THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 725, June 16, 2013
The only reason we have plane and subway and
shoe bombers in America is because America
seems like a country in dire need of a good
plane, subway, or shoe bombing to foreigners.
Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise
On the 22nd of May 2013 the Texas Legislature passed HB1862, which was signed by Governor Perry on the 14th of June 2013. The bill is titled: Relating to the criminal consequences of engaging in certain conduct with respect to a switchblade knife.
Making a long story short, the bill ended the ban on carrying switchblade knives that has been inflicted on the Lone Star State effective the 1st of September 2013. It was passed through the Senate on the Local and Uncontested Calendar, something that is usually used to pass non controversial bills. Arguably bringing state statutory law in line with state and federal Constitutional law, the guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms contained in their bills of rights should be routine and not controversial.
Sadly, many other bills strengthening gun and knife rights were not passed and need to be brought up again either during the current special session of the legislature or when it meets again in January-February of 2013. However, a win is a win, and the end of the switchblade ban is a win.
Caveats and gloats, beginning with caveats:
1. Remember the bill does not go into effect until 1 September 2013, which means that until that date it is illegal to carry a switchblade off your own property under most circumstances. Secondly, remember that the current arbitrary restrictions against carrying double edged knives, knives with a sharpened swedge, and knives over five and a half inches still apply. Thirdly, remember that Texas law ends at the Texas border, all our neighboring states still have bans or strong restrictions on carrying switchblades. Also, don't even think about taking any kind of knife into Mexico!
Caveat number 2. "Brandishing in a reckless or threatening manner" is whatever "Officer Friendly" says it is, at least until the JP cuts you loose and chews out OF for being a fool who wastes his time. It can be anything from a nuisance bust used as an excuse to harass people the cops don't like to a very legitimate arrest of a drunken fool who is endangering public safety waving a weapon around, a classic example of maintaining the peace. Given that automatic knives, gravity knives, and balisongs are just plain cool and people like showing off their cool stuff (especially automatics with "secret triggers"), please remember to be discreet. Don't make life easier for crooked cops or waste the time of reasonably honest cops .
Gloats: The local County Attorney who went out of his way to make sure balisongs were defined as switchblades and left me exposed to a felony bust for about 12 hours is currently in prison on corruption charges, he will be in prison when my "curio and relic" becomes an everyday carry knife in my back pocket on 1 September. A small victory, and it's petty of me to enjoy it so. Guess my character is flawed.
Gloat 2. On a practical matter, certain knives, and not necessarily defective ones, will pop open with a flick of the wrist, technically meeting the definition of a gravity knife. We will no longer have to worry about being framed over carrying a knife we honestly didn't know were switchblades. Anything that makes it a less easy for "Officer Friendly" is a good thing.
Gloat 3. The LOLiP's (Little Old Ladies in Pants) just lost one. LOliP describes those who out of hysteria, fussiness, and nosy parkerism cause and/or enable statists to restrict our liberties. And the bans (Federal, state, and local) on switchblade knives are the fruit of hysteria fanned in the 1950's by that time's equivalent of Yellow Journalists. Texas has it's own problems with LOLiP's, people attracted to the State by the prosperity created by our "cowboy ways", yet embarassed and frightened by them.
Hopefully this will be one of a series of victories over the LOLiP's in Texas and the US in general that will help make this country freer.
Later Note: I forgot to mention that Federal Laws still apply, as well as military regulations if you go on base.
Finally, assisted opening knives are specifically exempted from Federal and most state restrictions on switchblades, open just as fast, and have their own cool factor, if cutlery is your thing.