Brass Knuckles Legalized in Texas

Self Defense Gear in the News

As of September 1, 2019, people in Texas will no longer face up to $4000 in fines or a year in jail for the class A misdemeanor of carrying brass knuckles or other similar hand-held self-defense items. This overturns a Texas law that has been in place since 2018.

Texas State Representative Joe Moody spurred this new legislation by filing House Bill 446 to repeal the ban. He said that the long-standing laws “are relics of the system that we need to turn away from,” he said. “We’re taking something out of the code that has a large potential for misuse.”

According to the Texas Penal Code, knuckles are “any instrument that consists of finger rings or guards made of a hard substance and that is designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by striking a person with a fist enclosed in the knuckles.”

“If someone has a novelty item or a legitimate self-defense tool, we really shouldn’t be prosecuting them for that,” Moody said. “That’s not a good use of resources.”

Brass knuckles are still prohibited in other states, including California, Michigan, Illinois, and Vermont. In some states, only metallic knuckles are banned. Others ban knuckles made of any kind of hardened material, including brass, steel, hard plastics, and acrylic.

This repeal falls in line with a trend toward self-defense freedom. In 2013, Texas lawmakers removed switchblades from the same list of banned items.

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