McAuliffe vetoes bills legalizing carry concealed switchblades, giving minors access to weapons for sport

Terry McAuliffe
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(WJHL) – Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoed two Senate bills on Monday.

According to press releases from McAuliffe’s office, the governor first vetoed Senate Bill 1347, which would make it legal to carry a concealed switchblade knife for the purpose of “engaging in a lawful profession or lawful recreational activity the performance of which is aided by the knife.”

The bill would also legalize switchblade-related transactions, including the sale, bartering, giving or furnishing of switchblade knives.

McAuliffe said in a statement on Monday that the Virginia Code does not define “lawful profession” or “recreational activity,” thus putting a burden on law enforcement to determine if a person is engaged in a lawful profession or recreational activity.

He also added that “there is no compelling need to add to the list of weapons that can be lawfully concealed from public view and easily traded. Legalizing the concealed carry of switchblade knives would needlessly endanger the lives of Virginians. Furthermore, the laws of the United States prohibit the manufacture, transportation or distribution of switchblade knives.”

McAuliffe also vetoed Senate Bill 865, allowing unrestricted furnishing of lethal weapons to minors.

“Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto Senate Bill 865, which would provide an exemption to the prohibition against furnishing specified types of knives to minors,” McAuliffe said in a statement Monday. “Under the bill, such a transfer would be permissible if between family members or ‘for the purpose of engaging in a sporting event or activity.’ ”

McAuliffe said “sporting event or activity” is undefined and said encouraging minors to have weapons intended for injuring or killing is “contrary to the welfare of our youth and Commonwealth.”

He said the bill would be difficult for law enforcement officers to determine if a minor meets the criteria of the bill.

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