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I currently reside in Texas, which rather surprisingly has some of the most restrictive knife/sword laws in the United States. While the state government is all about making sure you can walk your dog with an AR-15 slung across your back, you better not be carrying a knife longer than 5.5 inches with more than a single edge. As a practitioner of several weapon arts, I would love to not have to skulk in the shame-filled shadows. My research has found exactly one knife activist site - Knife Rights (http://www.kniferights.org/), and it seems a bit anemic.

Beyond sending indignant letters to my state representatives (which I have already done), what other resources are out there to help me persuade the state of Texas to let me open-carry a scramaseax and/or sabre?

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because "Legalities of martial arts" are off-topic.
    – mattm
    Jun 6 '16 at 21:50
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    Activism and legality are two closely related but different topics thus I would say it is on topic but just. Jun 7 '16 at 7:48
  • If it's for self-defense, and you believe you are credibly threatened, and willing to take a life, learn the local gun laws, buy a gun, and spend a lot of time at the range.
    – DukeZhou
    Jul 9 at 20:02
  • I've been training with swords for decades, have many blades of different types, some suitable for combat, and none of them sharpened. Part of the reason is safety, even though I have more than sufficient control of the weapons, and the other reason is the is no expected legal use of such a weapon in any likely real world scenario. It's either massive overkill (vs. an unarmed person) or massive underkill (vs. a gun). Sure, it's an automatic win vs an attacker with a knife, if you can draw before they strike, but a sword is still an archaic weapon, which is why people no longer carry them.
    – DukeZhou
    Jul 9 at 20:03
  • For me the main consideration is being able to practice with blunt weapons in public spaces such as parks where there is sufficient space to distance significantly from other park patrons. I typically use wooden or non-combat weight weapons for this purpose, as there is always the chance of interacting with authorities, who may legitimately want to determine that you're not a threat to public safety. But in the few instances where I was practicing with a blunted combat weight weapon, the blunted status always put the authorities at ease, such that I could continue practice.
    – DukeZhou
    Jul 9 at 20:10
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What a coincidence. I recently stumbled upon a video of a young sort of guy in Arizona by the name of Kairo Seijuro who seems to have attained a high degree of skill in classical kenjutsu. He was in the news due to a video posted to youtube showing him using his sword to protect himself and another man from harm when a fight broke out between multiple people on a bus.

News reporters interviewed him after the video came out. It turns out he has an extensive background in sword training and carries his sword with him everywhere.

Here's the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGbE0L2zWbc

Now, everyone including myself thought it was inevitable that he was going to be taken to jail for carrying that sword with him and threatening others with it. But as I learned, in Arizona it's perfectly legal to openly carry knives of any length and any kind, including swords, so long as you're 21 years old or older:

http://www.knifeup.com/arizona-knife-laws/

My advice to you would be to ask your local Texas state congressman to look into this and see if this is something he/she would be willing to take up in congress.

Arizona's laws could serve as a template, making it easier for your congressman to write new Texas legislation.

Also, the fact that this has been legal in Arizona since at least 2012, from what I gather, means that there should be some statistics available regarding crime with knives before and after 2012, or when the law went into effect. You would want to research this ahead of time, before approaching your congressmen. They will want to know how legalized open carry of knives has affected crime statistically.

Statistical analysis is a nuanced and complex subject, of course. Teasing truth out of the data often requires a math and science pedigree at the Ph.D. level. But don't worry. A simple analysis is sufficient to get the ball rolling. Delegate this task to someone else if it's not something you're capable of.

If your congressman doesn't seem interested, that's when you should try other congressmen. And try getting as many signatures as you can on a petition that you write up. Politicians usually pay more attention when a large enough number of people are involved.

You might also want to research the public positions your state's congressmen may have on open-carry legislation of firearms to see how they might feel about extending that to bladed weapons. Those that have come out strongly in favor of it in the past may be more inclined to take up this legislation than others.

Hope that helps.

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  • Just out of curiosity, what's the citation that he actually has a high degree of skill in classical kinjutsu, versus a dangerously delusional guy with a sword who was apparently willing to kill several people to break up a fist-fight that he wasn't even part of?
    – Larry
    Jun 10 '16 at 22:51
  • That's hilarious! Hehe. Uh, I heard a description of what he's studied before, and I've trained in classical kenjutsu before and can tell from his completely impromptu sword cut demonstration and his re-sheathing that he's quite skilled. Jun 10 '16 at 23:54
  • @SteveWeigand - Not really disputing per se, but about all I've studied is basic cuts and enough freestyle for creative weapons competitions (Entry level) and I could manage those twirls and resheathes well enough to display the same skill set. Kairo is not his real name, and on the Tempe Light Rail a sword or other long weapon would be among my last choices of weapon. Even in the most open spaces, you're limited to short cuts and stabs as about your only offense.
    – JohnP
    Jun 14 '16 at 21:31
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    @SteveWeigand - Upon further digging, something is fishy. He claims that "Master Hiko" trained him up and he took "Seijuro" as an honorific, but the only "Master Hiko" I can find is in the comic hentai "Rurouni Kenshin". And if his sword's name is misspelled by the media by one letter, it's named after a Japanese pop star - Rei Inoue.
    – JohnP
    Jun 14 '16 at 21:45
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    Yeah, in addition to the fishy naming that indicates "fanboy" more than "master", also there are some web reports that he's been in some trouble with the police before -- assault charges (dropped) and a couple of restraining orders. It is possible that he's not a very good example for arguing that one should be allowed to carry bladed weapons.
    – Larry
    Jun 26 '16 at 0:38

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