Michigan's ban on switchblades could soon be repealed.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 Jones says those depictions were unrealistic and the law is outdated.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.