KnifeRights list of the worst knife-law cities in the country. San Antonio was as bad as Britain, banning all common lock-blade knives.
Apparently the good folks in Austin are on board with the change.In a poll from KSAT San Antonio, 79% of residents say that the new law will not make them any less safe.
However, KnifeRight’s work is still not finished, the “Bowie Knife Ban” (yes, in Texas of all places) remains in effect.
“Texas State law only lists “illegal knives.” Those include things like double edged knives, Bowie knives, swords, spears or any blade over 5 1/2 inches. State law only permits those to be carried on a person’s own premises or in their car…
…For the full list of “illegal knives” in Texas, click here to view the state law.
Doug, Todd, and the rest of the KnifeRights crew will be back.