A new bill introduced into the Pennsylvania House of Representative will continue the trend toward allowing citizens more freedom when it comes to possessing and carrying knives, according to the American Knife and Tool Institute.
The bill will remove the strict prohibition of switchblades and prevent cities in Pennsylvania from creating their own knife laws that are stricter than the state’s. This means the knife laws will be consistent throughout the state, so someone carrying a knife in one city wouldn’t be subject to fines or arrest in another.
What the bill will do is alter the definition of “offensive weapon” in the Crimes and Offenses statute to remove switchblades. Dan Lawson, AKTI Legal Contributing Counsel, made a very interesting point about the use of switchblades:
“It may be interesting to note that there are a number of states which never adopted a switchblade prohibition. These states include Oregon, Idaho, North Dakota and Arizona. I would suggest…that there is no discernible difference in knife crime in states with extremely stringent knife laws and states with relatively lenient or no knife laws.”
Switchblades serve many helpful purposes to search and rescue workers who might need to open knives with one hand. The ban against switchblades is antiquated and unnecessary, many argue. The fact that knife crime rates show no differences in states with more lenient switchblade laws is evidence.