Switchblades OK for One-Armed Maine Residents

April 10, 2011 Updated: April 10, 2011
Maine lawmakers have approved of a new law that allows one-armed residents to carry switchblades.

The bill was requested by Paul Dumas Jr., an amputee lawyer in the town of Mexico in western Maine. A horse rider, Dumas explained that in an emergency, he would be unable to react quickly enough to cut rope with only one arm, and said he is also tired of opening knives with his teeth.

Lawmakers approved the bill last week. Maine would be the first state to legalize the carrying of spring-action knives. They are usually legal to own but not to carry.

Federal law already grants permission to one-armed people to use switchblades on federal property as long as the blade does not exceed 3 inches. Backers of the bill explain that the new law would put Maine in compliance with federal laws, according to the Bangor Daily News.

Currently it is considered a misdemeanor to carry spring-action knives.

The Maine Legislature’s Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety studied the matter.