Are Speed-Safe knives illegal in Texas???


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Fburgtx
January 9, 2009, 08:51 PM
Noticed this story in the news today. I've been planning on getting one for some time. You can find them at Wal-Mart and Academy pretty easily. What say all you knife experts???


http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2009/01/knives_out_lawsuit_claims_stor.php

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nalioth
January 9, 2009, 09:09 PM
They're not switchblades, as defined by law.

scottgun
January 9, 2009, 09:11 PM
There is no "switch" on the Kershaws, so it can't be defined as a switch-blade. A slight technicality and a brilliant design.

ServiceSoon
January 9, 2009, 09:12 PM
They are illegal in Indiana. There is pending legislation to decriminalize them.

Fburgtx
January 9, 2009, 09:13 PM
Well, apparently some read the law differently than others. Have there been problems in other states with these knives????

jbauch357
January 9, 2009, 09:14 PM
I have one and love it, actually getting another next week I like it so much...

Calling it a switchblade is BS though - there are lots of spring assist knives out there, I don't know why they're specifically targeting Kershaw.

kludge
January 9, 2009, 10:00 PM
They are illegal in Indiana. There is pending legislation to decriminalize them.


"Assisted opening" knives are NOT illegal in Indiana.

The pending legislation is to remove the ban on true switchblades.

TexasRifleman
January 9, 2009, 10:17 PM
So I find this case interesting.

4 private citizens are suing these stores for supposedly violating a state law.

Isn't there something called "standing"?

Can I sue my next door neighbor if I see him run a stop sign?

I'm serious, what puts these 4 people in a position to bring this suit?

jdh
January 9, 2009, 10:43 PM
There is no "switch" on the Kershaws, so it can't be defined as a switch-blade. A slight technicality and a brilliant design.


In Texas they can. From Penal Code 46.01

(11) "Switchblade knife" means any knife that has a blade that folds, closes, or retracts into the handle or sheath, and that:

(A) opens automatically by pressure applied to a button or other device located on the handle; or

(B) opens or releases a blade from the handle or sheath by the force of gravity or by the application of centrifugal force.

nalioth
January 9, 2009, 10:46 PM
There is no "switch" on the Kershaws, so it can't be defined as a switch-blade. A slight technicality and a brilliant design.

In Texas they can. From Penal Code 46.01

(11) "Switchblade knife" means any knife that has a blade that folds, closes, or retracts into the handle or sheath, and that:

(A) opens automatically by pressure applied to a button or other device located on the handle; or

(B) opens or releases a blade from the handle or sheath by the force of gravity or by the application of centrifugal force.

Well, looks like (B) outlaws all folders.

nachosgrande
January 9, 2009, 11:14 PM
When did Texas become so liberal? Are these knives illegal, or just illegal to carry?

Prince Yamato
January 10, 2009, 04:28 AM
Panic over switchblades? OK, someone take the West Side Story DVD away from the soccer mom.

TxState101
January 10, 2009, 06:11 AM
Damn shame that this nonsense was started in Texas.

Thought there were less stupid people here.

Double Naught Spy
January 10, 2009, 09:26 AM
You are here.

So I find this case interesting.

4 private citizens are suing these stores for supposedly violating a state law.

Isn't there something called "standing"?

Can I sue my next door neighbor if I see him run a stop sign?

I'm serious, what puts these 4 people in a position to bring this suit?


Welcome to the USA, home of the Class Action lawsuit. How can this be done? It is defined by federal law. That is how.

scottgun
January 10, 2009, 02:27 PM
In Texas they can. From Penal Code 46.01

(11) "Switchblade knife" means any knife that has a blade that folds, closes, or retracts into the handle or sheath, and that:

(A) opens automatically by pressure applied to a button or other device located on the handle; or

(B) opens or releases a blade from the handle or sheath by the force of gravity or by the application of centrifugal force.

The Kershaws do not fit this criteria.

