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One-hand-opening knives OK in Kansas, House decides

Assisted-opening knifeTOPEKA — The state House gave final approval today to a bill legalizing pocket knives that can be opened with one hand.Switchblade knifeThe law would still ban switchblades — spring-loaded knives that open at the press of a button — but allow spring-assisted knives that can be opened one-handed by a stud attached to the blade.

Lawmakers who supported the bill said the knives are already widely available and used for hunting, fishing and farm and construction work, unlike switchblades which are more associated with stabbings and street mayhem.

The bill was prompted by requests from knifemakers who wanted assurances that their products would not be construed as deadly weapons in Kansas.

The knife provision is part of a larger bill described by supporters as a “cleanup” of the state concealed-carry law.Key changes relating to guns include:

– Prohibiting government agencies and private employers and business owners from banning concealed weapons in their parking lots and garages.

– Changing the rules to deny concealed-carry licenses to ex-convicts. Language originally written into the state law was deleted in favor of language used in federal law. Rep. Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls, who carried the bill on the floor, said the federal requirements to get a permit are stricter than what was in the original bill.

– Requiring more prominent signage to notify permit-holders when guns are banned from a building.

The bill now goes to the governor to sign or veto.–