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NY Lawmaker: Carrying Machete Should Lead To Year In Jail

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A New York state senator wants machete possession to result in up to a year in jail.

Proposed legislation by State Sen. Tony Avella is prompted by recent attacks, including last summer's hacking death of a teenager on Long Island.

"I can't see any useful purpose for a machete, especially in the metropolitan area," the Queens Democrat told 1010 WINS. "So I introduced the bill to classify this as a dangerous weapon because when you think about it, somebody yields a machete with intent to do harm it's as lethal as a gun."

Currently, switchblades and gravity knives are listed as dangerous weapons, but not machetes.

"I thought it was a glaring omission that a machete is not considered a dangerous weapon," Avella said. "It can be several feet long and as sharp as any knife could ever be."

Avella said classifying machetes as a dangerous weapon doesn't mean owning it is a crime.

"If you use it with intent to do harm then it falls under the category of a dangerous weapon and kicks in penalties," Avella said.

Under current state law, machetes are considered the same as butcher knives, the Daily News reported. Carrying one could result in up to 15 days in jail and a $300 fine.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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