Can You Carry a Knife on You in Texas?
Texas law regulates the carrying of weapons - not just firearms but also knives. Knives are also deadly weapons, so the law addresses when people may and may not lawfully carry certain types. There are two categories of knives under the law:
- A “knife” is a hand instrument with the ability to inflict serious harm or death with a blade of 5.5 inches or fewer
- A “location-restricted knife” is an instrument with a blade over 5.5. inches
The law places limitations on location-restricted knives in Texas with potential penalties if you violate these limitations. If you are accused of unlawful carry of a knife, speak with a Fort Worth criminal defense attorney immediately.
Carrying a Location-Restricted Knife
There are no regulations prohibiting Texans from the concealed carry of knives or the carry of knives with blades of 5.5 inches or fewer. However, there are some limitations on larger knives.
First, minors under age18 cannot purchase location-restricted knives, and people are prohibited from selling these knives to minors. Minors also cannot carry this size of a knife if they are not:
- On their own premises
- In a vehicle or boat or en route to a vehicle or boat
- Under the supervision of their parent or another legal guardian
For adults age 18 and over, it is lawful to carry a knife in most places throughout Texas, whether open or concealed carry. As the name suggests, however, “location-restricted knives” are prohibited from being carried in certain locations. Such locations include:
- The premises of schools or other educational institutions
- Any location of school-sponsored events
- High school or collegiate sporting events
- Polling places on election days
- Courts or government offices used by the court
- Any secured part of an airport
- Correctional facility premises
- Within 1,000 feet of places of execution operated by the Department of Corrections on days when an execution is scheduled
- Amusement parks
- Hospitals or nursing facilities
- Businesses with liquor licenses that earn more than half of their revenue from alcohol sales (“51% businesses”)
- Churches, synagogues, mosques, and other places of worship
If someone open carries a location-restricted knife in a restricted location, they can be arrested and face criminal charges.
In most cases, this offense is a Class C misdemeanor, which can mean fines up to $500. While you cannot receive a jail sentence for this degree of charge, a conviction will still go on your record and can impact your life in different ways. If you have a location-restricted knife on school premises, it becomes a felony offense, and the penalties include up to ten years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Let a Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorney Help You
The Law Office of Kyle Whitaker knows that knife laws are confusing, and we are ready to defend against knife-related charges. If you’ve been arrested, please contact us or call 817-332-7703 to learn how a Fort Worth criminal defense lawyer can help.