[Ansteorra] Legalities of pokie things

Richard Threlkeld rjt at softwareinnovation.com
Thu Nov 15 06:09:44 PST 2007

In Texas, outside of recreations, any knife with two edges is illegal (even
if the second edge is only an inch long).


-----Original Message-----
From: ansteorra-bounces at lists.ansteorra.org
[mailto:ansteorra-bounces at lists.ansteorra.org] On Behalf Of Chris Zakes
Sent: Thursday, November 15, 2007 07:34 AM
To: Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc.
Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Legalities of pokie things

At 11:31 PM 11/14/2007, you wrote:
>I know we have some lawyers out there...
>      On Halloween (SCA Garb doubles nicely as a quick
>costume) I had forgone a sword in favor of a simple
>dagger for functionality.  I got into a discussion
>with our security officer at work about whether or not
>it was legal.  I seem to remember being told when I
>first joined the SCA something along the lines that
>since we were considered amateur historians, it was
>not illegal for us to carry swords, maces, etc.
>      Does anyone KNOW the exact legalities?  I've
>heard the same from everyone, however. as I will one
>day tell my daughter "everyone" is not always right.

The short answer is "it depends".

As has been stated, carrying a sword or similar weapon in a 
historical recreation situation (i.e. *at* an SCA event) is unlikely 
to get you in trouble with the law. Texas law also allows knives with 
blades shorter than 5 1/2 inches in pretty much all situations. 
Oklahoma doesn't appear to have any kind of blade length provision, 
but their phrasing seems to be aimed at switchblade-type knives or 
double-edged fixed-blade knives (i.e daggers and bowie knives) not 
things like Swiss Army knives.

BUT if you do something stupid, then all bets are off. Examples of 
"something stupid" would include:

Carying any knife or sword into a place that sells alcohol.
Threatening someone with a knife or sword, or actually using the 
weapon on someone, except in a real self-defense situation.
Trying to carry any knife or sword onto an airplane. (Note that this 
applies to *carrying* the weapon on the airplane. The security folks 
don't have a problem with bladed weapons in checked baggage--I've 
flown with my rapier gear at least once a year since 9-11 and never 
had any problems.)

Finally, don't bet that your local cops will necessarily be familiar 
with the details of this law. I almost got arrested in Houston one 
time for carrying a fencing epee on my bicycle, and I know a fellow 
who *did* get arrested for practicing sword choreography with an epee 
while riding his unicycle near the University of Texas. (Weird 
circumstances in both cases, but...)

         -Tivar Moondragon

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