Along with the more-heralded Open Carry and Campus Carry bills, Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently signed another measure that could have caught Texas Law Shield members unaware: the Knife Law Preemption bill.
HB 905 repeals local knife ordinances more restrictive than state law and ensures that the repeal of the Texas ban on switchblade (automatic) knives will now be the law throughout the state.
The new law goes into effect September 1. Texas Law Shield members should note that until the new law is in effect, they can still be charged with violations under existing law.
HB 905 prohibits a city or county from passing or enforcing knife laws more restrictive than state law. HB 905 simplifies the law for both travelers and law enforcement, ensuring that a single, easily understood knife law applies statewide.
The measure was promoted by Knife Rights, a grassroots knife owners organization. Since 2010, Knife Rights has passed legislation eliminating knife restrictions in 13 states. Knife Rights is also lead plaintiff in a federal civil rights lawsuit against New York City over that jurisdiction’s knife laws.
Two Texas cities had made Knife Rights’ 10 Worst Anti-Knife Cities in America list for 2014 — San Antonio at No. 4 and Corpus Christi at No. 9.
Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter said, “Removing two of the nation’s worst anti-knife cities from our list in a single act is an example of what can be done when we all work together towards greater freedom in America.”
Knife Rights honored HB 905 sponsor Representative John Frullo (R-Lubbock) with its 2015 Freedom’s Edge Award for his efforts in passing HB 905. Texas Knife Rights supporter W. Scott Lewis was honored with Knife Rights’ 2015 Freedom’s Point Award in part for his efforts supporting passage of HB 905.
Strict local knife laws can confuse and entrap law-abiding citizens traveling within a state. Preemption ensures citizens can expect consistent enforcement of knife laws throughout the state.