Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Breaking News

June 5, 2013

Decades-old switchblade ban will come to an end July 1

INDIANAPOLIS — For more than a half-century, the only legal access that most Hoosiers had to switchblades was viewing them in the hands of youthful hoodlums in movies such as West Side Story and Rebel Without a Cause.

That’s soon to end.

Come July 1, Indiana will join a growing number of states rolling back their decades-old prohibitions on automatic spring-loaded knives, better known as switchblades.

A small provision tucked into a larger hunting and fishing bill does away with a 1957 law that made it a misdemeanor crime to manufacture, possess, display, offer, sell, lend, give away, or purchase switchblades in Indiana.

“It was an obsolete law,” said state Sen. Jim Tomes, a Republican from Posey County who supported the change.

His argument: There is very little difference between the illegal spring-loaded switchblade of the past and the one-handed, spring-assisted handheld knives that are legally on the market and widely sold today.

During a hearing on the issue earlier this year, Tomes demonstrated how both knives could be opened quickly with one hand.

“No one could tell the difference. Maybe the law made some sense back in the ‘50s,” Tomes said, citing a rash of state and federal laws from that era that criminalized switchblades in response to fears that it was the weapon of choice for youth gangs. “But today, it doesn’t make sense.”

Tomes successfully made that argument in the Senate during the 2013 session, which ended in April. His bill to lift the ban won unanimous support in the Senate, but was stalled in the House – as similar bills in the past have – when it didn’t get a hearing.

But it got new life in the final days of the session, when a legislative conference committee put the switchblade language into House Bill 1563, a wildlife and fishing bill that makes it legal for hunters in Indiana to use lawfully possessed suppressors, also known as silencers, on firearms while

hunting. That House bill, signed into law in May by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, goes into effect July 1.

For supporting the repeal of the switchblade ban, Tomes and a Senate colleague, state Sen. Johnny Nugent of Lawrenceburg, were honored by Knife Rights, Inc., a national organization modeled after the National Rifle Association. They were given the organization’s Freedom’s Edge Award.

Tomes said Knife Rights didn’t ask him directly to support the repeal of the switchblade law.

But Knife Rights founder Doug Ritter did call on his organization’s supporters, which include musician and gun-rights advocate Ted Nugent, to contact Indiana legislators to support the bill.  

“We had a lot to do with it,” Ritter said of the switchblade repeal.

Indiana is one of five states that passed laws this year repealing bans on switchblades. The others include Kansas, Alaska, Tennessee, and Texas. Since 2010, Arizona, Georgia, New Hampshire, and Utah have also passed similar laws, repealing bans on some knives that had been classified as illegal.

Ritter, a survival-equipment expert, calls the laws “archaic” and a throw-back to an earlier era when switchblades were demonized. Ritter said Knife Rights will continue to work in other states to repeal knife-related laws and likened his organization’s work to that done by the NRA. That is, to use political pressure to convince legislators that law-abiding citizens have a right to bear arms – knives in this case -- under the Second Amendment.

“Knives are essential tools used by millions of Americans every day, at work, at home, while recreating,” Ritter said. “And every now and then, it’s also used as a weapon in to defend one’s self or one’ family,” he said.  

Ritter said his organization will continue its work in 23 states that still have a prohibition on switchblades. He also wants to see legislation introduced next year in Indiana that would lift any local bans on knives, similar to legislation passed three years ago that bars local communities from passing or enforcing local laws regulating firearms.

Maureen Hayden can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com

1
Text Only
Breaking News
  • Police cars hit during multi-county chase According to Middlebury police, officer Gary Smith attempted to locate a silver Saturn leaving McDonald’s on Ind. 13, near U.S. 20 in Middlebury at 11:30 p.m. Monday.

    August 19, 2014

  • GN140820 hospital network hacked.jpg Kosciusko Community, Lutheran hospital among 206 hacked

    WARSAW — Community Health Systems, which operates 206 hospitals including Kosciusko Community Hospital and Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, announced Monday that hackers recently broke into its computers and stole data on 4.5 million patients.

    August 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rick Perry Indicted [GOSHEN NEWS] Texas' Gov. Perry indicted AUSTIN, Texas — A grand jury indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Friday for abusing the powers of his office by carrying out a threat to veto funding for state prosecutors investigating public corruption — making the possible 2016 presidential hopeful his state's first indicted governor in nearly a century.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rail work to close U.S. 33 Sunday, Monday

    The Indiana Department of Transportation announced that U.S. 33 at Ninth Street, is scheduled to close the morning of Sunday, Aug. 17 as Norfolk Southern rebuilds its railroad crossing. 

    August 13, 2014

  • Obit Robin Williams_Selm.jpg Robin Williams, manic comedy star, dead at 63

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Robin Williams, the Academy Award winner and comic supernova whose explosions of pop culture riffs and impressions dazzled audiences for decades and made him a gleamy-eyed laureate for the Information Age, died Monday in an apparent suicide. He was 63.

    August 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mideast Israel Palestinians-12 [GOSHEN NEWS] Israel accepts Egypt's Gaza cease-fire proposal CAIRO — Israel and the Hamas militant group on Sunday accepted a renewed Egyptian cease-fire proposal, clearing the way for the resumption of talks on a long-term truce meant to end a month of heavy fighting in the Gaza Strip that has taken nearly 2,000 lives.

    August 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mideast Iraq [GOSHEN NEWS] US officials: New round of airstrikes near Irbil NEW DELHI — American officials say the U.S. launched a second round of airstrikes against Islamic State targets near Irbil on Friday, using drones and fighter jets. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to

    August 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Millersburg under boil order

    August 5, 2014

  • Concord classrooms will get technology update

    August 4, 2014

  • Name of man found dead in parking lot released

    August 4, 2014

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Manfred, Torre and MLB Take Ice Bucket Challenge Bank of America Reaches Record $17B Settlement Holder Reassures Ferguson Community With Visit GlobalPost CEO Remembers Foley As a Brave Man Seth Meyers Rolls Out Emmy Red Carpet Obama: World Is Appalled by Murder of Journalist Israel, Militants Trade Fire After Talks Fail Pres. George W. Bush Takes Ice Bucket Challenge Pierce Brosnan's Call to Join the Expendables Changes Coming to No-Fly List Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape Texas Gov. Perry: Indictment 'a Political Act'
Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
     View Results