Brass knuckles, other self-defense weapons will be legal in Texas beginning Sunday

For the first time in 101 years, brass knuckles will be legal in Texas beginning Sunday.

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A bill sponsored by state Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, was signed into law and goes into effect Sunday, The Texas Tribune reported. It includes legalizing brass knuckles and brands of self-defense kitty keychains that have blades for ears, the newspaper reported.

House Bill 446 repeals a state law that had existed since 1918. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill into law in May, The Dallas Morning News reported.

"If someone has a novelty item or a legitimate self-defense tool, we really shouldn't be prosecuting them for that," Moody told KXAN. "That's not a good use of resources."


In 2017, 93 people were convicted of possessing brass knuckles, the Morning News reported.

The Texas Penal Code defines knuckles as "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," the Tribune reported.

This is not the first legislation Moody has sponsored to change the weapon-carrying laws in Texas. In 2017, he authored a bill that eliminated a 145-year-old state ban on carrying knives in public.

Texas lawmakers passed a bill in 2013 that removed switchblades from the list of banned weapons.

"(These laws) are relics of the system that we need to turn away from," Moody told the Tribune. "We're taking something out of the code that has a large potential for misuse."