Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bill seeks to let one-armed people use switchblades

A local lawmaker has proposed a bill to allow one-armed people to have and carry switchblade knives.

State Rep. Sheryl Briggs, D-Mexico, said Friday that she's asking Maine to comply with a federal law that allows individuals with one arm to own or carry any switchblade knife with a blade of 3 inches or less.

“Obviously, people with just one arm cannot open anything but that type of a blade, that type of a knife,” she said. “So all we're asking is for the people with one arm to be exempt.”

A switchblade knife has a blade that opens automatically by hand pressure or opens, falls or is ejected into position.

Briggs said one-armed Mexico lawyer Paul Dumas Jr. asked her to propose the legislation.

“It's a spinoff currently of federal law,” Dumas said on Friday afternoon. “If I had a spring-assisted knife and I was in federal jurisdiction, I wouldn't be breaking the law, but under Maine law I would be.”

Maine's law states that anyone caught with a switchblade knife or who makes, displays, offers, sells, lends, gives away or buys such knives, is guilty of trafficking in dangerous knives. It is a misdemeanor crime.

In a March 2010 letter to Briggs, Dumas wrote, “This statute utterly fails to accommodate persons who cannot use two hands to open a knife.”

He also stated that such a bill “would be a plainly common-sense amendment to Maine's knife law.”

“It gets tough to open up a knife one-handed,” Dumas said Friday. “I use my teeth sometimes and that isn't very safe.” ....

via Bill seeks to let one-armed people use switchblades | River Valley.

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