The Deadly Weapon Laws of Texas
November 7 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
How do you envision Texas during the late nineteenth century? Contrary to popular stereotypes, Texas had some of the strictest weapon regulations in the country during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. During this period, Texas enacted a series of regulations commonly referred to as deadly weapon laws. These laws prohibited the carrying in public of concealable weapons such as pistols, bowie knives, and brass knuckles. Drawing from a wealth of county criminal records, Rivas will discuss why the laws were put in place, how the laws were enforced, and what happened to people who violated these laws.
Brennan Gardner Rivas is currently a lecturer at Texas Christian University. She received her Ph.D. from TCU in 2019. Her article “An Unequal Right to Bear Arms: State Weapons Laws and White Supremacy in Texas, 1836-1900” was published in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly in January 2018. She recently received the Bill & Rita Clements Fellowship for the Study of Southwestern America for the 2020-2021 academic year.
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