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Starting Friday, Texans Can Carry Their Swords in the Open

But not everywhere, per new 'location-restricted' law on long blades
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2017 10:55 AM CDT
Starting Friday, Texans Can Carry Their Swords in the Open
Yikes.   (Getty Images/RadekProcyk)

(Newser) – A new open-carry law goes into effect in Texas on Friday—but it has nothing to do with firearms. The San Angelo Standard-Times reports on the throwing knives, spears, daggers, swords, and other blades longer than 5.5 inches that will now be permitted in many places, thanks to a new law that changes their status from "illegal" to "location-restricted." Those restrictions are quite ample: They're barred in schools and universities, hospitals, places of worship, amusement parks, polling places, and establishments that earn more than 51% of their income from on-site alcohol consumption, among others. Minors also won't be allowed to sport their blades unless a guardian is supervising them. Law flouters can be hit with a felony charge that could bring up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 maximum fine.

There was some opposition to the law introduced by GOP state Rep. John Frullo, especially after a University of Texas student was killed and several injured in a hunting knife attack in the spring. One group that won't be welcoming unsheathed blades to an event that normally allows them in some fashion: the organizers of the Texas Renaissance Festival, which starts next month, per Houston Public Media. "As a privately held business, according to state law, we can determine whether or not we allow weapons, whether concealed or openly carried," says a fest official, adding weapons used as costume accessories have historically been permitted only if they're "peace tied," that is, secured in a way that prevents them from being brandished. (Read more Texas stories.)

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