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2013 Knife Rights Bills

Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:40 pm
by kf5nd
I just ran a search and found two very important knife rights bills in the 2013 Texas Legislative Session.

HB936 by Rep. Harold Dutton would decriminalize the possession, manufacture, transfer, repair, or sale of switchblade knives in Texas by amending Sections 46.05 (a)(d)(e) of the Penal Code. At the same time, it would reaffirm that switchblade knives could not be brought into the very same areas defined as "no go" areas for CHL holders with weapons.

HB1299 by Rep. Jonathan Stickland is a pre-emption law; it would forbid cities, towns, and Counties from writing anti-knife laws more restrictive than State of Texas knife laws. Again, this normalizes knife laws, and makes them more like gun laws in Texas. For example, Travis County does not get to ban AR-15s, though I'm sure some of the denizens there would like to.

I think everyone who cares about the Second Amendment needs to understand that it pertains to knives also, and they should call their State Representative and State Senator and ask them to get behind these bills.

Also call Reps. Dutton and Stickland (not Strickland) and thank them for filing these bills.

You say you don't know who represents you in the Texas Legislature? Click here to find out who they are, based on your address. All of them have contact websites.

Thank you!

Re: 2013 Knife Rights Bills

Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:00 pm
by steve817
And from a Democrat as well. I'm impressed.

Re: 2013 Knife Rights Bills

Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:09 pm
by kf5nd
steve817 wrote:And from a Democrat as well. I'm impressed.
Better chance of bi-partisan support.

Re: 2013 Knife Rights Bills

Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:29 pm
by K.Mooneyham
I don't much care about switchblades, but I do find it irritating that "bowie knife" (with a little b) is in the Penal Code. That means if a knife can sort of, kind of, be colorfully described as a bowie knife, even if its not actually a "real" Bowie knife, then you can be busted for having it, if the LEO is so inclined to arrest you and the ADA is so inclined to press the case. If anyone has seen a replica of an actual Bowie knife, they'd know that its not legal anyway due to the length laws in this state. IMHO, that part of the language just needs to be struck out of the Penal Code.

Re: 2013 Knife Rights Bills

Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:26 pm
by DocV
I too would like to see some changes in regards to Bowie knives. When I was five or six my grandfather bought me a Bowie knife around the time of the Davy Crockett movie craze. It is a beautiful piece of extremely high quality that I would wear attached to my belt. it is a total of 3 and 3/4 inches long but it is a Bowie knife.

Re: 2013 Knife Rights Bills

Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:44 pm
by kf5nd
Bowie knives - I suppose anything poorly defined phrase that gets put into a law is just trouble waiting to happen.

By the way - I would love to have a big, beautifully made Bowie knife myself. If you have a favorite brand you could recommend, send me a private message, thanks.

Re: 2013 Knife Rights Bills

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:44 am
by K.Mooneyham
This is not a bad article on Bowie knives, considering that it is Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowie_knife

Re: 2013 Knife Rights Bills

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:42 am
by TxLobo
Case Law in which a "bowie" knive is defined..

Mireles v. State, 192 S.W. 241 (Tex. Crim. App. 1917) A knife in a scabbard with a blade
nine inches long and a handle four or five inches long described as a butcher knife was
embraced in the term “bowie knife” as defined by the Penal Code.

Re: 2013 Knife Rights Bills

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:02 pm
by ELB
I'd be happy to see switchblades legalized, but I'd be happier if they just dropped regulating knives altogether. That would be much more sensible.

I cannot yet find the entire decision in Mireles v. State, 192 S.W. 241 (Tex. Crim. App. 1917), just lots of references to it and the measurements, but I suspect it does not actually define (completely) what a Bowie knife is for legal purposes; I suspect it only says the knife in the case in question qualifies as a bowie. E.g. it is not saying that one with a 8.5 inch blade is not a bowie.

Re: 2013 Knife Rights Bills

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:27 pm
by K.Mooneyham
ELB wrote:I'd be happy to see switchblades legalized, but I'd be happier if they just dropped regulating knives altogether. That would be much more sensible.

I cannot yet find the entire decision in Mireles v. State, 192 S.W. 241 (Tex. Crim. App. 1917), just lots of references to it and the measurements, but I suspect it does not actually define (completely) what a Bowie knife is for legal purposes; I suspect it only says the knife in the case in question qualifies as a bowie. E.g. it is not saying that one with a 8.5 inch blade is not a bowie.
Kind of what I thought, too. I'd be happier if they defined what a "bowie knife" is, but I'm not going to hold my breath...I'm sure there are certain folks in this state who don't want it to be defined. They like it just the way it is, gives them more room to maneuver...

