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Vladimir Putin to expel hundreds of U.S. diplomats from Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly will require the U.S. embassy in Moscow to cut its staff by 755 in response to Congress’ vote Thursday to increase sanctions on Russia, North Korea and Iran.

Russia’s deputy foreign minister said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” that the U.S. had it coming.

“I think retaliation is long, long overdue,” he said. “We have a very rich toolbox at our disposal.”

He added: “If the U.S. side decides to move further towards further deterioration, we will answer, we will respond in kind. We will mirror this. We will retaliate. ... But my whole point is, don’t do this, it is to the detriment of the interests of the US.”

Putin gave a TV interview with Rossiya 1 and said he doesn’t see things changing soon.

“We waited for quite some time that maybe something will change for the better, had such hope that the situation will somehow change, but, judging by everything, if it changes, it will not be soon,” he said.

>> Read more trending news

Russian’s Foreign Ministry on Friday ordered a reduction by Sept. 1 in the number of U.S. diplomats in Russia. It said it is ordering the U.S. Embassy to limit the number of embassy and consular employees in the country to 455 in response to the U.S. Senate’s approval of a new package of sanctions.

Putin said the response would be “painful” for the U.S., but he opposes further measures at this time.

“We certainly have something to respond with and restrict those areas of joint cooperation that will be painful for the American side but I don’t think we need to do it,” he said.

In December, in former President Barack Obama’s final days in office, 35 Russian diplomats were expelled from buildings in New York and Maryland.

“These actions follow repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian government, and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm U.S. interests in violation of established international norms of behavior,” then-President Obama said in a letter, explaining sanctions.

Obama said the sanctions were a response to “a global campaign of malicious cyber activities” conducted by Russia.

It is now up to President Donald Trump to sign the sanctions into law or veto, and the White House says he will sign it.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

9-year-old Trump fan, 'Pickle,' gets response of a lifetime to letter he sent president

A 9-year-old boy from Stockton, California, who is essentially President Donald Trump’s biggest littlest fan, wrote a letter to the president, asked to be his friend and has gotten a huge yes in response.

>> Watch the news report here

Dylan “Pickle” Harbin got a special shout-out from new White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Wednesday when she read the letter he wrote to Trump.

>> See the letter here

In an interview with KTXL, Harbin said, “I sent him a letter and asked if he could be my friend, and he said, ‘Yes.’ I want him to tell me I can be president.”

Sanders confirmed this Wednesday, saying she forwarded the letter to the president, who accepted the offer of friendship and extended an invite for a tour.

Harbin likes Trump so much that he had a “Make America Great Again” birthday cake in the shape of a campaign hat with a campaign poster that says, “Trump Pickle ’17,” on it, KTXL reported.

When asked why he looked up to the president, he said, “Because he’s a smart businessman, and I like all of his suits.”

>> Read more trending news

SuAnn Harbin, Dylan’s mom, said her son’s reading up on Trump and his interest in politics isn’t something she forced, as some have suggested. She also said they found out 20 minutes before Sanders read the letter.

They were at a baseball game in San Francisco.

“It was all him. He did everything,” she said. 

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

“It was a complete surprise. We were at a Giants game, and they had called right before we went in to the stadium, and they said, ‘Hi, this is so and so from the White House and we’re calling to let you know that we received Pickle’s letter and that they’re going to read it at the press conference in about 20 minutes.’”

(H/t New York Daily News)

'Ditch Mitch' billboard slams McConnell: 'You make us sick'

A group called Indivisible Kentucky is garnering attention for the billboard it put up in Louisville. The billboard sent a loud and clear message to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): “You make us sick. #DitchMitch2020.”

>> See the billboard here

According to WDRB, the sign went up on the side of I-65 and can be seen from the southbound side.

The message went up at a time when Republicans in the U.S. Senate attempted and failed to pass a so-called “skinny repeal” of Obamacare under the majority leadership of McConnell, this after years of preparation time and Obamacare opposition.

McConnell called the failure “a disappointment.”

Indivisible Kentucky co-founder Dawn Cooley told the Courier-Journal that the sign was a response to the “blatant abuse of power” of “open[ing] debate on a bill that most of the senate hasn’t even seen.”

>> Read more trending news

“The ‘You make us sick’ billboard is in reference to how we feel about the direction of his ‘leadership’ both in general and today specifically. We strongly disagree with his stance on affordable, quality health care, which we believe is a human right,” Cooley said in an email. “We are astonished that he would open debate on a bill that most of the senate hasn’t even seen – this is not due process but a blatant abuse of power.”

