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One-armed Maine residents whip out switchblades

State Senate approval for 'emergency use'

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In good news for one-armed residents of Maine for whom conventional knives just don't cut it, the state's Senate has agreed to allow them to carry switchblades.

The bold legislative move will "eliminate a need for one-armed people to be forced to open folding knives with their teeth in emergencies", as Reuters nicely puts it.

In case you're wondering just type of situation would require the swift deployment of a flick knife, the bill was requested by amputee lawyer Paul Dumas Jr, who rides horses and explained he "can’t react quickly enough in emergencies when he needs to cut a piece of rope".

Until now, no one in Maine was allowed to whip out a switchblade, which means the state is poised to become "the first to make such an exception to laws that ban use of the spring-action knives".

The knives will, however, be limited to a blade three inches or shorter, in keeping with a federal flick knife law which delightfully "allows their use by a person with one arm only on federal property if the blade is shorter than three inches". ®

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