INDIANAPOLIS | If the musical "West Side Story" makes a comeback, with its singing and dancing street gang members wielding switchblade knives, Indiana may be ready.

A Senate committee Tuesday voted 9-0 for Senate Bill 181, legalizing the sale and possession of spring-loaded knives, also known as switchblades.

"Maybe back in the '50s there was a feel-good reason to ban them, but today it just doesn't make sense," said state Sen. Jim Tomes, R-Wadesville, sponsor of the proposal.

Tomes said his legislation will help Hoosiers with arthritis and others, such as paramedics, who'd benefit from being able to quickly open a knife by pressing a button.

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