The organization, described by the Courier-Journal as an "anti-Trump group," said a second sign saying, “We’ve had enough,” is going up next week.

Some in McConnell’s own party are calling for him to resign as a result of the repeal and replace failure.

“If I were Mitch McConnell, I would resign,” Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) said Friday. “If Mitch McConnell cannot get the job done on this, how is he going to get the job done on the rest of President Trump’s agenda over the next 3 1/2 years?”

Although advertising these days is a lot different than it used to be, a lot of people have been using billboards and other highway signs lately for political reasons. As you can see, they are finding their way into the news one way or another.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most recent billboard news: In June, a Tennessee convenience store offered a $50,000 reward on a sign for Kathy Griffin’s head; also in June, a Texas man put up a billboard that said, “ABC News: I grew up with you. We are through. The Russians didn’t elect Donald Trump. I did”; in May, a billboard in South Carolina supporting President Donald Trump’s travel ban caused controversy; in February, a North Carolina billboard saying, “Real men provide, real women appreciate it,” elicited a lot of response.

Ellen DeGeneres fires back at Trump's tweet about transgender military ban

Ellen DeGeneres certainly doesn’t agree with President Donald Trump’s latest announcement about banning transgender individuals from joining the military.

>> Trump: Transgender people won't be allowed in the military

Following the news of the ban, the TV host shared a message with fans on Twitter to express her disagreement.

>> These 18 countries allow transgender people in their militaries

“We should be grateful to the people who wish to serve, not turn our backs on them. Banning transgender people is hurtful, baseless and wrong,” DeGeneres wrote.

>> See the tweet here

DeGeneres previously expressed her dismay when she used humor to address Trump’s refugee ban. In January, DeGeneres used her film “Finding Dory” to explain why she disagreed with the ban.

>> 69 years ago, Truman ordered 'right and just' desegregation of US armed forces

“I don’t get political, but I will say that I am against [the ban],” she said. “I am not going to talk about the travel ban. I am just going to talk about the very non-political, People’s Choice Award-winning film ‘Finding Dory.’”

>> Report: Transgender health care would cost fraction of what military spends on Viagra, similar drugs

“Dory arrives in America with her friends, Marlon and Nemo, and she arrives at the Marine Life Institute behind a large wall. And they all have to get over the wall. And you won’t believe it, but that wall has almost no effect in keeping them out,” she said. “The other animals help Dory. Animals that don’t even need her. Animals that have nothing in common with her. They help her even though they are completely different colors, because that’s what you do when you see someone in need. You help them.”

>> What is the difference between transgender and transsexual?

In November, when Trump was first elected president, DeGeneres shared an inspiring message with her viewers to help bring give hope to Americans who were despondent about the poll results.

>> Read more trending news

“You may have heard that there was a presidential election on Tuesday. The big winner was alcohol,” she said at the time. “Obviously, a lot of people were disappointed with the results. My job is to be hopeful and make everybody feel good, so I am going to keep doing that as long as I can.”

>> Texas mayor: Transgender and kicked out of military? Join our police force

She added: "If you are feeling a little anxious or scared, I am here to tell you that things can turn out OK."

Donald Trump's Boy Scouts of America speech sparks social media firestorm

On Monday, President Donald Trump ventured to West Virginia to speak at the annual Boy Scout Jamboree, which drew tens of thousands of scouts.

>> Read the transcript of President Trump’s speech to the 2017 Boy Scout Jamboree

During his speech, Trump bashed the media and former President Barack Obama and boasted about his election victory, calling Nov. 8, 2016, “a beautiful date.” At one point, Trump mentioned meeting New York developer William Levitt at a cocktail party.

>> Watch the clip here 

Trump seemed to win the support of the crowd from the beginning. He arrived to riotous applause and got the scouts to boo Obama when he asked, “Did President Obama ever come to a jamboree?” Obama never spoke at a jamboree while he was president, but he did record a video message for the scouts on one occasion.

>> On Rare.us: A surprisingly small percentage of Americans think President Trump will 'definitely' finish his first term

The Boy Scouts of America Facebook page was flooded with comments by parents who blasted Trump’s appearance, even on posts unrelated to the rally. One woman wrote, “Done with scouts after you felt the need to have my kid listen to a liar stroke his ego on our time.” Another said, “I can’t believe the Boy Scouts booed a living American president.” There were a number of comments calling the speech “propaganda,” and some even made comparisons to Adolf Hitler’s infamous rallies in Nuremberg.

