U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Why are Texas Senate Republicans slowing a bill supported by most House Democrats and all House Republicans?
In 2017, the Texas legislature passed a sweeping knife reform bill. It removed the criminal penalties for carrying most knives in Texas. Because of a tragic and illegal knife attack on a college campus, at the last minute, amendments were added to the bill to make the possession of knives with a blade over 5.5 inches illegal in a small number of locations.
This meant numerous people were kept at risk of arrest for using ordinary implements of the job, such as gardeners using knives to trim with or cooks using knives to prepare food in locations where 51% of the income came from liquor sales, or on campus.
A cleanup bill to remove these restrictions passed the Senate in 2019, unanimously. It ultimately died in the House when the session ended without a vote on the Bill.
It passed the House this year (2021), with only two Democrats against it.
The bill is now stalled in the Senate State Affairs Committee.
During recent testimony at the committee, objections were raised by Senator Eddie Lucio, wondering if any innocent person had ever been victimized or arrested because of a ban of knives with blades larger than 5.5 inches in such circumstances.
I recall exactly such an instance, as related to me by college friends of my daughter at Texas A&M University, about 2005.
One of the members of their “in” group of nerdy computer geeks was at a Science Fiction Convention, in March of the year. He purchased a replica sword at the convention, which was held on campus. The campus is one of the restricted places and 5.5 inch+ knives are still banned is on campus.
He went to class from the convention and showed some classmates the replica.
There was some animosity against the group of nerds in the class, and a student in the class called the authorities, an early example of cancel culture.
The authorities pressed charges based on his possession of the replica sword.
Being young and ignorant, I recall he agreed to a plea deal and ended up with a felony conviction. It probably did not help that he has a Hispanic surname. I am withholding the name at present while attempting to obtain permission to release it.
When you are young, even if you have a computer degree from an excellent university, such as Texas A & M, a felony conviction with only probation, still limits your life choices.
Senator Lucio said he would support the current Knife Law Reform Bill, because of the people who asked him to support it.
It is not so clear why a Republican majority committee is working to kill a knife rights bill supported by near unanimity.
The public testimony was on 17 May 2021. You can see the testimony from about 07:45 to 28:00 on the video. The bill was left as “pending”.
That is a death sentence for knife law reform this session unless the bill is voted out of committee this week. Today.
It is difficult to see why Republicans would oppose a clean-up bill such as this, which is also supported by most Democrats.
If you are a Texas resident, use Knife Rights Legislative Action Center to EMAIL Chairman Hughes and committee members TODAY and ask them to set a vote on HB 956: kniferights.org/resources/congressweb/#/45 DO IT TODAY! Monday is too late!
This sort of criminal law reform can be agreed on by Republicans and Democrats alike. Many minorities are harassed and victimized for carrying knives that are part of the everyday work kit. Such harassment has been especially common in big cities.
Governor Cuomo of New York had to be repeatedly pressured to sign a knife law reform there, even though it was supported with near-unanimous votes for several years.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.
Important Knife Reform Bottled up by Texas Senate State Affairs Committee is written by Dean Weingarten for www.ammoland.com