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California Passes Pioneering Kirpan Bill, First in US

India-West, Posted: Sep 09, 2009

The California Senate Sept. 1 passed a bill that would mandate kirpan (the ceremonial knives Sikhs wear) training for all police officers in the state.

The proposed law the first of its kind in the nation was passed June 1 in the California state assembly. It next moves on to the desk of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for approval.

California law prohibits concealed weapons; thus, many Sikhs have been arrested in the state for hiding their kirpans, which are normally dull blades about five inches in length, and required as an article of faith by the religion.

The Sikh Coalition said it has successfully resolved more than 20 criminal cases over the past seven years involving mistaken arrests of Sikhs carrying kirpans



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