John McLaughlin, who led the CIA under George Bush, tweeted that the jamboree “had the feel of a third world authoritarian’s youth rally.” CNN’s Chris Cillizza published a list of “The 29 most cringe-worthy lines from Donald Trump’s hyper-political speech to the Boy Scouts.” The piece included included statements such as “You know we have a tremendous disadvantage in the Electoral College — popular vote is much easier” and “I went to Maine four times, because it’s one vote, and we won. But we won — one vote. I went there because I kept hearing we’re at 269.” New York Magazine published a similar list, though they only included 14 “inappropriate moments.”

>> Read more trending news

However, Trump’s supporters backed the president’s appearance and branded the backlash as another attack by the mainstream media and “leftists.”

The Boy Scouts released the following statement after the backlash to Trump’s speech:

“The Boy Scouts of America is wholly non-partisan and does not promote any one position, product, service, political candidate or philosophy. The invitation for the sitting U.S. President to visit the National Jamboree is a long-standing tradition and is in no way an endorsement of any political party or specific policies.”

Rep. Blake Farenthold calls out 'female senators' on health care, suggests he would duel them

In an interview with a Corpus Christi radio station, Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold, a Republican, called out “female senators from the Northeast” for the latest snag in the GOP's effort to repeal Obamacare, adding that he “might” challenge them to a duel if they were men.

Farenthold spoke to KEYS host Bob Jones on Friday morning, according to the Houston Chronicle.

While he didn’t name names, the only Republican female senator from the Northeast to oppose the bill is Sen. Susan Collins of Maine. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito is a Republican from West Virginia, not normally considered part of the Northeast. The third female GOP senator to oppose the bill is Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, also not considered part of the Northeast.  

>> Read more trending news

“If it was a guy from south Texas, I might ask him to step outside and settle this Aaron Burr-style,” Farenthold told Jones, referring to the infamous 1804 duel between Vice President Aaron Burr and Treasury Secretary Andrew Hamilton. Hamilton was mortally wounded in the Weehawken, New Jersey, duel and died the next day.

According to The Associated Press, Collins later responded: "As far as I know, dueling is illegal in every state. He'll be disappointed, I guess."

Farenthold clarified his comments in a statement Monday, the AP reported.

"This was clearly tongue-in-cheek," he said. "That being said, I'm extremely frustrated with Senate Republicans who are breaking their promise to the American people to repeal and replace Obamacare."

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Sean Spicer swiped mini-fridge from junior White House staff, report claims

It's no surprise that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer's resignation made headlines Friday, but one puzzling story about the beleaguered staffer has left social-media users scratching their heads.

>> Sean Spicer resigns, Sarah Huckabee Sanders named next White House press secretary

According to an anecdote that topped a Wall Street Journal article, early into Spicer's tenure, he swiped a mini-fridge from junior White House staff members.

>> Read more trending news

"Less than a month into his new job, White House press secretary Sean Spicer needed to keep his food and drink cold. He wanted a mini-fridge," wrote reporter Michael C. Bender.

>> Sean Spicer resigns: A look at his 6 months as White House press secretary

"He dispatched a top aide to a nearby executive office building where junior research employees are crammed into a room, surviving on Lean Cuisine frozen lunches," the report continued. "Mr. Spicer wants your icebox, the aide said, according to people familiar with the incident. They refused to give it up."

>> Who is Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director?

But that wasn't the end of it, according to Bender, who wrote that a "fellow White House official" later saw Spicer "lugging the icebox down the White House driveway after 8 p.m."

Naturally, Twitter had a field day.

>> Click here or scroll down to see what people were saying

Ivanka Trump's security clearance questioned by House Democrats in letter to FBI

A group of House Democrats is questioning first daughter Ivanka Trump’s security clearance, asking the FBI to conduct a review.

>> Watch the news report here

In a letter to the FBI, the lawmakers point to Trump’s obligation to disclose her foreign contacts and the contacts of her spouse and siblings. They want to know whether she omitted anything from her security clearance application.

>> PHOTOS: Ivanka Trump through the years

“Lack of candor, particularly regarding contacts with Russian officials, has been a significant issue for the Trump administration,” the letter, which was signed by 22 lawmakers, said.