The folding knives have to fit the criteria of (A) and (B). First with section (A), the knife has to be activated with either a button or other device located on the handle. The Kershaws have changed the shape of the blade so that a section portudes out the spine of the knife, pushing on this portuded portion of the blade forces it open. This is not a button, easy to agree that theres no mechanical button. As for the "other device located on the handle", it is the blade that the operator pushes to open it. All knives have blades by definition, so there is no other device.

Section (B) does not apply because the Kershaw knives do not open with gravity, just the opposite, with the torsion bar they will not open unless pressure is applied to the blade. And there is a category of knives called gravity knives that clearly fall into this section.

hso
January 10, 2009, 03:09 PM
located on the handle

Assisted opening knives have no "device located on the handle", nor do they open automatically.

You must open an AO manually, but then the mechanism carries the blade to the locking position.

Attempts to apply switchblade laws to AO are a conscious attempt to misconstrue the law to restrict them and pop up from time to time.

WRT to individual state laws on switchblades, the switchblade laws are a crazy quilt of individual state and local laws, just like all the knife laws. Some states regulate possession of switchblades and some don't. Some regulate carry of them and some don't. Some make provisions for collectors legally owning them and some don't.

If you want to know what the law is in a particular state you should research them first by looking at the state code.

BTW, both Texas and Indiana switchblade laws require pressure to be applied to something in the handle. AO's don't.

texas bulldog
January 10, 2009, 03:41 PM
until a couple weeks ago, i carried a kershaw leek in texas every day for the past three years. i stopped only because i managed to lose it, and i'm pissed at myself for letting that happen.

i was planning to order another one, and in the meantime i'm carrying a crappy chinese no-name folder i had lying around. i still want to get the same model i had, but this gives me pause (even though i totally agree with hso on why they are not switchblades). since the article provides no documented reference, i'm not sure if i should believe people have actually been charged, indicted, and convicted under switchblade laws in texas for kershaws. anybody care to give their non-lawyerly opinion on that? should i look at getting something else?


as a separate issue, this lawsuit is going nowhere. there is no prohibition against owning switchblades in texas. only against carrying them. thus they can be sold freely. the highly paid lawyers of these retailers will dispatch with this one quickly.

Hawaiian
January 10, 2009, 08:08 PM
The difference is that the Speed Safe design requires you to manually move the blade of the knife for it to open. Ken Onion designed the Speed Safe mechanism after the Honolulu PD showed up at his front door because he was making conventional switchblades with the button and all. They explained that he should stop making them or he would be arrested. Auto knives are illegal to posess in Hawaii. Thus, the birth of the Speed Safe opening mechansim as it did not fall under the definition of a switchblade knife.

jdh
January 10, 2009, 09:01 PM
The last word in A is OR not AND.

There was a case in Denton country a few years ago where an officer held a large but legal length folder by the blade with the handle down and flicked his wrist. The weight of the handle caused the blade to partially open. He filed and illegal knife charge against the owner. Never heard the outcome of that one.

Just remember, you may beat the rap but you won't beat the ride (to jail).

mp510
January 12, 2009, 02:01 AM
Under Texas case law, assissted opening knives are considered switchblades and are thus illegal to carry.

http://www.4thcoa.courts.state.tx.us/opinions/HTMLopinion.asp?OpinionID=20743

mp510
January 12, 2009, 02:02 AM
Under Texas case law, assissted opening knives are considered switchblades and are thus illegal to carry.

See Thomas v. State

http://www.4thcoa.courts.state.tx.us/opinions/HTMLopinion.asp?OpinionID=20743

mp510
January 12, 2009, 02:03 AM
Under Texas case law, assissted opening knives are considered switchblades and are thus illegal to carry.

See Thomas v. State

http://www.4thcoa.courts.state.tx.us/opinions/HTMLopinion.asp?OpinionID=20743

ThomasMore
January 28, 2009, 02:10 AM
Thomas v. State is merely a memorandum opinion. This means it does not create precedent, persuasive or mandatory. Therefore, it is not “Texas law.” It is only a judicial opinion specifically entitled to authority over Mr. Thomas and no one else. It appears the question of whether a spring assist knife is considered a “switchblade knife” will be determined on a case by case basis. I carry mine with confidence.

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