What Self-Defense Weapons are Legal in Texas?

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By Bryan Rucker •  8 min read

As is the case throughout the country, weapons and self-defense laws are numerous in Texas. Therefore, it is critical to understand the legalities of your situation to protect yourself and your family. For example, it is illegal to carry a knife in public with a blade greater than five inches.

In addition, as is always the case, if you have any questions about the legality of a particular weapon, you should seek legal advice.

A self-defense weapon should be selected after considering your comfort level with the weapon and your safety.

Obtaining a gun permit may be necessary for some people to carry their firearm in public places of business. So let’s take a look at some of the different types of self-defense weapons that are legal in the state of Texas!

Legal Self-Defense Weapons in Texas

1: Pepper Spray

To purchase and carry pepper spray in Texas, you must be at least 18 or 16 years old if you have written consent from your parents or guardians. Pepper spray is not considered a weapon under Texas law; instead, it is considered a self-defense item under the state’s guidelines.

Even so, there are many places where this item is prohibited; you must make certain that you are not carrying pepper spray with you when visiting these types of restricted areas.

In Texas, pepper spray can only be carried in small quantities, with the intent of self-defense, and only in limited quantities.

Use of pepper spray without a valid reason, use of pepper spray to threaten people, or use of pepper spray to cause harm or discomfort to another person will be considered a criminal assault under the law if not used for self-defense only.

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2: Tasers

Tasers are also legal to purchase, sell, possess, and carry in the state of Texas. Tasers can cause serious injury and even death in people and animals who have certain medical conditions, even though they are not restricted by state laws and do not require a background check or a license to possess them.

In addition, the use of tasers is harrowing; therefore, they should only be used in an emergency, such as when defending yourself or your property from an attack.

Texas law enforcement authorities have the authority to declare tasers to be weapons if they determine that you are using them without justification or in an offensive manner with the intent of causing bodily harm to others.

3: Knives

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Texas has some of the most flexible knife laws in the United States. For example, even juveniles are permitted to carry knives with blades shorter than 5.5 inches in length.

With the exception of the prohibited areas, items such as double-edged blades, full-size swords, knives, daggers, switchblades, and machetes are legal to carry throughout the entire state of Texas.

All of the knives listed above are considered legal due to the fact that they are used for camping, hunting, and other essential activities.

Other knives, such as trench knives with knuckle dusters, tomahawks, brass knuckles, axes, and clubs, are still prohibited in Texas to a limited extent.

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4: Brass Knuckles

Even though brass knuckles were previously illegal to possess in the state of Texas, they have now been legalized since September 2019, with the caveat that they should only be used for self-defense reasons.

Therefore, the mere possession of brass knuckles will not result in legal consequences; however, if you use them to attack or threaten someone, to disturb the peace, to resist a warrant officer or security officials, or during criminal activity, they will be considered a weapon and subject to prosecution.

On the other hand, if someone uses brass knuckles as a self-defense weapon against someone who is attacking them, they are unlikely to face any legal ramifications for doing so.

5: Stun Guns

Tactical devices such as stun guns and tasers are classified as the same thing in Texas, which means all of the rules that apply to tasers also apply to tactical devices such as stun guns.

Therefore, the purchase and possession of stun guns are legal in Texas without the need for a background check, legal certification, or permits; however, their use should be limited to self-defense only in this state.

As one of the best self-defense weapons available, stun guns are an excellent choice because they pose a low risk and are relatively simple to use, making them a perfect choice for anyone new to using self-defense tools.

Most Effective Self-Defense Weapon in Texas

You can carry self-defense items such as whistles, walking sticks, flashlights, personal alarms, tactical pens and knives, pepper sprays, Tasers, and stun guns in Texas if you are a legal resident of the state.

It is a good idea to carry a self-defense weapon with you at all times, but it is also a good idea to avoid using these items for illegal purposes, as doing so may result in legal complications.

To use any type of self-defense weapon in your home, in the wilderness, or other public places, you must always have a legitimate reason to do so.

What Guns Are Legal in Texas?

1: Handguns

If you live in the state of Texas, you are not required to obtain an LTC (License to Carry) permit to own a handgun in your possession.

If you meet all of the legal requirements, you will be able to easily purchase, carry, and store handguns throughout the entire state of Texas without issues.

A handgun can be carried concealed, in a holster, or out in the open without the need for a license in Texas; however, the individual must be 21 years old and should not be prohibited from doing so by state or federal authorities.

Another point to consider is that handguns should not be carried in restricted areas such as schools, hospitals, courthouses, amusement parks, and airports, among other places.

2: Long Guns

You are permitted to open or concealed carry long guns in Texas, such as rifles and shotguns, without needing a permit.

Despite this, there are some limitations on the freedom of expression. To remain legal, a rifle must be carried lawfully and in a manner that is not likely to scare the average individual.

You could be arrested and charged with disorderly conduct in the state of Texas if you intentionally or knowingly display a firearm in a public place in an alarmist manner without the consent of the other party.

3: Semi-Auto Rifles

People in Texas can easily own semi-automatic rifles without the need for a special license if they do not fall under the jurisdiction of state or federal agencies.

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In this state, one can even own a fully automatic rifle if the weapon has been registered with the appropriate federal agencies.

Please check with the relevant authorities to learn more about the age and other requirements; in most cases, adults without any criminal convictions, mental health issues, or drug abuse problems are permitted to own such firearms.

Even though there is no requirement for a special permit or license to own and carry these rifles, this does not imply that they can be carried in all locations at all times.

Some Open Questions

What are the most lethal Self-Defense weapons?

There are a variety of weapons that can be used for self-defense. Some are more lethal than others. All in all, the most lethal self-defense weapons are firearms.

Besides guns, knives and pepper spray can be very effective in protecting yourself from an attacker. It depends on the situation and your comfort level with using a particular weapon.

For example, if you are not comfortable using a knife, carrying one may not be the best option.

Can I carry any type of weapon?

The laws vary from state to state regarding what types of weapons are legal for self-defense. For example, certain weapons are illegal in Texas, including brass knuckles and switchblades.

However, many other weapons are legal to carry, such as knives and firearms.

Therefore, it is essential to check the specific laws in your state before deciding on which weapon to use for self-defense.

What are the penalties for carrying a concealed weapon without a license in Texas?

If you are caught carrying a concealed weapon without a license in Texas, you could face up to five years in prison and up to $5000 in fines.

However, there are several exceptions to this rule, so it is best to consult an attorney if you have any questions about whether or not you can carry a concealed weapon in Texas.

So make sure you know the weapon laws in your state before taking steps to protect yourself with a weapon.


Now that you know a little more about what weapons are legal for self-defense in Texas, it is essential to research and find the best weapon for you. While firearms may be the most lethal, they may not be the best option for everyone.

Consider your comfort level with using different weapons and choose the one you feel will give you the best chance of defending yourself in a dangerous situation.

It depends on the situation and your personal preferences. Remember, safety first! Always ask questions if you are not sure about the laws and penalties in your state.

Bryan Rucker

Brian Rucker has spent his entire life participating in essentially all things wildlife. His concern grew astronomically during the previous tensions between the United States and other nations. He also has grown a substantial interest in survival and sustainability due to the current shape of the world over the years. He believes that preparation triumphs all things.