Self-defense keychains are illegal in Texas - - Texoma news, weather and sports

Self-defense keychains are illegal in Texas

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Self-defense keychains like these are illegal in Texas. (KTEN) Self-defense keychains like these are illegal in Texas. (KTEN)

DENISON, Texas -- Self-defense keychains have become popular in recent years, gaining steam with women.

But did you know they're illegal in Texas?

The keychains are generally shaped like dogs or cats, and appear to be harmless. But looks can be deceiving.

These hard plastic or metal keychains with pointed edges are classified in the same category as brass knuckles, making them illegal in Texas.

"As a woman, it's very scary to walk outside by yourself -- especially at night -- so little things such as self- defense keychains or pepper spray make women feel a little safer outside just a little bit," said Denison resident Alysa Spence.

Possession of a self-defense keychain is a Class A misdemeanor. A conviction could lead to a year in jail, a $4,000 fine, or both.

Police say there are other legal options for self-defense purposes, including pepper spray and handguns, with the appropriate concealed carry permit. But those options come with a caveat.

"You need to make sure they get training on it so you will know how to use it," Denison police spokesman Lt. Mike Eppler said. "That way, someone won't take it away from you and use it on you."

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