Texas Knife Reform Bill: Are Illegal Knives a Thing of the Past?

illegal knives in Texas

Illegal Knives will be a Thing of the Past (Unless You are Under 18)

Governor Abbot recently signed House Bill 1935, which will become law on September 1, 2017. Known as the Knife Law Reform Bill, HB 1935 removes the term “illegal knife” from the Penal Code. As a result, knives with blades over 5 ½ inches, throwing knives, daggers, dirks, stilettos, poniards, bowie knives, swords, and spears are not considered illegal knives.

Instead, any knife with a blade over 5 ½  inches will be considered a “location-restricted knife.”

Unlawful Carry of a Weapon Under 18

Penal Code 46.02 is amended so that it will be illegal for someone under the age of 18 to intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carry a location-restricted knife on their person. So if you are under 18, it is generally illegal for you to carry a location-restricted knife. Some exceptions apply. For instance, it will still be legal for someone under the age of 18 to carry a location-restricted knife on his own premises, inside or directly en route to their car or boat, or under the direct supervision of a parent or guardian.

Unlawful Carry of a Weapon – Location Restricted

Penal Code 46.03 is amended so that it is illegal for a person to intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possess a location-restricted knife at:

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  • a school or educational institution;
  • a polling place;
  • a government office or court;
  • a racetrack;
  • the secure area of an airport;
  • within 1000 feet of an execution facility on the date of an execution;
  • sporting events including school events;
  • a correctional facility;
  • hospitals (unless otherwise approved)
  • mental health facilities
  • amusement parts;
  • churches and other places of worship.

Punishment for Carrying a Location Restricted Knife in a Restricted Locations

Carrying a Location-Restricted Knife in a restricted location is generally a third-degree felony punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

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Benson Varghese

Managing Partner at Varghese Summersett PLLC
Benson Varghese is the founder and Managing Partner of Varghese Summersett PLLC. He is a prolific writer and has authored hundreds of articles about criminal law in Texas and at the Federal level. His articles have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Above the Law, and have been selected as Top Blogs by the State Bar of Texas. He was named the Young Lawyer of the Year in 2019 by the Tarrant County Bar Association. Benson led the firm to become one of the 500 fastest growing businesses in the United States by Inc 500 Magazine in 2018. In the same year, the firm was named the Best Law Firm in Fort Worth by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The lawyers at Varghese Summersett PLLC exclusively handle criminal defense matters.
Benson Varghese