Texas laws on knives in your car

This is a discussion on Texas laws on knives in your car within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am fairly well versed in Texas' many knife laws (size limits, illegal knives, etc.) But I am unclear on the laws regarding the restrictions ...

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Thread: Texas laws on knives in your car

  1. #1
    New Member Array swampsquatch's Avatar
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    Texas laws on knives in your car

    I am fairly well versed in Texas' many knife laws (size limits, illegal knives, etc.) But I am unclear on the laws regarding the restrictions on keeping a bladed weapon inside your vehicle. I carry an antique bowie knife in my car (it's a real beauty) with an approximately 8.5 inch blade. My brother informed me that this may be just as illegal as carrying my bowie around town as a concealed weapon.
    I would greatly appreciate helpful input, as well as a link or two. Thanks!

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    New Member Array savagehere's Avatar
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    From what I've read elsewhere,

    and as crazy as this sounds, Bowie knives in particular are singled out under Texas law as being specifically illegal.

    I'm unclear as to whether this means to carry, possess or what.

    Interested to know if others know the straight scoop on this.

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    Member Array CJ810's Avatar
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    Given the Bowie's place in Texas history it's a shame. Do you suppose they're at least legal in Bowie, TX?

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    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    It was previously illegal to have "illegal" knives on or about one's person, away from one's home/property/workplace, but it now appears that illegal knives are legal to have within one's vehicle. Read your Penal Code, and interpret it for yourself. A switchblade is not a mere illegal knife, so don't consider switchblades for vehicular carry.

    As for the lamentations about Bowies, keep in mind that one or two things about Bowies would make them illegal, anyway: size, and more than one sharpened edge. Real Bowies are big, chopping-sized blades, and at least some folks feel a true Bowie must have a sharpened "clip" area. As Rezin and James Bowie made the knife's reputation with big single-edged knives, I don't think a clip point is what makes a knife a Bowie.

    Edited to add: I wear a Texas peace officer badge, but do not give legal advice, which is why I so often say to read the Penal Code, and interpret it for yourself. What I would do if I found someone with a knife that is outside the letter of the law is not what another peace officer may do, anyway. (I have only made knife arrests when I had a "turd" in custody, who needed the book thrown at him, period.) Big knives tend to scare the bejesus out of people, including police; I have co-corkers who have just about jumped out of their skins when I have pulled out a 3-inch stout-blade folder. I have been sternly warned by some co-workers that my Strider AR and Al Mar SERE are illegal, when in fact they are perfectly legal for private citizens, and Texas peace officers can carry ANY knife, anyway, regardless of blade length or number of sharpened edges. (Yes, that is in the Penal Code, too.)

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    Member Array Harley 55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampsquatch View Post
    I am fairly well versed in Texas' many knife laws (size limits, illegal knives, etc.) But I am unclear on the laws regarding the restrictions on keeping a bladed weapon inside your vehicle. I carry an antique bowie knife in my car (it's a real beauty) with an approximately 8.5 inch blade. My brother informed me that this may be just as illegal as carrying my bowie around town as a concealed weapon.
    I would greatly appreciate helpful input, as well as a link or two. Thanks!
    '
    There's no such thing as a concealed weapon in Texas. "On or about the person" is the way the law is written. The knife is illegal unless you are going/returning from buying or selling one/hunting/camping/fishing/trading at a knife or gun show/or loaning or picking it up from loaning it to a friend.
    Keep it locked in the trunk and you should be OK.

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    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harley 55 View Post
    '
    The knife is illegal unless you are going/returning from buying or selling one/hunting/camping/fishing/trading at a knife or gun show/or loaning or picking it up from loaning it to a friend.
    Keep it locked in the trunk and you should be OK.
    Outdated. Don't take my word for it; look it up. I say this with all due respect, of course.
    And, not all Texas peace officers may have gotten the information on the updates, so take that under advisement.

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    New Member Array judsun's Avatar
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    may have changed since 2009, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by Harley 55 View Post
    '
    There's no such thing as a concealed weapon in Texas. "On or about the person" is the way the law is written. The knife is illegal unless you are going/returning from buying or selling one/hunting/camping/fishing/trading at a knife or gun show/or loaning or picking it up from loaning it to a friend.
    Keep it locked in the trunk and you should be OK.
    ----


    Sec. 46.035. UNLAWFUL CARRYING OF HANDGUN BY LICENSE HOLDER. (a) A license holder commits an offense if the license holder carries a handgun on or about the license holder's person under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, and intentionally fails to conceal the handgun.
    (b) A license holder commits an offense if the license holder intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed, on or about the license holder's person:

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    Ex Member Array barstoolguru's Avatar
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    the law says blade length no more then 5 1/2 inches

