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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. For many years this young man was "family" being my cousin's son. Then he decided to ignore my existence and that of my daughter who was very hurt by his actions after growing up admiring, Jason. Glad he is doing well, as for his opinion, if you care so much you wouldn't ignore the feelings of those who cared so much about you for years, Jason.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

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