Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed a bill into law over the weekend that lifts the ban on carrying brass knuckles and other self-defense items in public.
Democratic state Rep. Joe Moody, who co-authored House Bill 446, described its passage as "another step toward getting rid of antiquated laws regarding weapons," according to KHOU-TV. Last month, the Texas House of Representatives approved the bill in a vote of 147-0, with one representative abstaining and two others absent. The state Senate passed the bill 31-0, two weeks ago.
Other items including clubs and wild kat keychains, sometimes known as kitty keychains, will also be legal to carry when the law takes effect on Sept. 1.
Self-defense expert Trea Drake of Krav Maga in Houston described the items as "force equalizers."
"It's something you can use against a larger opponent potentially to make you stronger in the process," Drake told KHOU.
Does the law affect those with prior offenses?
Anyone who has committed or commits an offense before the law changes would still be held accountable if convicted of the crime.
"The changes in law made by this Act apply only to an offense committed on or after the effective date of this Act," the bill's text reads. "An offense committed before the effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect when the offense was committed, and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose."
Those convicted face a maximum punishment of up to one year in jail and a fine up to $4,000.
What other items are Texans allowed to legally carry?
In 2017, Texas lawmakers revoked a 145-year ban on carrying knives in public. It also passed legislation allowing for openly carrying rifles and handguns.