Texans can now carry any kind of knife almost anywhere


ABILENE, Texas - A new law took effect this month that will allow Texans to carry knives of any size almost anywhere.

Before September 1, it was illegal to carry any knife over 5.5 inches. The new law saw little opposition from legislators at the capital.

The Abilene Police Department said they don ' t see an issue with the change in legislation.

" The open carry of edged weapons does not present any more of a danger to law enforcement or the general public than the carrying of firearms. In fact, the open carry of an edged weapon allows the officer to see it, as opposed to a concealed knife," Sgt. Lynn Beard said.

The new law lifted restrictions on Bowie knives, machetes, swords, and daggers. They are still restricted to areas like schools, polling places and alcohol establishments where restrictions apply. Carrying the blades into restricted areas carries a Class C misdemeanor charge with a fine of up to $500.

The Texas Knife Makers Guild was active in helping implement the new law. Jason Fry, president of the non-profit, said his group of about 150 members contacted local legislators to push the bill into a law. Fry has been hand crafting knives for nine years, he ' s sold more than 300 knives in Hawley.

"It's tangible and it's real, it's valuable, it's an application of skill, it's not like I work all day and get a stack of papers," Fry said. "The fear with a law like this was that you'll have yahoos carrying swords everywhere and it's all okay but the reality is that it's always been a crime to do bad things with a knife, this just makes it not a crime to carry one."

In celebration of the new law being passed, Fry was set to present Gov. Abbott with one of his hand-crafted knives at the Alamo, but the event was cancelled due to Hurricane Harvey. The knife is made from different elements that represent Texas: the blue rod iron is from the first railroad rail into Dallas in 1872, and the mesquite wood is from Abilene.

Fry said he is working with Abbott ' s office on when he will have the opportunity to present the knife again.

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