Worried collectors of ninja stars and ballistic knives in Virginia could soon breathe more easily. A bill to legalize the sale of those weapons and others like it won a committee’s endorsement Wednesday, making way for the legislation to be heard on the Senate floor.
By Cameron Vigliano
Worried collectors of ninja stars and ballistic knifes in Virginia could soon feel relieved that their hobby won’t land them in trouble. A bill to legalize the sale of those weapons and others like it won a committee’s endorsement Wednesday, making way for the legislation to be heard on the Senate floor.
Under current law, it’s allowed to possess blackjacks, brass knuckles, ninja stars, switchblades, bowie knives, stilettos, ballistic knives and daggers. But selling those items is illegal and punishable as a class 4 misdemeanor.
“I haven’t heard of any rash of blackjack crime, or ninja throwing star, or even dart crime,” said Sen. Thomas Garrett, R-Hadensville, the chief sponsor of SB 1130. “I think it’s something collectors should be allowed to sell.”
Proponents say a law like this would clear the hazy area between legal possession of weapons like blackjacks and possession with intent to sell or barter. Right now, people who are suspected of intending to sell these weapons must prove they are simply a collector and not a seller.
The Senate Courts of Justice Committee held a hearing on Garrett’s bill Wednesday. The panel approved SB 1130 on a 9-4 vote split along party lines. Republicans favored the bill; Democrats opposed it.
It’s important to note that the legislation would not change Virginia’s concealment law regarding these types of weapons. It is illegal to carry these knives and other weapons in a concealed manner. The state law says:
If any person carries about his person, hidden from common observation … any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, machete, razor, slingshot, spring stick, metal knucks, blackjack, throwing star or oriental dart; or any weapon of like kind as those enumerated in this subsection, he is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.”
It is legal in Virginia to carry a concealed handgun if you have a permit.
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How They Voted
How members of the Senate Courts of Justice Committee voted on SB 1130 (Blackjacks and other similar weapons; sale or possession of with intent to sell):
02/04/15 Senate: Reported from Courts of Justice (9-Y 4-N)
- YEAS – Norment, Obenshain, McDougle, Stuart, Vogel, Stanley, Reeves, Garrett, Chafin – 9.
- NAYS – Saslaw, Howell, Edwards, McEachin – 4.
Photo by: Funky64 (www.lucarossato.com)