Texas

Tomahawks, brass knuckles, maces will no longer be banned in Texas as of Sept. 1

Step inside the Flying Axe Factory in Fort Worth

The Flying Axe Factory located on South Sylvania Street in Fort Worth might be the next place on your go-to list for weekend outings. Ryan Griffin, 25, a University of Texas in Arlington business major launched the business in 2018
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The Flying Axe Factory located on South Sylvania Street in Fort Worth might be the next place on your go-to list for weekend outings. Ryan Griffin, 25, a University of Texas in Arlington business major launched the business in 2018

Tomahawks, nightsticks, maces and blackjacks will be legal to carry in Texas as of Sept. 1.

That’s when the clubs, along with brass knuckles and security key chains, will be removed from the list of restricted weapons in Texas, under a plan approved by state lawmakers and signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott.

“Whatever someone wants to use for their personal protection — whether it’s brass knuckles, a gun or anything — we need to expand freedom,” state Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, has told the Star-Telegram about this soon-to-be new law.

State Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, led the effort to pass the bill.

And there still will be a few restricted places for club carriers, the same areas where Texans aren’t allowed to carry their guns, including schools, polling places on Election Day, racetracks, secured areas at airports, nursing homes, hospitals, jails and some government offices, according to the bill.

Two years ago, lawmakers made it legal for Texans to carry long knives, ranging from machetes to swords.

And while it has long been legal for Texans to carry shotguns or AR-15s in public, lawmakers also made it legal in 2016 for licensed Texans to openly carry handguns — and to carry them concealed at many college campuses.

‘Outdated’ law

Ryan Griffin, owner of the Fort Worth Axe Factory, said the change is a good thing.

“It was an outdated kind of law,” he said.

Especially the part that made tomahawks off limits.

The Axe Factory doesn’t allow the use of tomahawks because they bounce back a little more than other axes. But Griffin said he personally owns some and throws them at home, at trees and other targets.

More than that, a number of Texans keep a tomahawk, or another kind of ax, in the trunk of their vehicles for emergencies, he said.

“Carrying one in your car is super normal, especially if you live somewhere rural,” Griffin said. “If a tree falls down, you are able to cut it up and get it out of the way.”

Banned weapons

The Knife Rights group is already sending emails notifying Texans that the ban on clubs, tomahawks and knuckles has been repealed.

The group also notes that knives that include knuckles, such as trench knives, with blades longer than 5.5 inches “will be considered a location restricted knife and is banned from carry at some specific locations” just as clubs and guns are.

After Sept. 1, here are the remaining items on the state’s list of banned weapons:

Explosive weapons, machine guns, short-barrel firearms or firearm silencers, unless they are classified as relics or registered with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Armor-piercing ammunition.

Chemical dispensing devices.

Zip guns (improvised firearms).

Tire deflation devices.

On September 1, Texas House Bill 1935 will remove size restrictions on knives and other edged weapons or tools that residents will be able to legally carry. Matt Salazar, Manager at Fort Worth's House of Blades, talks about the bill.

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Anna M. Tinsley grew up in a journalism family and has been a reporter for the Star-Telegram since 2001. She has covered the Texas Legislature and politics for more than two decades and has won multiple awards for political reporting, most recently a third place from APME for deadline writing. She is a Baylor University graduate.

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