Texas

Texas Knife Laws

Texas has lenient knife laws, but there are still some aspects of the law that leave knife owners confused.

Texas Knife Laws Quick Look:

Preemption? No

Concealed carry? Not restricted.

Open carry? Yes.

Schools? No.

Off-limits places:

  • Schools and Vehicles owned by schools.
  • Polling units during election.
  • Courthouse and courtroom.
  • Hospitals, nursing homes, and health centers.
  • Psychiatric homes.
  • Amusement parks.
  • Mosques, churches, and other places of worship.
  • Airports.
  • Sporting events.
  • Detention and correctional homes.
  • At least 1,000 feet away from an execution area.

Length & critical dimensions: The required blade length for knives accepted in Texas is 5.5 inches or shorter for people under the age of 18. Knives with a blade length of 5.5 inches or more are called “location restricted knives”, and they are not entirely illegal for people above 18 years, and it is unlawful to possess them in off-limit places.

Legal Types of Knives in Texas

Knives that are legal according to Texas law include the following:

  • Balisong knives
  • Belt Knives
  • Cane Knives
  • Undetected Knives
  • Bowie Knives
  • Throwing Knives
  • Dirks
  • Daggers
  • Stilettos
  • Stabbing knives.
  • Bowie knives
  • Sword.
  • Spear.
  • Switchblade knives.
  • Pocket Knives.

Illegal Types of Knives in Texas

Texas prohibits tomahawks and knives that have knuckles.

Texas Knife Ownership Law

It is lawful to own all types of knives, except knuckle knives and tomahawks, regardless of their blade length. However, due to local ordinances, ownership of some knives may be illegal in certain regions of the state.

Texas Knife Carry Laws

The possession of a knife and how you carry the knife are very important in Texas.

Texas Knife Open Carry Laws

Open carry is legal for all types of knives in Texas.

Texas Concealed Carry Laws

Texas allows the conceal carry of all knives type, including location restriction knives.

Texas Laws for Different Types of Knives

Texas statutes have a various definition for different types of knives in the state, and they include the following:

Texas Switchblade Knife Laws

Texas knife laws refer to a switchblade knife as any type of knife that has foldable blades or a handle feature that the blades will retract into, and the application of some amount of pressure on a button or any feature on the handle is needed to open up the knife automatically, by either a gravitational or centrifugal force.

The definition furthermore explains that switchblade knives do not include knives with spring or any other mechanical feature to close the blade, or need an additional effort to the blade in order to overcome any form of barrier to keep the knife open. Switchblades became legal in Texas on the 1st of September 2013.

Texas Dagger and Bowie Knife Laws

Texas law defines a bowie knife and dagger as a type of knife that a person intentionally wears on themselves to injure or kill a person. This type of knife will no longer be regarded as a pocket knife.

Texas Butterfly Knife Laws

Butterfly knives became legal in Texas in 2013, because their description met the definition of switchblade knives. And since the state legalized switchblade knives, butterfly knives became legal too.

Texas Knife Law by Size

Widely accepted knives in Texas must have a blade length of 5.5 inches or shorter. Knives with blade lengths more than 5.5 inches are called location-restricted knives, and they cannot be possessed in off-limit areas. Local ordinances also apply to blade length.

Relevant Texas Knife Law Statutes & Penal Codes

Some of the relevant knife law statutes and penal codes, concerning legal and illegal knives, ownership, possession, carry and use of knives include the following:

  • Tex. Penal Code § 46.01 (2017)
  • Tex. Penal Code § 46.02 (2017)
  • Tex. Penal Code § 46.05 (2017)
  • Armendariz v. State, 396 S.W.2d 132 (Tex. Crim. App. 1965)
  • Cook v. State, 2005 Tex. App. LEXIS 3053

Texas Knife Offenses, Defenses, Restrictions & Penalties

They include the following:

Exceptions for Law Enforcement and Military

The age requirement of 18 years old and off-limit prohibition for the possession of location restricted knives are exempted for certain employees in Florida while carrying out official duties. They include the following:

  • Law enforcement officers.
  • Members of the military.
  • Peace officers.
  • Parole officers.
  • Correctional department officers.
  • Active judicial members.
  • Honorably retired law enforcement officers with a certificate of proficiency.
  • USA attorney general.
  • USA assistant attorney general.

