Senate votes to remove brass knuckle ban, ban red light cameras

Self-defense items, including brass knuckles and hard plastic kitty keychains, are just one step away from being legalized in Texas. It is up to the governor to either sign into law or veto the bill removing a ban on those items, as well as clubs. 

The brass knuckle bill passed both chambers without anyone voting against it. If it is signed by Governor Greg Abbott it will take effect September 1. 

“In the last couple of years, we've legalized swords, switch blades, brass knuckles,” said State Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford.   

The bill is all in the name of self-defense according to legislators. 

“For me, the Second Amendment is really about the right to exist and I think that everyone has the right to defend themselves,” Stickland said. That's why Stickland co-authored House Bill 446 to overturn the ban on brass knuckles, self-defense keychains and clubs. 

Currently, possession of those items is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $4,000 and a year in jail. “We've got these kind of archaic laws that were addressing a problem maybe decades ago and people are falling into a trap of not knowing they're breaking a law,” said Stickland. 

The bill gained support from both sides of the aisle in both chambers.

All it needs now is Governor Abbott’s signature and it will become law. 

“I think it sends a good message and the Texas House has always tried to work across the aisle whenever we can, a lot different than D.C.,” Stickland said. 

Stickland is also celebrating another victory, as his bill, banning red light cameras in the state, passed the Senate. “There's a lot of reasons we want to get rid of red light cameras. Number one, privacy concerns. We think that the right to due process matters. You have the right to face your accuser in court,” said Stickland.  

House Bill 1631 includes a grandfather clause for cities involved in contracts that have yet to end, except if the contract includes a provision allowing for state law to break it. “So, currently, we think as it is, the bill will continue to operate red light cameras in just two cities for a couple of years until the contract is timed out,” Stickland said.   

The odds of the bill becoming law are pretty good considering last year the governor tweeted, "More and more I think it's time to do away with red light cameras in Texas."  

“When the governor signs it, it will immediately go into effect and the red light cameras, the mass majority of them, across Texas will come down,” said Stickland. 

There are currently nine intersections in Austin that have red light cameras in place.