WICHITA FALLS, TX - We are inching closer to a law that is adding inches to the length of knife blades that Texans can carry.
September 1 is when that law goes into effect which will allow adults in the Lone Star State to openly carry knives with blades longer than 5.5 inches. That includes swords, daggers, spears and even machetes.
Phillip Watkins, Owner of The Knife Guys in Wichita Falls, has been in the business for 14 years, and he said he does not think it is going to bring a boost in sales.
"I don't think it's going to have a huge impact in change because we have been selling those larger knives and swords for some time," said Watkins.
He said what it will do is lift the limitations that people have.
"As far as carrying work tools," said Watkins. "Like lawn services carrying machetes, chefs carrying their butcher knives."
Sergeant Harold McClure, with the Wichita Falls Police Department, said he too thinks the law will not change much for the public. Sgt. McClure compares it to the open carry law that went in to effect January 1, 2016.
"There was a lot of anxiety over that," said Sgt. McClure. "People concerned, all of a sudden are we going to see people walking around with guns on their hips? And that just wasn't the case."
Like the open carry law, Sgt. McClure does not think we are going to see a lot of people walking around with swords or large knives.
However, for those who do plan on carrying these larger blades, there are some places where the new law will not apply to like schools, prisons, hospitals, amusement parks or places of worship and bars. Long blades are also still banned at sporting events.
While Sgt. McClure does not think it is going to have a huge impact on officers, he said they will all be trained. The police department will make sure officers are knowledgeable on the new laws, WFPD's policy and how they are going to enforce the new law.
"The officer is always going to use proper tactics to ensure the safety of himself and those around him," said Sgt. McClure.
He adds if you see someone carrying a large knife or sword and are concerned or think a law is being broken to go ahead and give them a call so they can investigate.
They would rather come out and have it be nothing than for a crime to go unreported.
He adds it is also important to keep in mind, if you go into a business and they say they do not want you to have a knife out, it is their right to make that decision.