A Commonwealth of Virginia Website
This news release is from the previous Governor's administration.
For Immediate Release: February 20, 2017
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Brian Coy, 804-225-4260, Brian.Coy@governor.virginia.gov

Governor McAuliffe Vetoes Bill Legalizing the Carrying of a Concealed Switchblade Knife


Governor Terry McAuliffe today vetoed legislation legalizing the carrying of a concealed switchblade knife. The bill also sought to legalize the sale of such knives. The Governor’s full veto statement is below:

February 20, 2017

Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto House Bill 1432, which legalizes the carrying of a concealed switchblade knife when it is carried for the purpose of engaging in a lawful profession or lawful recreational activity the performance of which is aided by the knife. This bill also legalizes the sale, bartering, giving or furnishing of switchblade knives.

Virginia Code does not define “lawful profession” or “recreational activity.” This modification will create a burden on law enforcement to determine whether a person is engaged in a lawful profession or recreational activity. The enforcement of this law would be challenging at best. 

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.

Accordingly, I veto this bill.



Terence R. McAuliffe