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New Texas Law Legalizes Brass Knuckles & Other Self-Defense Weapons, Marks Next Step in Ongoing Effort to Modernize State’s Weapons Bans

Texans are now free to carry certain self-defense weapons without fear of criminal prosecution. Thanks to House Bill (HB) 446, which took effect on September 1st, it’s now legal for Texans to carry brass knuckles, clubs, and wild kat keychains (also known as “kitty keychains”).

New Texas Law Makes Key Updates to “Prohibited Weapons List”

Prior to September 1st, brass knuckles, clubs, and kitty keychains were classified as prohibited weapons in Texas. This meant that:

  • These self-defense weapons were effectively in the same category as machine guns, armor-piercing ammunition, and other explosive weapons.
  • Texans could be charged with a class A misdemeanor for carrying or using prohibited self-defense weapons. A conviction for this misdemeanor could result in up to one year in jail and up to $4,000 in fines.

Unanimously approved by the Texas Legislature, HB 446 has made critical updates to what some have called an “antiquated” ban on brass knuckles. The brass knuckles ban has been in effect in Texas for more than century.

The new law also marks the most recent step in an ongoing effort to modernize weapons bans in the state. Many support the new law not only for decriminalizing self-defense weapons but also for eliminating a statute that some believed targeted people of color.

Summing up the importance of this new law, Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso), who co-authored HB 446, has explained:

We’re taking something out of the code that has a large potential for misuse…If someone has a novelty item or a legitimate self-defense tool, we really shouldn’t be prosecuting them for that… That’s not a good use of resources.

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