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Thread: Texas Knife Laws

  1. #1
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    Texas Knife Laws


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    I live in austin, tx and carry a becker necker usually under my shirt. is this considered a concealed weapon? if so, is it legal for me to carry it openly?

  2. #2
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    In Texas state law it's legal to carry single-edge knives, folder or fixed, at long as the blade less than 5.5 inches. Throwing knives, daggers and "bowie knives" are illegal regardless of length.

    Texas is one of the states where concealment is irrelevant. If it's illegal, it's illegal open or concealed. If it's legal, it's legal concealed.

    I should warn you that in Mireles v. State, 1917, a butcher knife was ruled to be a "bowie knife," though the wording of the presiding judge seemed to imply it was the knife's immense size (9 inch blade) and the suspicious circumstances of it's possession were the major factors. This was also nearly a century ago.

    I was unable to find any local laws that cover knives in the city of Austin or Travis County.

    The Becker has a just over 3 inch blade, so technically it's legal. Like any knife though, have some social responsibility when carrying it.

  3. #3
    A change I'd really, REALLY like to see in Texas law is this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Penal Code
    46.02 Unlawfully Carrying Weapons
    (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly
    carries on or about his person a handgun, illegal knife or club AND the person is:
    (A) engaged in criminal activity, other than a
    Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance
    regulating traffic;
    (B) prohibited by law from possessing a firearm;
    or
    (C) a member of a criminal street gang, as
    defined by Section 71.01.
    What do you suppose the odds are of getting that language added?

  4. #4
    how about balisong knives under 5.5

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogman75 View Post
    how about balisong knives under 5.5
    Balisongs are considered switchblades and are therefore illegal to carry concealed or openly. In fact, they may not even be legal to own. Statutorily, they're right up there with brass-knuckles, armor piercing bullets and machine guns. (45.06)

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by HKUSP45C View Post
    What do you suppose the odds are of getting that language added?
    1 in 1(insert arbitrary amount of zeros)
    It'll never happen, it'd make too much sense.
    A repeat of history would mostly not be a good thing.

  7. #7
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    Switchblades are legal to own in Texas. So are balisongs. So are Bowie knives. The laws only apply once you leave your own property. Even so, knives over 5.5" long are perfectly legal and acceptable for hunting, fishing, etc., and while traveling to and from.

    Any "Legal" knives may be carried openly. They may also be hidden. I never understood why there would need to be any difference.

    While the statute says Bowie knives are illegal; there are no definitions of what that is, was, or might be. Not a good regulation in any way. Bowies under the length limit are legal...if you can figure out what a Bowie knife "is".
    Last edited by joe-bob; 10-30-2009 at 08:12 PM. Reason: I can't spell

  8. #8
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  9. #9
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    I have run into alot of different stories. I live in San Antonio, Texas. I am a health care worker and I work in a dangerous area, so a knife would be a comfort to carry "just in case". I have heard of the 5.5 inch restriction, but I have also heard it is illegal to carry a folder with a locking blade; also that you must be able to see the knife (like the clip and end of the knife sticking out of your pocket). I have carried knives since I was a little kid (in Oregon) but I am afraid to carry anything beyond a leatherman Juice 2 now. The cops in SA don't play around and I don't feel like going to jail just because I have a pocket knife. I have always considered a knife a tool, but here it seems to be only considered a weapon. I would appreciate any help y'all can give me!

  10. #10
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    Jraptor, San Antonio has two laws on knives:

    Sec. 21-17. Certain knives prohibited generally; exceptions; penalty for violation.
    (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to intentionally or knowingly carry on or about his person a knife with a blade less than five and one-half (5 1/2) inches in length, which knife is equipped with a lock mechanism so that upon opening, it becomes a fixed blade knife.
    (b) The above prohibition set forth in subsection (a) shall not be applicable to a person carrying such a knife:
    (1) In the actual discharge of his duties as a peace officer, a member of the armed forces or national guard, or a guard employed by a penal institution;
    (2) On his own premises or premises under his control;
    (3) Traveling;
    (4) Engaged in lawful hunting, fishing or other lawful sporting activity; or
    (5) Using such a knife in connection with a lawful occupation, during such utilization.
    Sec. 21-155. Possession of knife.
    It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of seventeen (17) to possess or carry any knife on a public roadway or public right-of-way; on any other property in which a governmental entity has an interest; or on private property without the permission of the owner or the person in control of the property within the city limits of the City of San Antonio.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by glistam View Post
    Jraptor, San Antonio has two laws on knives:
    A few years ago, my girlfriend and I spent a day in San Antonio (we toured the Alamo, Riverwalk, etc.) during a week-long vacation to her birthplace, Corpus Christi. I carried my 4" CS Voyager lockblade folder in my right front trouser pocket at all times. Since I was "traveling", I guess I was legal to carry it in San Antonio. Good to know that I wasn't breaking any laws.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by glistam View Post
    Jraptor, San Antonio has two laws on knives:
    not that i ever plan on being in TX, again, but i'm a little curious/confused. does that mean ANY locking folder is unlawful unless the blade is OVER 5.5"?

