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Switchblade ban repeal headed to House

Apr 22, 2017

Michigan's ban on switchblades could soon be repealed.

The state Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of repealing the ban.

The bill's sponsor, state Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, was inspired by 1950s Hollywood movies depicting their use in gang violence. Jones says those depictions were unrealistic and the law is outdated. He says that a switchblade is no more dangerous than other types of small knives, and is not being used in any significant numbers in violent crime.

"As a police officer of 30 years, I can tell you that if somebody were to pull out a switchblade in a gang fight, they probably would get shot," says Jones.

Under current law, police, members of the military, and people with only one arm can legally own a switchblade. For others, switchblades are illegal to sell or possess, with possible penalties of up to a year in jail and a $300 fine. However, they are also very common and freely available, so many people may purchase one without realizing it is illegal.