Texas civilians can carry brass knuckles, clubs for self-defense under new law
The governor signed a bill that will make it legal for citizens to walk the streets wearing brass knuckles, carrying clubs and wielding “Wild Kat" keychains starting September 1.
A new bill passed in Texas will allow civilians to carry items such as brass knuckles and clubs for self-defense. Governor Greg Abbott paved the way for House Bill 446 to come into effect from September 1 after signing it into law over the weekend, Newsweek reports.
Tabled by Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso), the bill makes it legal to carry self-defense items in public including brass knuckles and the so-called "Wild Kat" keychains. The Texas House of Representatives passed the bill with a 147-0 vote on April 9 before it was unanimously passed by the Senate with a 31-0 vote on May 15.
It is legal for Texans to carry rifles and handguns out in the open.
Furthermore, in 2017, lawmakers revoked a ban on carrying knives in public — a law that stood in place for 145 years.
Meanwhile, brass knuckles remained illegal and owning self-defense items including pronged keychains resulted in a Class A misdemeanor.
What's more? The offense carried with it the risk of being jailed for up to a year aside from a $4,000 penalty.
Earlier this month, the Dallas Morning News quoted Moody as saying: “We did it with switchblades. We did it with knives and now with knuckles. Hopefully, now, with this on the way to the governor, we can ensure these types of laws aren't being used inappropriately to go after folks who have legitimate tools of self-defense.”
Over 93 people were convicted for violating the brass knuckle ban in 2017, according to figures published by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
According to Moody, the number is disproportionately high as people were being charged simply for carrying self-defense items. Now, the Democrat has touted the bill as proof that Texas has taken effective steps to modernize its legislation.
“We aren’t living in West Side Story,” he told The Texas Standard. “Maybe at one point this was used to identify criminal elements, but it’s just not the case anymore.”
Texas Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford) said earlier this month that the bill underscores the state's commitment to the Second Amendment.