>> Read more trending news

The letter explicitly notes meetings Trump’s husband, Jared Kushner, and brother, Donald Trump Jr., had with a Russian lawyer and other Russian officials. It questions how much she might have known and whether she has had any foreign communications that have not been documented.

“The high standard to which we hold public servants, particularly senior advisers to the President of the United States, requires that these questions be raised, and promptly answered,” the letter ends.

>> Click here to read the full letter

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray after newly surfaced sex abuse documents: I'm not going to resign

A city councilwoman is asking the Seattle mayor to consider stepping down after a newly surfaced investigation believed Ed Murray abused a foster son in 1984.

>> Watch the news report here

Murray's former foster son, Jeff Simpson, is one of four men who publicly accused him this spring of sexually abusing them long ago. Murray adamantly denies the allegations, but he declined to seek re-election in the upcoming race.

The findings were reported Sunday after Oregon's Department of Human Services in April unearthed old records — previously thought to have been destroyed — at The Seattle Times' request. The agency initially withheld many of the documents, but it released them to news outlets, including KIRO-TV, this month after it appealed, agreeing that it was in the public interest to do so. 

Councilwoman Lorena González released a statement on Monday that said she is “deeply concerned” about the mayor’s ability to lead, and she asked him to consider stepping down as mayor. A couple of mayoral candidates are sharing that sentiment, calling on the mayor to resign. 

Murray released a statement late Monday afternoon, saying he is not leaving office. 

Below is a timeline on the sexual assault cases, why leaders are requesting the mayor consider stepping down, a statement from Murray on why he won't resign. 

Early 1980s allegations:

Two other men – not involved in the recent lawsuits – accused Murray of abusing them in the 1980s and paying them for sex.

Alleged abuse between 1980 and 1982: Lloyd Anderson said he first met Murray at a Portland center for troubled youth. But Anderson said he left the center, temporarily lived with a Portland-area couple and then lived on the streets and did drugs.

An alleged chance encounter between Murray and Anderson in 1981 and 1982 reunited them. Anderson said he went to Murray’s apartment in Portland, where he was paid for sex.

In a KIRO exclusive, the station spoke to Anderson, who now lives in Florida. Watch video below or scroll down to keep reading. 

Anderson told KIRO that while at the Portland center he became best friends with another Murray accuser, Jeff Simpson.

Alleged abuse around 1984: Jeff Simpson, now 49, lived at the Perry Center for Children in Portland, where Murray worked. He told KIRO that Murray was a father figure to him. Simpson said he met Murray at age 6, and the abuse allegedly when he was 13.

“When I was 13, it wasn't just molesting; he raped me,” he told KIRO. “But it's something that for a while was happening daily.”

Similar to the recent lawsuit claims, Simpson said Murray gave him money for sex, and he used the cash for his drug habit.

“I’ve been living with this all my life. I’ve been hiding this. ... I’ve been living with this shame, this guilt,” said Simpson, who claims he's not part of an anti-gay crusade or seeking money; rather, he said he's just trying to find closure. 

>> Watch more here

Simpson and Anderson have raised the allegations for decades. Simpson talked to police in 1984 and tried to bring a lawsuit against Murray in 2007 with Anderson's support, but his lawyer withdrew from the case.

What new documents say about Simpson: In April, KIRO obtained an unauthenticated 1982 certificate that revealed a foster father relationship. 

Newly disclosed records revealed a Multnomah County prosecutor declined to pursue charges because of Simpson's troubled personality, not because she thought he was lying.

"It was Jeff's emotional instability, history of manipulative behavior and the fact that he has again run away and made himself unavailable that forced my decision," Deputy District Attorney Mary Tomlinson wrote.

She added: "We could not be sure of meeting the high burden of proof in a criminal case — of proof beyond a reasonable doubt and to a moral certainty. However, this in no way means that the District Attorney's Office has decided Jeff's allegations are not true."

The records show that Oregon state closed Murray's home to foster care in April 1984. 

Current responses from the mayor’s team to these allegations:

The mayor’s spokesman, Jeff Reading, acknowledged Simpson and Anderson’s accusations in a news conference on April 6, 2017. 

“The two older accusations were promoted by extreme right-wing anti-gay activists in the midst of the marriage equality campaign, and were thoroughly investigated and dismissed by both law enforcement authorities and the media," Reading said. 

