Teens buying knives, other weapons at Kentucky State Fair

Teens buying knives, other weapons at Kentucky State Fair
A young State Fair attendee makes a purchase from exhibitor Chiw Mem. (Source: Eric Flack/WAVE 3 News)
A young State Fair attendee makes a purchase from exhibitor Chiw Mem. (Source: Eric Flack/WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - You can buy a lot of things at the Kentucky State Fair. That includes knives and other weapons, which in some cases are being sold to teens as young as 13 years old.

Chiw Mem is willing to cut you a deal on all the the knives and blades he's selling at the Fair, which his customers are happy about since some of them aren't even old enough to have a job.

WAVE 3 News watched two kids pay $10 apiece for butterfly knives, which they promptly whipped out and started playing with right in the middle of the Expo Center.

Later, a 15-year-old walked away with two daggers for which he paid a total of $30.

Mem defended selling the weapons to teens, saying they are perfectly safe.

"They collect," Mem said of the teens. "A lot of kids will collect this. They have all kinds of knives at home."

One sixteen-year-old told WAVE 3 News he is one of those teens as he browsed Mem's wide selection.

"I have a couple machetes and stuff," the teen said, pointing to knives on Mem's table. "A couple of these. I bought a few from him last year. When I was 15."

So what does the law say about all this? There is no minimum age to buy a knife in Kentucky. But you are supposed to be 21 or older to carry anything listed in Kentucky's statutes as a deadly weapon. Like the brass knuckles Mem sold to an 18-year-old.

Things are a little less clear when it comes to the 13- and 15-year-olds who walked away with those knives.

Kentucky law defines a deadly weapon as "any knife other than an ordinary pocket knife or hunting knife." State police said whether these would fall into that category is a grey area.

WAVE 3 News asked the the state fair board about all this. A spokesperson said vendors are required to follow all state and local laws, but have yet to comment further. Tonight at 11, see video of some of these transactions and hear from both Mem and some of the teens buying from him, on WAVE 3 News.

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