FORT WORTH, Texas – Bowie knives, swords, spears, daggers and machetes, which have been illegal to carry in Texas for years, will be back on the streets beginning Sept. 1.
Any knife sporting a blade longer than 5.5 inches will now be legal to carry in the state under a plan approved by lawmakers and signed into law by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.
“This bill simplifies the complexity in our current knife laws, which can be confusing for Texans,” said state Rep. John Frullo, a Republican who sponsored the bill.
“People are talking about it,” said Matt Salazar, manager at House of Blades. Talk about knives hasn’t translated into growing sales — yet. “But there’s definitely an increase in interest,” he said.
The knives are still off-limits in some areas, such as schools, churches, jails, polling places and many bars. Anyone who carries them into restricted areas will face a misdemeanor with a fine of as much as $500.
Knife aficionados cheered the new law and are talking about heading back to the Legislature in 2019 to try to remove remaining restrictions.
A switchblade ban was repealed in 2013. This year’s law repeals the state’s 1871 ban on Bowie knives and removes other long knives from the prohibited weapons list.
“It’s like when open carry became legal in Texas,” Salazar said. “During that first week, you’d go to Walmart and see people open carrying their guns because they could. But after that, it got real quiet.”