Bryan Hughes
Texas state Sen. Bryan Hughes (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
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From Knife Rights . . .

Knife Rights’ bipartisan Knife Law Reform bill, HB 956, which was passed by the Texas House by an overwhelming vote of 142 – 2 and which passed the Senate last session, was allowed to die in the Texas Senate without a vote as their regular session ended.

HB 956 would have removed from statute a number of places where Location-Restricted Knives (having blades over 5 1/2 inches) are banned, including restaurants and bars that derive 51% of their income from sale or service of alcoholic beverages, amusement parks and places of religious worship.

The Senate State Affairs Committee held a hearing on the bill where there was no testimony in opposition. Governor Abbott supported the bill and there was no question that we had bipartisan support on the committee. Almost all the members of this committee assured us they would vote yes for the bill. Despite there being no question the bill would have received a favorable vote in the committee, and despite hundreds of emails from our supporters urging a vote, Chairman Bryan Hughes never set a vote on the bill

Nobody involved has fessed up to killing this very popular bill. It would appear that all too typical internecine Texas politics resulted in its death. Texas isn’t nearly as Texas as most folks, including many Texans, believe.

Knife Rights’ Director of Legislative Affairs, Todd Rathner, spent a total of nearly two months at the Capitol this year shepherding the bill through Texas’ legislative morass. Texas takes more hands-on effort than almost any state we’ve ever worked in, yet sometimes even that is not enough to overcome the quagmire that is Texas politics.

House sponsors Representatives Harold Dutton and John Frullo deserve our heartfelt thanks for continuing to support our efforts to reform Texas knife law. We truly appreciate their personal commitment to getting this done. We’d also like to extend our sincere appreciation to Knife Rights supporter Rick Briscoe and Tamoria Jones, Chief of Staff to Rep. Dutton, both of whom worked their butts off trying to get this done. They have all been with us in this fight since 2013. It did not fail for lack of effort on their part.

Our thanks to Senate sponsor Drew Springer for his efforts and congratulations to him on the signing into law of his resolution naming the Bowie Knife the official State Knife of Texas.

bowie knife
Buck Bowie knife

Unfortunately, while we repealed the ban on carrying Bowie knives back in 2017, it remains illegal to carry one with a blade over 5.5 inches, or even a modestly large chef’s knife, into a 51% establishment, a house of worship or any other place where Location Restricted Knives are still banned.

While we are frustrated that we were unable to get this bill across the finish line this session, we can take some solace in having successfully killed the Texas Knife Lockdown bill, HB 4415. That ill-conceived bill would have required broadly defined “retail establishments” in Texas, including knifemakers at knife shows, to only display knives “in a locked transparent case accessible only with the assistance of an employee of the establishment.”


Knife Rights ( is America’s grassroots knife owners’ organization; Rewriting Knife Law in America™ and forging a Sharper Future for all Americans™. Knife Rights efforts have resulted in 33 bills enacted repealing knife bans in 23 states and over one hundred cities and towns since 2010, as well as numerous litigation victories.

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  1. So, are cooks not allowed to use a large chefs knife in a restaurant that serves alcohol? Or do they require a special state issued permit?

    Communism at work.

    • So long as the large chefs’ knives are properly registered with local authorities, they are completely harmless. It is the unregistered, non-serial-numbered ‘ghost knives’ that we must fear. Some of the very worst high-capacity ‘ghost knives’ can be used to stab multiple people an unlimited number of times without reloading. These ‘assault knives’ have no place on our streets, and belong only in the hands of competent, vetted, and trained cooking professionals.

  2. We need a large overhaul in Austin. The weenie governor still hasn’t signed Permitless Carry and here we are in June and he realizes that there is a problem at the border !

  3. How can the state ban this or that in churches? Make a church of knives then geez! at least it would be better than the snake church. “Oh holy knives the blade is offly shiiiinneeyyy!”

  4. I’m really trying to wrap my head around the original law (the one that still stands, banning carrying of a 5.5″+ blade in certain places).

    What was the original intent? These people had to know that small daggers (and other blade designs) are just as dangerous, if not arguably more dangerous than larger blades. Was the original purpose to prevent intimidation of some kind?

    Anyone with two firing neurons is more worried about the knives they don’t see than the large ones that they do see. It’s almost like the legislature orginally took advice from Soap, “Also, I think knives are a good idea. Big, fuck-off shiny ones. Ones that look like they could skin a crocodile. Knives are good, because they don’t make any noise, and the less noise they make, the more likely we are to use them. Shit ’em right up. Makes it look like we’re serious.”

    • My replica Roman short sword (with the 18″ spring steel blade 3″ wide double edged) resents your assertion about “small daggers”.

  5. bizarre. as a chef i couldn’t carry around my 6, 8 and 10 inch cooking knives? i’m sorry but under 5.5 ” just wouldn’t get the job done.

  6. I’m just going to sit here quietly for a moment, and let the fact that there is such a thing as a “Location-Restricted Knives” statute, sink in.


  7. I’m not from TX-

    Are such knives banned from the same locations that don’t allow the carrying a firearm?

    If not, are the powers that be concerned about some idiot bringing a knife to a potential gunfight?

    Just a further comment, but I’d suggest states enact amendments to their concealed carry laws (and possibly add to any permitless carry law) the abilty for non-disqualified citizens to bear “weapons” rather than “pistols”, “revolvers” or “handguns”. For example: Iowa has a “Permit To Carry Weapons”, which includes most things one would grab to defend one’s self, long, short, electric, aerosol, sharp or dull. In my other state of residence (MN), the permit covers only “pistols”. I’ve been waiting for some over-zealous (easy to find in MN) civil attorney to prosecute someone for packing a revolver… I don’t think that’s much of a stretch, either.

  8. I was not aware of this law, cry foul, WTF do they think I bought a sword for, if not to direct traffic for barroom brawls?


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