The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Fort Worth Star-Telegram 

Texas' pink kitty needs attention from lawmakers


July 22, 2018

There’s a not-so-new self-defense weapon that needs its own defenders in Texas. And you can count us in.

That’s because it’s pretty clear that Texas law discriminates against the pink kitty key chain, especially popular among women who carry it for protection when they’re walking to their cars at night, or into a dark parking garage.

In Texas you can be thrown in the county jail for a year or be fined up to $4,000 if you’re caught with this 3- by-2 inch plastic item dangling from your steering column.

That’s ridiculous when it’s legal to openly carry a loaded handgun or long-bladed Bowie knife capable of fatally slicing and dicing an adversary.

(Clovis/Portales District Attorney Andrea Reeb said she’s not aware of any laws prohibiting the pink kitty key chain in New Mexico.)

But across the state line, it’s illegal under section 46.05 of the Texas Penal Code, which puts it in the same category as illegal brass knuckles, which users slide onto their hands to cause greater damage when they throw a punch.

With the key chain you put your fingers through the cat’s eye openings, make a fist, and strike an attacker with the pointed cat’s ears that protrude.

OK, sure, someone could lose it and use the kitty to attack and stick a neighbor in the heat of an argument. But that could happen with a dinner fork, too.

The problem here could be that the key chain sells for $5 online, instead of the $500 it might cost for a 9-mm Glock. The kitty doesn’t have a powerful, moneymaking lobby that contributes to lawmakers who in turn could peel back restrictions.

Perhaps there’s no one in Austin demanding carrying rights for the kitty, because what’s in it for them?

But consider what Irv Miller, president of the online company Self Defense and Security Products has to say. He sells the expensive stuff and the kitty, and says the key chain is his No. 1 seller by volume.

“It’s very effective if used properly and quickly,” he says. Making it illegal “denies women the right to carry something simple and effective if they choose not to carry a gun.”

We’re not saying the key chains are a women’s-only weapon, but Miller says women are by far the biggest purchasers.

So ladies, your right to carry these little critters legally may depend or your making some noise in Austin. Better yet, the same lawmakers advocating for other self-defense weapons should recognize the hypocrisy of excluding this affordable security item.

State lawmakers, it’s time to give the kitty key chain its due. That’s our cat call.

— Fort Worth Star-Telegram


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