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MOLINE — Anyone caught carrying a switchblade knife in public areas of the city will face a penalty unless they have the proper identification. 

Moline City Council members on Tuesday advanced interim Police Chief RT Finney’s request that individuals who have a valid FOID (Firearm Owners Identification card) be allowed to carry switchblade knives in public parks and public right-of-ways in the city.

Switchblade knives are already illegal in public places.

The new ordinance will be discussed again at the March 5 regular meeting. If approved, the amendment to the city's "Unlawful Use of Weapons" ordinance will mirror state law. 

"I would like to change the ordinance to reflect state statute," Finney said. 

State code identifies a switchblade knife as a knife that opens automatically by pressing a button or spring in the handle of the knife. 

"If you own a gun, you can carry a switchblade knife," Finney said. "Literally, you can bring a knife to a gunfight."

"Chief, how long have you been waiting to use that joke?" Ald. David Parker, Ward 2, said. 

"Since I found out about this ordinance," Finney replied.

Weapons such as throwing stars, air guns, spring-loaded guns, bludgeons, blackjacks, slingshots, sand-clubs, sandbags, metal knuckles or other knuckle weapons and ballistic knives, which is a device that propels a knife-like blade as a projectile by means of a coil spring, elastic material or compressed gas are also prohibited.

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