Bill to Lift Switchblade Ban Passes Senate


NASHVILLE (AP) – The Senate has approved legislation that seeks to lift Tennessee's ban on switchblades.

The proposal sponsored by Republican Sen. Mike Bell of Riceville was approved 27-3 on Thursday. The companion bill is scheduled to be heard next week in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee.

The measure would also end restrictions on carrying blades longer than 4 inches.

"If a citizen wants to carry that type of knife with them for self-defense, they should have that right," Bell said.

The bill would set statewide rules for knives, meaning that local governments would no longer be able to set their own restrictions.

He noted that some cities have antiquated language in their current code. For instance, he said in one city it states, "if you're a conductor on a steam freight train you can carry a switchblade knife."

Under the proposal, it would be against the law to carry a switchblade on school property.

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