The Tennessee state senate approved statewide knife-law preemption yesterday, but not before a last-minute smear campaign by the Tennessee Sheriff’s Association gutted other major provisions of the bill. It now goes to Governor Haslam for his signature, but it’s not half the bill it should have been.
The original version of HB581 would have preempted local knife laws, legalized automatic knives and allowed the carry of blades over 4 inches. but hysterical testimony from Sheriff’s Association executive director Terry Ashe (above) nearly killed the whole deal.
Sheriff Ashe testified (with a straight face, I may add) that switchblades should remain illegal because they’re too intimidating. He claimed that police officers would mistake the sound of an automatic knife for the sound of a shotgun slide being racked. “It even sounds like a shotgun rack, if you want to get right down to it.”
Maybe it does, if you’ve spent too much time at the qualification range with no hearing protection. If Sheriff Ashe can’t hear the difference between a knife and a shotgun, it’s probably time to change his hearing-aid batteries.
After Ashe’s testimony, the bill’s sponsors agreed to castrate the bill by deleting the switchblade and over-4″ carry legalization sections. The preemption (and nothing but preemption) bill now awaits the governor’s signature.
Read more at kniferights.org