Or any other colour, for that matter. Keychain self defense devices are quite popular, even though the old standby of placing your keys between your fingers still works fine, if you have the opportunity to get them in place, of course. Texas is a state which allows a rather stunning range of weapons, all perfectly legal. But a hard plastic pussy cat? Oh no, can’t have that. Those things are dangerous, y’know!
…Just last year, a law went into effect making it legal for Texans to carry machetes, Bowie knives, swords, spears and daggers — any knife with a blade longer than 5 1/2 inches — in most places across the state.
…Lawmakers also passed a law that made it legal for licensed Texans to openly carry handguns as of Jan. 1, 2016. Before then, it already was legal to carry concealed handguns and shotguns or AR-15s in public.
Now Gun Owners of America has pinpointed Texas as their next battleground for constitutional carry, which would let gun owners carry their weapons openly or concealed without first getting a permit.
But plastic self-defense key chains — particularly those shaped like cats or dogs with pointy ears — are off-limits and illegal.
“It’s a prohibited weapon,” said Shannon Edmonds, a staff attorney with the Texas District and County Attorneys Association. “Unlike a firearm … these are always and everywhere prohibited.”
These key chains, which have been in the news recently in Texas, can cost less than $10 — unless you’re caught with them in Texas.
If that happens, you could end up paying as much as $4,000 in fines and spending up to a year in county jail, under state law.
“It is odd to have a situation where a person carrying a plastic pink kitty cat key chain could be arrested and sentenced to a year in jail while the person carrying a 9mm handgun next to them is free to do so,” said Mark P. Jones, a political science professor at Rice University in Houston. “But, at the same time, the person carrying the 9mm has a (license) … whereas the person with the key chain may not.
“This is a case where a well-intentioned law to prevent the use of brass knuckles and similar weapons was written before the existence of” self-defense key chains, he said.
Oh Texas, where you can seldom expect any sort of common sense. You can read all about this at Star-Telegram.