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Texas Law Regarding Swords And Knives

#1 User is offline   Jeremy 

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Posted 26 November 2003 - 07:27 PM

It is unfortunate that there is a large amount of confusion, even among police officers, as to what, exactly, the laws in Texas say about swords and knives. As far as Texas laws are concerned I can quite easily give expert advice as to the laws regarding possession and carrying of weapons -- I'm a DPS firearms instructor and also a TCLEOSE police academy instructor (yup, I teach cops). I apologize to those of you who are not in Texas as I cannot give any expert opinions as to the laws of your state or country. If you're not in Texas and you're really curious, write a letter to your local District Attorney or County Prosecutor requesting an interpretation of your state's laws.

For those who want to read the specific statutes and cases themselves, all of the information I'm discussion can be found in the Texas Penal Code, Chapter 46, sections 46.01, 46.02, 46.05 and 46.15 as well as Texas Supreme Court rulings Bivens v. State (113 S.W. 2d 921), Armendariz v. State (396 S.W. 2d 132) and Torres v. State (309 S.W. 2d 244).

In Texas anything that can cause serious injury or death by cutting or stabbing is considered a knife. This includes everything we would normally consider a knife as well as daggers, stilettos, swords, razor blades, sharp pieces of scrap metal, torn beer cans, broken glass and, well, a lot of other things if we start to use our imagination.

It is illegal in Texas to own, possess, manufacture, transport, repair or sell a switchblade knife. Switchblade knives include any knife that opens by a pressure-release button, by gravity or by using a centrifugal force. By this definition a folding knife that is loose or has been highly lubricated which will open by gravity alone when held upside down is considered to be a switchblade knife and is therefore illegal – don’t get caught with one, have it fixed!

Other than a switchblade knife, it is not necessarily illegal to possess or carry a knife in Texas.
However, under the Unlawful Carrying of Weapons (UCW) Law you cannot carry an “illegal knife” on or about your person, including knives that do not meet length restrictions, throwing knives, daggers, dirks, bowie knives, swords and spears. Carrying an illegal knife is a Class A Misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine not to exceed $4,000.

Length Restrictions
Any knife that has a cutting edge measuring over five and one-half inches is defined as an “illegal knife”.

Throwing Knife
Any knife that is designed and/or weighted for throwing at a target is defined as an “illegal knife”.

Dagger
Any knife that is sharpened on both edges (dagger) is defined as an “illegal knife”.

Dirk
Any knife that has more than two edges is considered to be a dirk and is defined as an “illegal knife”.

Bowie Knife
According to Webster’s Eighth Edition, a Bowie knife is defined as “a stout single-edged hunting knife with part of the back edge curved concavely to a point and sharpened.” The courts held in Torres v. State (309 S.W. 2d 244) that the Webster’s definition was accurate and defined a Bowie knife as an “illegal knife”.

If we were to only consider the UCW Law it would seem that almost everything that Angel Sword sells is illegal to carry, even in your car. There are, however, certain exceptions to the rule.

You are allowed to carry an illegal knife if you are engaged in lawful hunting, fishing or other sporting activity or is directly en route to or from that activity and the illegal knife is a type commonly used in the activity. This means that you can carry your hunting, fishing, skinning, utility or survival knife with you while you are hunting, fishing, camping, et cetera, however, this does not mean you can carry your sword or other knife that would not be considered one that is “commonly used in the activity”.

Here’s the exception that we all have to love – the one that covers us at Renaissance festivals, SCA events, religious ceremonies and certain parties. You are not prohibited from carrying an illegal knife if you are traveling to/from or are at a historical demonstration or in a ceremony in which the illegal knife is significant to the demonstration or performance of the ceremony. Yes, this does include carrying an athame to a religious ceremony. You will have to show evidence of where you are going or coming from to any police officer who asks, but that should be fairly easy if you are wearing or have your garb with you.

All in all, the best advice I can give you is to be smart and think about what you are doing before you take your knife, dagger or sword with you anywhere. When you’re in your car traveling to or from an event the blade should be somewhere out of your reach and preferably in a closed and/or locked container such as a gun case or suitcase. Also, ask yourself this question: “If I get stopped by a police officer and he asks me why I am carrying my sword, can I give him an honest and reasonable answer without hesitating or having to stop and think about it?” If the answer is no, leave the blade at home.
The Dark Lord of the Smith

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

My actions are my only true possessions. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground on which I stand.
Gautama Siddhartha, The Buddha
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#2 User is offline   Hawkeye 

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 11:17 AM

shameless bump
"Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
I think so, Brain, but can the Gummi Worms really live in peace with the Marshmallow Chicks?

"Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
I think so, Brain, but why would anyone want to see Snow White and the Seven Samurai?
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#3 User is offline   Justin 

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 11:18 AM

damb you for beating me to this tongue.gif

wasnt ther a longer discusion thread simuler to this

This post has been edited by Justin: 22 May 2006 - 11:24 AM

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#4 User is offline   Hawkeye 

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 11:20 AM

muwahahahahaha
"Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
I think so, Brain, but can the Gummi Worms really live in peace with the Marshmallow Chicks?

"Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
I think so, Brain, but why would anyone want to see Snow White and the Seven Samurai?
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#5 User is offline   Vernichtung Schatten 

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 12:46 PM

So does this mean a single edged sheath knife in legal as long it is 5 1/2"?
And so it is illigal to carry one in your trunk of you car?
Is there any license to carry illigally sized bladed weapons?

This post has been edited by Vernichtung Schatten: 22 May 2006 - 12:48 PM

Scath an Bhais

We mortals are but shadows and dust, but they who are legend never die.
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#6 User is offline   Justin 

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 12:51 PM

QUOTE (Vernichtung Schatten @ May 22 2006, 12:46 PM)
So does this mean a single edged sheath knife in legal as long it is 5 1/2"?
And so it is illigal to carry one in your trunk of you car?
Is there any license to carry illigally sized bladed weapons?

1- yes

2- unless you are on your way to or from an appropriate event/activity

3- no but you can get one for pistols I know the logic of this is astounding
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#7 User is offline   Vernichtung Schatten 

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 01:16 PM

QUOTE (Justin @ May 22 2006, 12:51 PM)
QUOTE (Vernichtung Schatten @ May 22 2006, 12:46 PM)
So does this mean a single edged sheath knife in legal as long it is 5 1/2"?
And so it is illigal to carry one in your trunk of you car?
Is there any license to carry illigally sized bladed weapons?

1- yes

2- unless you are on your way to or from an appropriate event/activity

3- no but you can get one for pistols I know the logic of this is astounding

Oh well tahnks, so if my sheath knife (fixed) is a 5 1/2 inch blade. and not a bowie, throwing knife, dagger, or bowie, it is?
Scath an Bhais

We mortals are but shadows and dust, but they who are legend never die.
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#8 User is offline   Hawkeye 

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 01:20 PM

QUOTE
Oh well tahnks, so if my sheath knife (fixed) is a 5 1/2 inch blade. and not a bowie, throwing knife, dagger, or bowie, it is?


ummm not a bowie, throwing knife, dagger or bowie??? little lost here.
"Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
I think so, Brain, but can the Gummi Worms really live in peace with the Marshmallow Chicks?

"Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
I think so, Brain, but why would anyone want to see Snow White and the Seven Samurai?
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#9 User is offline   Username 

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 02:07 PM

So it looks like my new AV knife will be 'street legal.' Nice!

smile.gif
I need this knife:

user posted image
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#10 User is offline   Justin 

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 02:12 PM

mostly correct if your fixed blade knife has a blade no longer than 5.5" it is not a Bowie (your probably ok if the clip isn't sharpened), throwing knife, Dagger, or a stiletto (triangular cross section like a bodice dagger) then your mostly OK but its up to the officer to make calls like is this knife balanced for throwing

disclaimer: I am not a law enforcement expert by any lengths of imagination this is just my understanding of the law as it has ben presented to me by several Law officer
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#11 User is offline   Benjamin1986 

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 03:20 PM

Are we going to see a group of tags on blades saying "street legal", "Barely legal", "Legal in Texas only", or something along those lines at the booth?

It isn't necessary, but such a tag would be nice.

This post has been edited by Benjamin1986: 22 May 2006 - 03:20 PM

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#12 User is offline   Hawkeye 

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 03:24 PM

dunno, cause we would need to also pull down the laws in other states to find out their relevence. then we would have to measure each show and change tags. More than likely its too much work.
"Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
I think so, Brain, but can the Gummi Worms really live in peace with the Marshmallow Chicks?

"Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
I think so, Brain, but why would anyone want to see Snow White and the Seven Samurai?
0

#13 User is offline   Vernichtung Schatten 

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 03:36 PM

QUOTE (Hawkeye @ May 22 2006, 01:20 PM)
QUOTE
Oh well tahnks, so if my sheath knife (fixed) is a 5 1/2 inch blade. and not a bowie, throwing knife, dagger, or bowie, it is?


ummm not a bowie, throwing knife, dagger or bowie??? little lost here.

sorry im not being constructive today
Scath an Bhais

We mortals are but shadows and dust, but they who are legend never die.
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#14 User is offline   Darksong 

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Posted 23 May 2006 - 10:56 AM

These laws are overly restrictive and burdensome.

They do not enhance the public safety, and I do not believe they are enforced consistently and completely. They are simply one more tool for law enforcement officers to use to harass peaceful citizens.
Certainly, they may also be used to harass criminals, or to lengthen the list of charges against them. That use does not make them acceptable.

They appear to be the result of either a politician's pandering, or an emotional over-reaction to knives from someone who has never truly carried, used, and appreciated them.

All that said, thank you very much, Jeremy, for providing this information. It can be very difficult to sort through stories and half-truths (sometimes even from law enforecement officers) about what is an is not legal when it comes to weapons.

Is there any information you can provide regarding concealed blades? Is my pocket knife considered a concealed weapon? Is my belt knife, if I'm wearing a coat that covers it?

Thanks in advance.
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#15 User is offline   Hawkeye 

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Posted 23 May 2006 - 11:37 AM

http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/statutes/do...0.000046.00.htm, this should help somewhat

edit, its jeremy's post but with all the exeptions and where you cant have one.

This post has been edited by Hawkeye: 23 May 2006 - 11:40 AM

"Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
I think so, Brain, but can the Gummi Worms really live in peace with the Marshmallow Chicks?

"Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
I think so, Brain, but why would anyone want to see Snow White and the Seven Samurai?
0

#16 User is offline   JGGonzalez 

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 09:27 AM

QUOTE (Justin @ May 22 2006, 12:51 PM)
QUOTE (Vernichtung Schatten @ May 22 2006, 12:46 PM)
So does this mean a single edged sheath knife in legal as long it is 5 1/2"?
And so it is illigal to carry one in your trunk of you car?
Is there any license to carry illigally sized bladed weapons?

1- yes

2- unless you are on your way to or from an appropriate event/activity

3- no but you can get one for pistols I know the logic of this is astounding

Just want some clarification here.

I thought that it was legal to transport a knife longer than 5.5 inches as long as it is in your trunk and out of your reach. Would I be breaking the law if an officer stops me and I have a 10" bowie in the trunk where I can't access it while driving? I often transport swords and knives this way to show them to friends.

Joe

Cheers,

Joe Gonzalez
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#17 User is offline   Justin 

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 09:47 AM

Tell the Officer your on your way to see a perspective buyer or to an appropriate event and you should be fine but no you cant just carry one around in your trunk for no reason. In my experience most officers wont give you to much grief about it iv ben pulled over with a 13" bladed bowie in my door pocket wear I could easily reach it the officer admired the knife and told me not to carry it in my truck anymore hears your speeding ticket for 55 in a 40 ( I was doing 70 ) have a nice night then again I just might have ben a very lucky teenager
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#18 User is offline   Jeremy 

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 07:11 PM

"Concealed weapon" is a legal concept, in Texas at least, that is only relevant to handguns. As far as knives go it doesn't matter if it is visible or concealed.

Jeremy's Legal Advice (insert lengthy disclaimer here):

If you are carrying a legal knife (less than 5.5", don't push it...hehe) then it doesn't matter where/how you carry it. If it's a 5.4" fixed blade and you're in WalMart in a big city then I'd conceal it and not just hang it out in the open - Bruce and I have been harassed by security officers over ours before, bleh.

If you are carrying an illegal knife (see definitions in prior post this thread) then unless you are ALREADY at an event where the blade's presence would be acceptable (camping for a bowie knife, ren fair for a sword, etc.) then you do not want the weapon on your person or within reach -- put it in the trunk, behind the truck seat, etc.

