The Cutting Edge

The official blog of Knife Depot

Mother of Student Killed in Stabbing Wants to Reinstate TX Knife Ban

University of Texas at Austin

On the morning of May 1, 2017, a 21-year-old man walked onto the campus of the University of Texas at Austin carrying a Bowie knife described as having a 15-inch blade by some outlets and started indiscriminately stabbing students.

In the attack, three students were injured and a fourth student named Harrison Brown was killed.

Now the Texas Tribune is reporting that the mother of the student killed on that fateful day is working to get the repeal of a knife ban on nearly all knives in Texas reinstated.

“I would love to see that bill completely repealed,” Lori Brown told reporter Emma Platoff. “Let’s come up with a license, a timeframe, a background check. Mental health issues are also a big problem.”

Texas Knife Ban Repeal Passed Easily

A full repeal of all knife laws was going up for vote around the time of the attack last year, which put the legislation in doubt at the time. It was later brought back with an amendment that restricted some locations on large Bowie knives in direct response to the incident at UT. It passed almost unanimously and was signed by the governor.

As a father and human being, I can barely imagine the grief and pain she must face on a daily basis. Unfortunately, a license and background checks for knives is simply not the answer.

As you can expect, Doug Ritter of Knife Rights does not agree either.

“We cannot begin to comprehend Mrs. Brown’s grief,” Ritter said in a statement. “It is understandable that this grieving mother would want to do something to address the cause of her son’s murder, but restricting the freedom of law-abiding Texans by reinstating clearly irrational and ineffective bans on some particular type of knife is not a solution.”

Not only was the knife the man used to stab others on campus illegal at the time but it remains illegal to carry a knife of that size on campus. (Though Knife Rights has suggested it will work toward getting those restrictions removed in the future.)

Brown Suggests Knife Licensing and More

In a phone conversation with Knife Rights’ Todd Rathner, Brown suggested “she would seek restrictions on sales of some types of knives and perhaps licensing of individuals and/or background checks to purchase or possess certain types of knives.”

The reality is that knives are utilitarian tools. You can find them in abundance in every single household (in kitchens) at various sizes. Some knives like the Kanetsune Gyuto Professional Chef’s Knife feature blades at more than 9 inches. Countless people use pocket knives for work every day.

Attempting to ban or license knives is a waste of resources that could go toward the actual problem of mental illness. Although the student who committed the stabbing was acting normal at the time, he had suffered from mental issues in the past and may not have received the care or attention he deserved.

“We can only hope that Mrs. Brown can be persuaded to channel her determination to do something positive towards the real cause of her son’s murder, not towards an unreasonable and ineffective attack on law-abiding Texans,” Ritter said. “Knife Rights will oppose any effort to reinstate any knife ban and will continue to fight to repeal ineffective and irrational knife bans throughout America.”

At this point, her bid at a reinstatement of certain knife bans seems like a long shot.


  1. I’m not sure a ban will do much for those that want to carry knives around but, I don’t understand the opposition to a discussion on it either. Call it law breaking, mental health issues, whatever, but the hard and simple fact is that citizens rights to live safely and without fear of attack trumps the right of people who want to carry knives around. I’m all for having a knife in my pocket. They’re useful and fun to collect. I’m not much interested in giving people the right to carry heavy fixed-blade knives around on their belts though anymore than I want to see open carry. It doesn’t have a net positive benefit for society. This type of argument is the same reason the NRA is being taken to task now. They’re playing a zero sum, reason be damned game with public safety and finally, the public is tired of it and are pushing back. Why wouldn’t they? Same here. Carry knives. Use them. Don’t flash them around and demand that a 21st century American ‘needs’ to or has the unalienable right to carry a 10 inch blade with them wherever they go. That’s unreasonable and it looks that way to the majority of people out there, including a lot of us who carry and collect knives.
    Now, after all that, I’m still not in favor of banning knives. It would be a waste of resources. Ban guns. That might tame the murder rate. Legalize drugs. Interesting social experiment. For the rest of us, use common sense. If you’re walking around with a Bowie knife on your belt you’re going to look like a paranoid gun nut type. If you need one, great. Carry it and use it. Just don’t expect people to be happy that you’re hauling around a fighting knife in public.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


© 2018 The Cutting Edge

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