Lawmakers advance legalization of switchblades

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Associated Press

Posted on May 17, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Updated Friday, May 17 at 5:06 PM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A move to legalize switchblade knives is nearing success in Texas.

In a unanimous vote on Friday, the Senate Criminal Justice Committee advanced the bill. It has already cleared the House.

The automatic knives were outlawed across the country as an anti-gang measure in the 1950s. Several states have legalized them in the last few years at the urging of collectors and outdoorsmen.

The measure's author, Houston Democrat Harold Dutton, had originally said he wanted to use the knife bill to open a debate on weapons laws, including gun control. But conservative Republicans embraced the measure, and it has produced few opportunities for debate.

After a quick vote as his desk, Committee Chairman John Whitmire shrugged. He said, "I figure everybody's got a switchblade if they want one anyway."

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