Switchblades May Become Legal In Illinois

(CBS) — It’s up to Gov. Bruce Rauner now: whether to sign a bill that would legalize and regulate switchblades in Illinois.

State Rep. Brian Stewart, R-Freeport, says these are not like the Sharks and the Jets used in West Side Story. He says they’re important tools.

“These are spring-assisted devices,” Stewart says.

He differentiates them from the nefarious switchblade. The lawmaker argues law enforcement and the military can benefit from their use. An example, he says, would be an EMT cutting a seat belt off a crash victim stuck in a car.

“I think we have enough weapons out in the world right now,” countered state Rep. Kathleen Willis, D-Addison.

Stewart says even a butter knife can be used as a weapon.

The bill passed the Senate unanimously but made it out of the House with only one vote to spare.

Senate Bill 607 awaits the governor’s action.

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