Granted, I'm more or less a lab rat (forensics) and classroom hound (instructor) know and don't really do patrol work anymore, my rule of thumb was simple. If somebody had an illegal blade, it was NOT within immediate reach and they had a decent enough reason to be transporting it somewhere and they weren't being a beligerent arse then I didn't really care. If you're being stupid and you are breaking any law, no matter how small, you'll prolly get handled for something. If you walk into Denny's with a katana you're prolly gonna get drawn down on with my Glock, lol.

Laugh all you want about being a lab rat though. I'm sitting in my 10x15 office in a labcoat listening to Eminem and experimenting with enough heroin to send somebody to federal prison for 30+ years and a cool new ITMS mass spectrometer. Woo fun baby! Haha


The Dark Lord of the Smith

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

My actions are my only true possessions. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground on which I stand.
Gautama Siddhartha, The Buddha
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#19 User is offline   pyro 

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Posted 09 July 2006 - 10:43 PM

Congratulations Jeremy, you get to play with drugs and guns and knives and lots of cool lab stuff.
It is said that soon after his enlightenment the Buddha passed a man on the road who was struck by the Buddha's extraordinary radiance and peaceful presence. The man stopped and asked, "My friend, what are you? Are you a celestial being or a god?"

"No," said the Buddha.

"Well, then, are you some kind of magician or wizard?"
Again the Buddha answered, "No."

"Are you a man?"
"No."

"Well, my friend, then what are you?"
The Buddha replied, "I am awake."
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#20 User is offline   David 

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 08:23 PM

QUOTE (pyro @ Jul 9 2006, 10:43 PM)
Congratulations Jeremy, you get to play with drugs and guns and knives and lots of cool lab stuff.

*much jealousy*


'The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on. '
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'... and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.'
-Luke 22:36, KJV
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#21 User is offline   Vernichtung Schatten 

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 10:23 PM

Is this legal? street legal that is
http://www.mtknives.com/wsk.html
and this
http://www.topsknives.com/product_info.php...products_id=155
Scath an Bhais

We mortals are but shadows and dust, but they who are legend never die.
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#22 User is offline   Nick 

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 05:47 AM

First one not sure, doesn't specify blade length.
second, yes
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#23 User is offline   Vernichtung Schatten 

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 02:27 PM

thanks
Scath an Bhais

We mortals are but shadows and dust, but they who are legend never die.
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#24 User is offline   Demangel 

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 04:55 PM

Anyone have a clue on how I could find out on the internet about NY state law concerning bladed weapons? I have been to some websites, but I'll be darned if I can find anything that even remotely discusses anything of any real value.

Arn't laws supposed to be in easy to find places?


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#25 User is offline   The Grey Swordsman 

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 05:36 PM

They are easy to find. An officer will gladly tell you all about the law after you break it.
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#26 User is offline   Bithabus 

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 10:00 PM

I believe any single edged blade less than 4 inches is no problem; double edged blades, switchblades, and balisongs are illegal. NYC though always has much more restirictive laws concerning the carry of weapons than the rest of the state. Most of the crime takes place there, so I guess it makes sense to make sure the people can't protect themselves. dry.gif
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#27 User is offline   Benjamin1986 

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 11:09 PM

All the knife laws of every state
http://pw1.netcom.com/~brlevine/sta-law.htm

At least in the Texas one, it is a bit abridged though. They don't include anything about guns, which I think makes for a very interesting comparison.
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#28 User is offline   Vernichtung Schatten 

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 02:11 AM

well the tacker is illegal, its has to curved edge and the straight edge measured seperatly, together equaling 6 1/2 inch, ONE INCH OFF! why tom brown why?
Scath an Bhais

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#29 User is offline   Demangel 

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 01:48 AM

*checks out the links* After my head stopped spinningm (from all the confusing mumbo jumbo), I have reaffirmed the conclusion that anyone who thinks both the left and right wings of the government arn't hell bent on sucking away every last freedom we have is deluding themselves. Oh sure, many times it's just pandering, or politicizing that leads to whats happening... But IMHO thats just whats in the visible spectrum of whats going on...

Look around you, all around the world...

We're being lulled into a state of utter reliance on the governments/corporations which run the world.

Anyway I'm preaching to the chior again.

Thanks for the link!
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#30 User is offline   Bithabus 

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 10:33 AM

Should we update this thread? Make a new one?
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