AUSTIN (May 17, 2013)--In a unanimous vote on Friday, the Texas Senate Criminal Justice Committee advanced a bill that would legalize switchblades.
The measure has already cleared the House.
The knives were outlawed across the country as an anti-gang measure in the 1950s, but several states have legalized them in the last few years at the urging of collectors and outdoorsmen.
The measure's author, state Rep. Harold Dutton, D-Houston. originally said he wanted to use the knife bill to open a debate on weapons laws, including gun control, but conservative Republicans embraced the measure, and it has produced few opportunities for debate.
After a quick vote as his desk, Committee Chairman John Whitmire shrugged.
"I figure everybody's got a switchblade if they want one anyway,” he said.