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COA: Switchblade ban not unconstitutional

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A portion of Indiana Code that prohibits a person from owning a switchblade isn't unconstitutional as applied to a defendant and doesn't place a material burden upon the core value of the right to defend herself, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.

At issue in April Lacy v. State of Indiana, No. 31A04-0810-CR-571, is whether Indiana Code Section 35-47-5-2, which defines the crime of possession of a knife with an automatic opening blade, is unconstitutional.

Lacy argued the code is unconstitutional on its face and as applied to her, and violates her right to bear arms under Article 1, Section 32 of the Indiana Constitution. The Court of Appeals passed over Lacy's argument the code is unconstitutional on its face and instead focused on whether its application in her case was unconstitutional.

Indiana courts have already held the right to bear arms is not absolute, but the state hasn't addressed the constitutionality of a statute that prohibits a specific arm. The statute in question here doesn't completely ban a class of weapons but bans only knives that automatically open or may be propelled by a device.

The Court of Appeals didn't agree with Lacy that the Oregon Supreme Court case State v. Delgado, 298 Or. 395 692 P.2d 610 (1984), was persuasive for her argument.

"In summary, we cannot say that switchblades are typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for self defense purposes. We also conclude that Ind. Code Section 35-47-5-2 is limited because it does not prohibit the possession of all knives but only knives that open automatically or 'may be propelled ... by hand pressure applied to a button, device containing gas, spring, or other device in the handle of the knife,'" wrote Judge Elaine Brown. "Based upon these conclusions, we hold that Ind. Code Section 35-47-5-2 does not place a material burden upon the core value of Lacy's right to defend herself."

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  1. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  2. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  3. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  4. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  5. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

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