The 1,300 stabbings over the last three years in Boston can be reduced, authorities said, if city officials begin to license and regulate stores that sell knives.

 

“The push is that we need to know where these knives are being distributed and we need to be able to regulate that,” said Councilor Tito Jackson.

 

At issue during a City Council committee hearing Thursday was the sale of knives at stores, particularly convenience stores. City councilors are examining whether to license and regulate stores that sell knives.

 

Detectives from Boston and Transit police testified about the access minors have to knives. A city ordinance forbids the sale of knives with blades longer than 2 inches to people under 18. However, during a sting operation, Boston police working with a 17-year-old were able to purchase knives from three stores along Dudley Street for between $5 and $10, said Boston Police officials.

 

Last year, 32 knives were seized from youths during a truancy program, said Transit Police Lt. Detective Mark Gillespie.

 

The initiative had the backing of relatives of those killed by knives.

“It shouldn’t be that kids could go into community stores and purchase knives like cupcakes,” said Sarah Flint-Glover, whose son James was stabbed to death in 1981. “Why not license and make neighborhood stores accountable?”