    that seems kinda weird, i've never heard of a "minimum" length, before.

    i dislike almost ALL knife/gun laws, but a minimum seems easier to deal with LOL.

  13. #13
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    According to this http://www.handgunlaw.us/documents/USKnife.pdf a screwdriver, chisel, keyhole saw, and etc. would be illegal to carry in Texas. Did I miss read something here about what is considered a knife?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by sourdough1938 View Post
    According to this http://www.handgunlaw.us/documents/USKnife.pdf a screwdriver, chisel, keyhole saw, and etc. would be illegal to carry in Texas. Did I miss read something here about what is considered a knife?
    That document isn't very good and I've noticed it got several different states wrong. I'd look elseware.

  15. #15
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    Locking folders are not illegal in Texas. I'm not sure about San Antonio...they have some special kinds of idiots there.

  16. #16
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    sorry, cant speek for its reliability though i think texas is right. it at least gives a clue about some cities/counties

  17. #17
    The San Antonio law does make locking knives illegal except for those situations listed. The state law already covers knives over 5.5 inches so the San Antonio law prohibits everything under 5.5in. So yeah, no locking knives. Slipjoints under 5.5 inches look to be ok.

  18. #18
    I just asked an Austin PD officer if there were any city ordinances that prohibited knives above or beyond what Texas state law already prohibits. He said he wasn't aware of any. Take it as that and that only. Not all cops know every law and city ordinance off the top of their head. I haven't seen any extra prohibitions in the Austin city ordinances either.

  19. #19
    tired of this lame crap.. what the hell how the hell you gona enforce laws that the police arent even aware of..
    as many guns around as we have now and still nagging and nitpicking about knifes, its stupid they should be more clear on what the laws are and that the public is aware of them and not just for an excuse to get convictions cause they cant find anything else to do..

    i can understand if the person is actually threatening in someway .. but seriously this is stupid.. not everyone carrying a knife is a mass murderer or a killer or even a criminal..

    i went to jail over a knife that was 1/2 in to long spent a month in there. it wasnt even functional as it had 1/2 the handle, far as im concerned all they did was abuse their power cause they also sited me for posession of tobacco and they knew i was of age.. this is the kinda bullshit that just makes things worse for everyone..

    thats just weak they can charge you even if you are of age .. and on the ride to the station the officer was bantering at me telling me that he seen kids like me killing each other.. and that i was a low life.. he didnt know anything about me

    dont get me wrong i think they do what needs to be done but still when is it going to far... i didnt instigate , argue, resist, or anything of that nature.. how did this accomplish anything other then wasting tax payers money and make one person reluctant to ever help if needed..

  20. #20
    i came in here looking for texas laws on fixed blade carry explained in layman's terms. now that i've found that info let me tell you why i came here looking and give you a friendly warning at the same time.

    i have 3 friends and relatives that are law enforcement officers, 1 is a harris county deputy sherrif, 1 is a fort bend crime scene investigator, and the 3rd is a state trooper. being the pragmatic man that i am i figured if i had a question on the legality of something asking a cop would be the easiest route to take right? WRONG! friend 1 told me that all fixed blade knives are considered "bowie knives" and therefore illegal. friend 2 spewed the old myth about it being illegal if it's longer than the cops palm is wide, and the state trooper said he didn't know knife laws and didn't care so long as the carrier didn't try to stab or cut him with it.

    just because a man/woman is certified to uphold and enforce the laws dosen't mean they actually keep up to date with the current laws, so don't trust any 1 officer's definition or interpretation of a law.

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