In a written response Sunday regarding Simpson, Murray said the child-welfare investigator never interviewed him and that neither he nor his attorney was informed of the findings at the time. He said the allegations were fully investigated and prosecutors never brought charges.

Mid-'80s allegations:

Alleged abuse around 1986: A 46-year-old Kent man has sued Murray, claiming that while he was a homeless teen addicted to drugs, Murray sexually abused him on numerous occasions in the 1980s.

Delvonn Heckard and his lawyer claim that as a teen, Heckard met Murray on a bus in 1986. Murray propositioned Heckard for private visits to a Capitol Hill apartment and paid $10 to $20 for sexual acts that continued for an extended period of time, the lawsuit claims.

Heckard made specific remarks in the complaint regarding the mayor’s body and a mole on his private area. (Murray's attorney said that allegation is false, see details below.)

Follow this link to read the complaint against Murray, sent to KIRO by the plaintiff’s attorney.

The eight-page lawsuit against Murray contains allegations that Heckard, who was then 15 years old and legally unable to consent, saw another underage boy at the apartment on at least one occasion.

 >> Watch more here

Attorneys for Heckard wrote in the complaint that speculation would lead people to believe that their client's actions are politically motivated. They claim that is "not exactly true," and that D.H. "believes that the public has a right to full information when a trusted official exploits a child," according to the lawsuit.

Heckard admits in the complaint that he was convicted of various charges related to drug use and prostitution.

Attorney Lincoln Beauregard said his client, Heckard, decided to delay the case in June for a few months as he finishes counseling.

In the initial lawsuit, Heckard claims that counseling partially prompted him to file the lawsuit because he experienced moments of reflection and awareness after his father’s death.

Current responses from the mayor’s team to these allegations:

Since the news of the lawsuit broke, the mayor’s team called the accusation false and politically motivated.

The mayor’s private attorney, Bob Sulkin, believes the lawsuit should be dropped after Murray’s examination at The PolyClinic showed no mole as specifically described in the complaint. In addition to an exam taken by the mayor on Tuesday, Sulkin also cited a 2015 normal exam that he said found no abnormalities.

A copy of that exam shows Murray took a normal genitourinary exam that showed “no dermatologic lesions such as a mole, freckle or keratosis present" in the area.

 >> Watch more here

Sulkin said the doctor who gave the exam on April 11 has seen Murray for years. 

D.H.'s attorney said in statement that they would explore the need for an independent medical exam as ordered by the court. Sulkin told KIRO that he'd agree to have the mayor examined by a doctor not representing either side of lawsuit. 

Allegations in the '80s, no specific year:

Alleged abuse sometime in the '80s: Attorney Lincoln Beauregard, who also represents Heckard, filed the handwritten declaration by Maurice Levon Jones claims he, too, was given money in exchange for sex as a teenager. 

Jones is currently in King County jail on drug charges. In the statement filed with the King County court by Heckard’s attorney, Jones wrote:

“Mr. Murray was known for patronizing child prostitutes at the time.”

>> Watch more here

Jones said he also visited Murray’s Capitol Hill apartment and wrote, “Mr. Murray gave me money for sex.” He has not filed his own lawsuit against Murray. 

Beauregard told KIRO that the abuse happened around the time of the other cases. He did not give a specific year.

Current responses from the mayor’s team to these allegations:

KIRO reached out to the mayor's team for comment and received the following statement:

“As we’ve seen repeatedly from opposing counsel, this filing fits firmly into the category of sensational media stunt. Mayor Murray does not know this person. This is an ambush copycat false accusation that is being made without any details, evidence, timeline or anything at all to substantiate its veracity. Mayor Murray has never had inappropriate relations with any minor, and Mayor Murray has never paid for sex. This allegation is false.”

Why councilwoman calls for stepping down

Murray first announced in May that he would not seek re-election amid a lawsuit that claimed he sexually abused a homeless, drug-addicted teen in the '80s. But after the lawsuit was delayed, speculation rose that the mayor would try to run the race as a write-in candidate.

Murray said in a news conference, while endorsing former U.S. attorney Jenny Durkan, that it was not in the best interest of Seattle for him to re-enter the race for mayor. Meanwhile, coucilwoman González is asking him to considering stepping down. 

“Since April, our City has reeled in the aftermath of sexual abuse allegations made against Mayor Ed Murray. I, like many in our community, take these allegations seriously. As a civil rights lawyer, I also take seriously a person’s inalienable right to due process as guaranteed by our U.S. Constitution," she in part of a lengthy statement. 

