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Politics

Bill to legalize switchblades reaches Governor’s desk

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Torus Mastaz
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Switchblades could soon be legal under a new bill headed to the Governor’s desk.

The bill passed the house Tuesday with near unanimous support.

Republican State Senator Rick Jones sponsored the legislation. He said the ban grew out of fears created by movies like West Side Story.

“Some people have expressed ‘well why are switchblades outlawed anyway.’ And truly what it is are all the old movies that people grew up seeing like Twelve Angry Men and Blackboard Jungle and these horrible evil switchblade knives were in the movies and I think that’s why we’ve got a lot of legislation against them.”

Michigan’s longstanding ban made it illegal to possess or sell switchblades and included maximum penalties of a $300 fine or a year in prison.

Jones said the ban was poorly enforced and unfairly impacted those caught. .

“So what I sought to do is to make sure a lot of young people don’t get criminalized for carrying this simple utility knife that simply has a button that opens it.”

Jones said the ban is simply outdated.

“As a former sheriff I know that no gang member is going to pull out a switchblade when they are probably going to get shot. I want to see young people succeed I don’t want them criminalized for carrying this device.”

The bill received near unanimous support, passing the state House on a vote 106 to one.

Jones says he is hopeful the bill will receive the Governor’s signature.