Restrictions

Texas knife laws restrict the possession of location-restricted knives in some areas. The instances for this include the following:

  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in any area of a university.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in high schools and colleges.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in a stadium or any event center hosting a professional sporting activity in the state.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in state parks.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in mosques, churches, or any other place of worship.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives during a meeting organized by governmental bodies.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in any location or building that is under use for schooling activities. This also includes vehicles used for the transportation of school students.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in business ventures where the sale of alcohol is responsible for more than half of their income. It is a prohibition to possess knives in a hospital or any health care center.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in prisons, criminal detention facilities, and correctional facilities.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in Texas if you are under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicating substance.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives if you are a member of a local gang or you are involved in illegal activities.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in any place where the execution of a criminal that is sentenced to death is taking place. The closest you can be with your firearm in these places is one thousand feet.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in a court or offices that are used for court activities.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in polling units on election dates.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in secured locations of an airport. It is a prohibition to possess knives in any private property or building that has a post restricting the possession of firearms and weapons on the premises.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in places restricted by federal laws.

In Texas, there is no preemption law for knives. Therefore, possession, carry and restriction of knives are not the same in all parts of the state. Municipalities and counties have various restrictive ordinances.

Penalties for Offenses

In Texas, violation of the age requirement for the possession of location-restricted knives, and possession of knives in off-limit areas are both Class C misdemeanors, and the penalty for these offenses is a payable fine of not more than $500. However, the possession of knives in schools will be treated as a felony case.

Texas Knife Law FAQs

Some of the most frequently asked questions and answers about Texas gun laws include the following:

  • How Long Can a Knife Be in Texas?

The legality of the length of a knife blade in Texas depends on the person in possession of the knife. People that are 18 years old or less are limited to a blade length of 5.5 inches and shorter. Location restricted knives are knives with blades longer than 5.5 inches, and anyone above the age of 18 can possess these knives but not in off-limit areas.

  • What types of knives are legal to carry in Texas?

Texas allows all types of knives except knuckle knives and tomahawks.

  • What types of knives are illegal to carry in Texas?

Knuckle knives and tomahawks are illegal to carry in Texas

  • What about legislative and/or constitutional issues?

Local laws for type of location restricted knives are allowed in Texas.

  • Can I sell or transfer ownership of a knife in Texas?

Texas allows the sales and ownership transfers of only legal knives.

  • Is it Illegal to scare someone with (brandish) a knife in Texas?

Brandishing a knife or any other weapon at someone in Texas is prohibited and the state treats this act as deadly conduct.

  • Can a minor carry a knife in Texas?

Minors in Texas can carry knives with a blade length of 5.5 inches or shorter.

  • Are swords legal in Texas?

Yes, swords are legal in Texas.

  • Are switchblades legal in Texas?

Yes, switchblades are legal in Texas.

  • Are folding knives legal in Texas?

Yes, folding knives are legal in Texas.

  • Are fixed blade knives legal in Texas?

Yes, fixed blades are legal in Texas.

  • Are butterfly knives legal in Texas?

Yes, butterfly knives are legal in Texas.

  • Are automatic knives legal in Texas?

Yes, automatic knives are legal in Texas.

  • Are ballistic spring-assisted knives legal in Texas?

Yes, ballistic knives are legal in Texas.

  • Are throwing knives legal in Texas?

Yes, throwing knives are legal in Texas.

  • Are karambits Legal in Texas?

Yes, Karambits are legal in Texas.

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