"I am incredibly grateful to the Mayor and his staff. The Mayor’s collaborative approach and his tireless commitment to public service is to be admired. These achievements and my admiration for his ability to get things done are why I endorsed his bid for re-election before these allegations came to light. 

“I am, however, now deeply concerned about this Mayor’s ability to continue leading the Executive branch in light of the recently released documents. While the caseworker’s report is not proof of criminal guilt, the gravity of the materials in the findings and the continued attention these issues will receive, raise questions about the ability of the Mayor, his office, his Department heads and senior management to remain focused on the critical issues facing our city. As a result, I am asking the Mayor to consider stepping down as Mayor and to work collaboratively with a subcommittee of the City Council to craft an Executive Leadership Transition Strategy."

González isn't the first to ask the mayor to consider stepping down.

Multiple mayoral candidates responded in May, with some calling on the mayor to resign. Some candidates on Monday, including Cary Moon and Nikkita Oliver, reiterated that call for him to step down from his role as mayor. 

Murray not stepping down 

The mayor released a statement late Monday afternoon that said he would not resign. Read his entire statement below. 

“Since the day several months ago when sexual abuse allegations surfaced against me in the media, I have been clear that those allegations are false. They remain just as false today as they were back then.

“But I also know that the allegations about events more than 30 years ago have created a cloud of uncertainty in the public mind. That is why in May I announced that I would not seek reelection to the job that I love, serving as mayor of Seattle. As I said at the time, it was a very difficult and painful decision for me, but upon reflection I felt that putting the best interests of the city first meant that I had to announce that I would step aside and allow someone else to take leadership of City government at the end of my term.

“Guiding my decisions is my continued focus on what is in the best interest of the city. I know that today a member of the Council has issued a statement calling on me to resign, and warning of action against me if I do not. I continue to believe such a course of action would not be in the city’s best interest. That is why I am not going to resign, and intend to complete the few remaining months of my term as mayor.

“My administration and I continue to govern the city effectively, and I am proud that we continue to deliver results that will improve the lives of the people of Seattle. Last week we announced the opening of an innovative, 75-bed Navigation Center to help house homeless people suffering on our streets. Today we are announcing an agreement to expand the use of body cameras by Seattle Police, so we can increase transparency and accountability and strengthen the bonds of trust between police and our communities. And we have many more important announcements coming over the next few months.

“Seattle needs steady, focused leadership over the next several months. We have a lot of work to do. Establishing an effective transition between administrations takes months of careful planning and preparation – work that I and my team have already begun. We do not need the sort of abrupt and destabilizing transition that a resignation would create, likely bringing the City’s business to a grinding halt. Council action against me would similarly prevent the City’s business from continuing, only so I can again show these allegations from 30 years remain false.”

Open carry of knives, swords will be allowed under new Texas law

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently signed a bill into law effectively removing restrictions on the use and possession of several types of knives and other edged weaponsWFAA reports.

HB 1935 replaces the term “illegal knife” with “location-restricted knife” in laws regarding punishments for the use of firearms or clubbing weapons.

>> Razor blades found melted into slides at 2 Texas parks

The types of edged weapons that are no longer restricted include:

“(A) a knife with a blade over five and one-half inches;(B) a hand instrument designed to cut or stab another by being thrown; (e.g. throwing knives, “ninja stars”)(C) a dagger, including a dirk, stiletto, and poniard;(D) a Bowie knife;(E) a sword; or(F) a spear.”

According to the Houston Press, the law removes restrictions on possessing such weapons, carrying them into public or selling them to underage buyers.

HB 1935 still restricts users from carrying these weapons onto college campuses, nursing homes, sporting events and establishments that sell alcohol. The law also prohibits school-age children from carrying these types of weapons on school grounds or during school activities.

The new regulations come following a loosening of Texas’ so-called “illegal knife” laws:

>> Read more trending news

In 2013, the legislature removed the restrictions on the possession of switchblade knives. Two years later, legislators voted to pass a law prohibiting local jurisdictions from making ordinances regarding knives more restrictive than those same laws at the state level.

These changes also follow the Texas trend of “open carry” laws:

In January 2016, a law allowing an open carry of firearms, except in bars and other establishments, took effect, WOAI reported.

The knife “open carry” law goes into effect Sept. 1.

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