The House Jurisprudence Committee

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:37 pm
by kf5nd
The House Jurisprudence Committee will hear the two knife rights bills first. HB936 was filed by Rep. Dutton (D) and HB1299 by Rep. Stickland (R). On this basis, it seems more likely that HB936 will be treated more favorably by the chair, who is a Democrat. Personally, I think Dutton's bill is more urgent than Stickland's, though both are important. We have to begin to decriminalize knives in Texas now, and HB936 does that. HB1299 just means that cities can't make laws more crazy than the State laws already are, which doesn't help anyone on Sept. 1, 2013 if HB936 is not enacted into law.

My recommendation: Everyone please call or write the Chair and Vice-Chair and start talking to them about these bills. Remind the Chair that the author is Rep. Dutton, a Democrat. Remind the Vice-Chair that the bill advances the cause of our Second Amendment Rights, that the Second applies to any "arms", that would include knives.

If you are represented by the one of the other members of the committee, please call them to discuss these bills.

Contact info for House members is here.Thank you so much for your help! - Peter Wang


The House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee

Chair - Rep. Abel Herrero (D), Corpus Christi

Vice Chair - Rep. Stefani Carter (R), Dallas. She is the first African-American Republican to serve in the Texas House, and apparently a rising star

Rep. Lon Burnam

Rep. Terry Canales

Rep. Bryan Hughes

Rep. Jeff Leach

Rep. Joe Moody

Rep. Matt Schaefer

Rep. Steve Toth

Re: The House Jurisprudence Committee

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:16 pm
by Douva
kf5nd wrote:HB1299 just means that cities can't make laws more crazy than the State laws already are, which doesn't help anyone on Sept. 1, 2013 if HB936 is not enacted into law.
Don't you mean that it wouldn't help anyone except the people living in Alice, Corpus Christi, Dallas County, Houston, Laredo, Melissa, Richland Hills, Robinson, San Antonio, Shenandoah, and Texarkana? All of those jurisdictions have knife laws that are stricter than state law.

Do most Texans have more use for knives that open with the press of a button or for the ability to carry one knife throughout the state without risking criminal prosecution?

It's worth noting that Stickland's bill preempts municipalities from restricting knives or personal defense sprays or Tasers.

Re: The House Jurisprudence Committee

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:40 pm
by Douva
kf5nd wrote:The House Jurisprudence Committee will hear the two knife rights bills first.
Unless you have inside information from the Speaker's office, there is no guarantee that either of these bills will go to the House Criminal Jurisprudence committee.

Yes, that is where the last switchblade bill went, but that was two sessions ago. The committee makeup has changed since 2009. Straus could send these bills to Criminal Jurisprudence, or he could send them to Homeland Security & Public Safety, or he could send them to some other committee. Or he could send each of them to a separate committee (which is unlikely but possible).

Re: 2013 Knife Rights Bills

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:59 pm
by TxLobo
ELB wrote:I'd be happy to see switchblades legalized, but I'd be happier if they just dropped regulating knives altogether. That would be much more sensible.

I cannot yet find the entire decision in Mireles v. State, 192 S.W. 241 (Tex. Crim. App. 1917), just lots of references to it and the measurements, but I suspect it does not actually define (completely) what a Bowie knife is for legal purposes; I suspect it only says the knife in the case in question qualifies as a bowie. E.g. it is not saying that one with a 8.5 inch blade is not a bowie.

I've found South Western Reporter online, but since I'm not a lawyer, nor do I have a login for LexisNexis, I can't search the court results.. I'd be interested in reading the full case.. (Oh, and I don't have 10K to spend on the full printed version..)

:txflag:

*Edit.. Ok, I was goofing around and did a search for Texas Criminal Reports vol. 80 and found it scanned into Google books. This is page 648 of that Book.

Image

Re: 2013 Knife Rights Bills

Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:27 pm
by kf5nd
Texas Legislature Online
Bill Alert

83(R) HB 936
Relating to the criminal consequences of engaging in certain conduct with respect to a switchblade knife.
2/19/2013 H Referred to Criminal Jurisprudence
decrim of knives
View all actions
http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup ... Bill=HB936" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;