T-minus 4 days until Texas Knife Law Preemption (goes into effect September 1, 2015)


Texas Knife Law Preemption goes into effect September 1st.

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.

From KSAT.com:

“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.


  1. Heartland Patriot says:

    I don’t see the ban on ACTUAL Bowie knives going away. They are rather large knives and would violate the length laws in Texas. However, the word needs to be changed from bowie (little b) to Bowie (capital B). That way only an actual large, full-size Bowie knife could get someone arrested, and not something that a policeman squints at and says looks like a “bowie knife”. It would narrow down that category very well. Glad to see this pre-emption law go into effect, too.

  2. Mmmtacos says:

    The SA knife law here (soon to be) was ridiculous, essentially banning all knives from being carried.

    But guess how many people know about it? Almost none. Guess how many LEOs knew? None I have ever talked to. Guess who enforced it? Nobody.

    Walk into any place of business: gas station, HEB, the bank, etc. you can be guarnteed that if you didn’t see at least one person with a folding knife in a sheath on their belt that you’d see a clip peaking out from someone’s pocket. No one knew, and if they did know, like me, they didn’t care.

    It’s s silly law that bordered on obscurity, something that I am told, anecdotally, was only passed to trump up charges against gang bangers in the 80’s. I’m just glad it’s essentially being thrown out, even if it was always ignored: it’s an infringement and shouldn’t exist.

    Now if we can only get Bowie knives exempted and blade lengths unlimited…

  3. Sam L. says:

    Why is not the Bowie knife the Texas State Knife? What’s wrong with them?

  4. BigDon says:

    Never knew about the ban and had been carrying a knife on my pocket for decades. Never once got stopped or hassled by SAPD. Maybe they knew the law was just there for convenience when they needed probable cause or a reason to mess with a possible crook?

  5. Blayne Riley says:

    About time. I had no idea I had even been breaking the law. If one can carry a gun, there is no reason one should not be able to carry a knife/sword.

    1. jlottmc says:

      I’ve said this for years. Last year I took the family to the state fair (capitalization intentional), the rent a flashlights at the gate were fine letting me through with my pistol. Leatherman Wingman, oh Hell NO. I watched them tell some one three people ahead of us that he couldn’t have a pocket knife on the fair grounds. I had heard about this earlier and just put mine in my Camel Back where it wouldn’t be seen without really going through the thing. I carried that all day long like that.

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T-minus 4 days until Texas Knife Law Preemption (goes into effect September 1, 2015)

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