AUSTIN — A North Texas woman accused of possession of a prohibited weapon for carrying a kitty key chain will not face criminal charges, the Denton County District Attorney’s Office said Thursday.
Kyli Phillips, 22, was arrested in April 2018 after a traffic accident and slapped with the weapons charge after police found the key chain in her purse. These plastic self-defense items are popular with women but have been illegal for decades under a state law that bans brass knuckles.
In Texas, in 2017, lawmakers eliminated a 145-year-old ban on carrying knives in public. But brass knuckles remained illegal; simply possessing something that fits this description, including plastic “kitty keychains” and other self-defense items, could land Texans with a $4,000 fine and up to a year in jail.
In 2017, 93 people were convicted under the state’s knuckles ban, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Democratic Rep. Joe Moody of El Paso filed a bill to undo the knuckles ban, and Gov. Greg Abbott signed it into law in May. It goes into effect Sept. 1.
Kitty key chains and other similar items will no longer be illegal on Sept. 1, 2019.
Jamie Beck, the first assistant district attorney in Denton County, confirmed that Phillips was formally charged with possession of an illegal weapon. She appeared in court July 22 and her charges were dropped the next day.
“I am relieved beyond words!” Phillips told The News Thursday. “I am so thankful that this charge caught the eye of lawmakers, and I am so glad to see these positive changes happening! I feel safe now knowing that I can legally carry this self-defense keychain without fear of repercussion.”
[Good to see that Texas is joining the 21st Century. Order your Brutus key chain and enjoy the protection of the finest self-defense products available. As always, look around our webstore for all kinds of tools to meet whatever your needs are for personal or home safety.]