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‘Come at thee’: Texas is now an open carry state – for swords

FILE -- In this July 14, 2017 photo taken at the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston, the sword that belonged to Col. Robert Gould Shaw, the commanding officer of the first all-black regiment raised in the North during the Civil War is seen. Texas on Friday legalized the open carrying of blades longer than 5.5 inches, including swords.
FILE -- In this July 14, 2017 photo taken at the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston, the sword that belonged to Col. Robert Gould Shaw, the commanding officer of the first all-black regiment raised in the North during the Civil War is seen. Texas on Friday legalized the open carrying of blades longer than 5.5 inches, including swords. AP

Texas is known for having some of the country’s more lax gun restrictions, being an open carry state for handguns since 2016 (with a permit) and long guns before that.

Well, with a law that went into effect Friday, it’s not just firearms: Blades longer than 5.5 inches – including daggers, machetes and, yes, swords – can now be openly carried by adults in Texas, the Houston Chronicle reported earlier this week.

House Bill 1935 removed most restrictions on the public carrying of bladed weapons, while introducing some new location restrictions. Yes, Texans can carry swords, clubs and spears in public. No, they cannot bring them to hospitals, schools, sporting events, churches, amusement parks or similar locations, the Houston Chronicle reported.

“It's not making criminals out of people who have no intention of creating some type of criminal act,” Rep. John Frullo, who authored the bill, told CNN affiliate Spectrum News in Austin.

Texas isn’t the first state to enact such a policy. Montana and Oklahoma have also lifted bans on bladed weapons, CNN reported in July.

Several other high-profile laws have taken effect recently in Texas, according to The Dallas Morning News. On the subject of weapons, Texas dropped its handgun license fee from $140 to $40 on Friday, and in August began to allow licensed gun owners to carry concealed firearms on community college campuses.

The state also banned texting while driving and made attacks on police officers a hate crime, both effective Friday.

Whether their sword enthusiasm was real or sarcastic, many Twitter users rejoiced at the news.

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