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A Texas bill, HB 4415, has been introduced that would require “retail establishments” to display knives “in a locked transparent case accessible only with the assistance of an employee of the establishment.”

For purposes of this bill,”knife” is very broadly defined as “any bladed hand instrument that is capable of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by cutting or stabbing a person with the instrument.” “Retail establishment” is also very broadly defined as “a place of business open to the general public for the sale of goods or services.”

While some knife sellers choose to keep some of their displayed inventory under lock and key, this bill would require ALL knives on display to be locked down. Beyond the obvious difficulties this bill would present to knife retailers, it would also impact any store with a small knife section (department and big box stores, hardware stores, gas stations, etc.) as well as swap meets, gun shows and knife shows. Imagine if ALL of the over 140 exhibitors at the upcoming ICCE in Ft. Worth (see below) were required to lock up ALL the knives on display at their tables?

Knife Rights has been instrumental in defeating 8 anti-knife bills in 6 states since 2010 and we’re working to make sure legislators understand how problematic this proposed law would be. We will let you know if we need your support contacting legislators to oppose this bill.

Knife Rights’ ongoing effort to repeal more of Texas’ remaining knife restrictions is moving forward. Todd Rathner, Knife Rights’ Director of Legislative Affairs, is in Austin lobbying for passage of HB 956. Click here to read about HB 956, Knife Rights’ bill to reform Texas Location Restricted Knife Law.

Knife Rights is America’s grassroots knife owners’ organization; leading the fight to Rewrite Knife Law in America™ and forging a Sharper Future for all Americans™. Knife Rights efforts have resulted in 33 bills enacted repealing knife bans in 23 states and over 100 cities and towns since 2010.

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Any idea why this is being proposed, & by whom?

This seems like a non-mover.  I don't know the Texas state legislature, but there's no way Gov. Abbott would sign this into law.  Regardless, you'd probably only have to tell the legislators that it would cost Walmart a ton of money & it would be dead on arrival.

It is true that this is a bill that should not even get a hearing. But, it is dangerous to approach bills that way. As soon as you start thinking that an ill-conceived bill won't move, suddenly there's a hearing on the bill and bad stuff happens. Our job is stopping things before it gets a hearing and the stakes get higher and more expensive to deal with.

As noted, we're working on that, talking to those involved, becuase that's how you get the job done. As part of that, we've made sure that those who are only too aware of what problems and expenses would ensue, are making sure legislators understand the issues.  Building that sort of coalition makes our position against this bill more compelling for legislators. It's not just us saying this is a bad idea. 

Most ill-conceived bills like this come about because someone sees a problem they believe needs to the addressed, even if the bill is actually a solution in search of a real problem. As it turns out, there was a fatal stabbing in a Walmart in Corpus Christi last year. Where that knife came from is still not clear. Even if this bill was the law, it is unlikely it would have prevented that murder. But, you have to go through the process. 

Our job is to make sure bills like this don't get passed. We need everyone's support to do that job. Thanks! 

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