Self-Defense Keychains Can Be Illegal and Dangerous

Brass knuckles that look like a harmless cat or dog keychain are growing in popularity among women as self-defense tools. However, these keychains are defined as weapons and can lead to a hefty fine or even a path to jail in Texas.

“They’re pretty sharp. This one’s a hard plastic. I saw some yesterday that were actually made out of metal, and it’s not going to bend, it’s not going to give. It’s going to just penetrate the skin or eyes or where ever else. … Once you’ve got it in your hands like this, now all of a sudden there’s a lot of force behind it that could inflict injury,” said Craig Smith, Travis County Captain.

According to Section 46.05 of the Texas Penal Code, these weapons are prohibited in Texas. If someone is caught possessing a self-defense kitty or dog keychain in the state of Texas, they may face a class A misdemeanor with up to a year in jail or a $4,000 fine or both. 

Local self-defense instructor and Grand Master Abel Villareal has seen an increasing number of these items, and he believes they can be dangerous if people don’t know how to use it.

“There’s nothing better than getting yourself educated. … If you find yourself in a situation, they can do you more harm [than good], because I’ve had students, female students that have had items as such, and [perpetrators] have taken it away from them and used it against them,” said Villareal.