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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. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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