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    Quote Originally Posted by swampsquatch View Post
    I am fairly well versed in Texas' many knife laws (size limits, illegal knives, etc.) But I am unclear on the laws regarding the restrictions on keeping a bladed weapon inside your vehicle. I carry an antique bowie knife in my car (it's a real beauty) with an approximately 8.5 inch blade. My brother informed me that this may be just as illegal as carrying my bowie around town as a concealed weapon.
    I would greatly appreciate helpful input, as well as a link or two. Thanks!
    Handgun Laws: Texas
    Knife Laws: Texas

    Law Title/Chapt/Sec: Texas Penal Code 46.01 thru 46.06

    Legal Yes/No, folder length: Yes, 5.5"

    Short description from the law: (6) "Illegal knife" means a:
    (A) knife with a blade over five and one-half inches;
    (B) hand instrument designed to cut or stab another by being thrown;
    (C) dagger, including but not limited to a dirk, stiletto, and poniard;
    (D) bowie knife;
    (E) sword;
    or (F) spear.

    (7) "Knife" means any bladed hand instrument that is capable of inflicting serious bodily
    injury or death by cutting or stabbing a person with the instrument. (a) A person commits an offense if he
    intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his person a handgun, illegal knife. Switchblade illegal.
    The Texas CCW does not cover knives, so if you have a bowie knife in your car, you are illegally transporting a concealed weapon.

    You need a collector's license to carry a bowie knife in your car.

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    Member Array pocketgroove's Avatar
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    ArmyMan, this thread is over 3 years old, but regardless you should re-read Texas Penal Code Sec. 46.02, because you are WRONG. haha

    Texas Penal Code
    Sec. 46.02. UNLAWFUL CARRYING WEAPONS. (a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun, illegal knife, or club if the person is not:
    (1) on the person's own premises or premises under the person's control; or
    (2) inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle that is owned by the person or under the person's control.

    (a-1) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun in a motor vehicle that is owned by the person or under the person's control at any time in which:
    (1) the handgun is in plain view; or
    (2) the person is:
    (A) engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic;
    (B) prohibited by law from possessing a firearm; or
    (C) a member of a criminal street gang, as defined by Section 71.01.


    Also. 46.02 doesn't even apply to CHL holders carrying their concealed weapon. It's stated here clearly in Sec. 46.15.


    Sec. 46.15. NONAPPLICABILITY. (a) Sections 46.02 and 46.03 do not apply to:(b) Section 46.02 does not apply to a person who:
    (6) is carrying a concealed handgun and a valid license issued under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, to carry a concealed handgun of the same category as the handgun the person is carrying;
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    Ex Member Array ArmyMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pocketgroove View Post
    ArmyMan, this thread is over 3 years old, but regardless you should re-read Texas Penal Code Sec. 46.02, because you are WRONG. haha

    Texas Penal Code
    Sec. 46.02. UNLAWFUL CARRYING WEAPONS. (a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun, illegal knife, or club if the person is not:
    (1) on the person's own premises or premises under the person's control; or
    (2) inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle that is owned by the person or under the person's control.

    (a-1) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun in a motor vehicle that is owned by the person or under the person's control at any time in which:
    (1) the handgun is in plain view; or
    (2) the person is:
    (A) engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic;
    (B) prohibited by law from possessing a firearm; or
    (C) a member of a criminal street gang, as defined by Section 71.01.
    That's why I have the signature that I do

    Thank you for the information.

  13. #12
    Member Array pocketgroove's Avatar
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    Word! I am def. not a lawyer and I barely qualify as a competent professional, but it's all right there in the good ol' Texas rule book. =D
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    Member Array popo22's Avatar
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    I can only repeat what my "County Attorney's" office (spoke with them within the last month on this issue) maintains and that is that ANY knife with a blade that exceeds 5 &1/2"'s is illegal to carry in your vehicle or on your person in the state of Texas. Good luck.
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    VIP Member Array Yoda's Avatar
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    The City of San Antonio does not allow carry of knives, however it is likely only enforced on people that are already breaking the law for some other reason (i.e., gang activity).

    Blade length can be a problem for butchers and chefs, strictly speaking from the letter of the law.

    If you are carrying a knife for no other reason than as a tool or for self defense make sure it does not exceed the length restriction, and is not automatic, and not sharp on 2 edges, and... etc etc. I don't think there is any special restriction about a vehicle.
    Yoda, I am, yes.

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    Member Array nativenyerintexas's Avatar
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    I actually asked a Tarrant County Sheriff this exact question. I used to keep a Buck 119 in the tool box in the trunk of my 2004 Mustang. He said as long as it's not on my person it's legal. I took that as long as it's not in arm's reach. Being locked in the trunk, I don't think it could be considered an illegal weapon. I no long have it in there though because I understand LEOs can't be reliable when it comes o the law. Instead, I carry a Buck/Tops Nighthawk (short 4 7/8" version) or a SOG Field Pup II.
    It is to be observed that Right of Self-Defence, arises directly and immediately from the Care of our own Preservation, which Nature recommends to every one. . . , and that this right is so primary, that it cannot be denied on the basis that it is not "expressly set forth.

    --- Hugo Grotius

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