1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.


Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by hso, Nov 8, 2009.

  1. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Possession and carry of switchblades is legal, but regulated, in various states.

    18 states permit carry of switchblade. Most of them don't permit concealed carry so know what your state regulations are.

    26 states permit possession of switchblades. IOW, you can collect and show them, just not carry them unless you also live in a state that permits carry. Know what your state regulations are.

    There are several switchblade law sites, but this is my favorite - http://pweb.netcom.com/~brlevine/sta-law.htm

    Interstate sale of switchblades is regulated and restricted to "bona fide" dealers who sell to authorized agents of the government. It doesn't matter that you see them at gun shows and in the mall, the interstate commerce law (18 USC 1716) limits interstate commerce to LE and Military. The law applies to the seller and not the purchaser.

    Assisted openers and one hand openers are not switchblades.

    We hope this helps reduce some of the oft repeated myths and misinformation about switchblades.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  2. zombiemaster

    zombiemaster Member


    DEFINE WHAT A DEADLY WEAPON , USUALLY OVER 3 INCHES. IF YOUR SWITCHER IS LESS THAN THAT ( no fun ) it may be legal in your state if you have no gravity blade
    or button release clause in your knife laws, trust only your states own webite on its
    laws.. any other source can get you in hot water.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2009
  3. A1knifesharpening

    A1knifesharpening New Member

    What are the legal definitions of a switchblade, a assisted opener and a one-handed opener?
  4. crashbuell

    crashbuell Well-Known Member

    I think it falls on the trigger mechanism. If it only requires a button and the knife does the rest, then it's a switchblade. But if it requires your finger to swing the blade open, but the action is assisted by the spring, its different. I think the standard of proof is when the knife does all of the work during opening.
  5. ChaoSS

    ChaoSS Well-Known Member

    I know this is a bit old, but hope you see it:
    Depends on the state. For example, here in CA, it's illegal to have a gravity knife or switchblade. The way it's defined, you can't have something that has a lock to hold it closed, and when you release that lock, it either swings open (like a butterfly knife) or is pushed open by a spring.

    Assisted opening is ok, provided you have to start it by pushing on the blade, as opposed to simply moving the locking mechanism.
  6. mike535

    mike535 New Member

    which states are legal to carry a switchblade..thanks

    351 WINCHESTER Well-Known Member

    FYI you can legally import one if you meet DHS criteria, i.e. a one armed person or military personell in connection with their duties.
  8. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    AOs and one hand openers are now protected under the fed switchblade act.

    No, it isn't illegal to have a switchblade in CA. It's illegal to have one over 2 inches in blade length though.

    I'm not sure you can import into the country because Customs restricts importation even though they base their regs on the 15 USC "Interstate Commerce" switchblade law.

    Last edited: Apr 7, 2010

    351 WINCHESTER Well-Known Member

    Well, In all honestey that question was on my Customs Brokers's test way back in 1981. The question was who could legally import a switchblade knife. The correct answer was 1. the armed forces. 2. military personell in connection with their duties & 3. a one armed person carried on his person with a blade not exceeding 3 inches.

    That was a long time ago and maybe the regs. have changed. I got out of the business after 9/11 and from what I have been told the industry as a whole has taken a nosedive for sure.
  10. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Well-Known Member

    I just googled it. As of 2009 the excemptions of importing switch blade knives has changed a little, but the excemptions as outlined above still stand.
  11. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Yep, the USGov can import anything they want, but a bonafide dealer (term used for a dealer selling to the USG or LE) has to present some proof that they're purchasing for sale only to those approved end users or risk seizure of the shipment. Of course the USG is usually restricted to us manufacture autos so importing isn't typically an issue.

    A friend of mine is on the third year of five of probation for not having an order in hand from the USG or LE when his shipment was seized by Customs for such a mistake. The fact that he couldn't provide that prior proof for who would be getting the knives meant the loss of tens of thousands in "stock" and a plea to no time and 5 years probation. This in spite of the fact that he made sales to LE supply shops who then sold to LE. I suspect that if he'd payed for a legal fight he could have proven he was legit, but there's the theoretical and then the practical limits of what's possible.
  12. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Well-Known Member

    Taking on the fed's in court ain't cheap. They have a way of dragging things out. I could tell you stories that you would not believe.
  13. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Ohhhh, I'd believe them. CRKT had to use political help along with the courts to get a pinhead customs agent's decision that a shipment of one hand openers were switchblades reversed.
  14. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    To correct some "ballistic knife" misunderstandings.

    For a knife to be a "ballistic" knife the blade must be thrown as a projectile. It really isn't a knife at all, just a knife shaped projectile weapon. The blade detaches from the "knife".


  15. Mp7

    Mp7 Well-Known Member

    Eeeek. Who in the world designed that ... and WHY????
    IT´s a spring gun, which was accidentally knife shaped.
  16. dom1104

    dom1104 Well-Known Member

    The russians, and its gas I believe.

    My grandfather has an italian switchblade, with like a .. probably 4 inch blade.

    Had no idea it was illegal, I wonder what the procedure is for dealing with that.

    I wonder if it had better be left in his ring box.
  17. ChaoSS

    ChaoSS Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't say it's not a knife, because it can be used as a knife, and also used as a short ranged projectile weapon.
  18. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    The originals and most of the copies are spring driven. There have been some pressurized gas versions, but that's dabbling after the fact.

    As to whether your grandfather's switchblade is legal to possess or carry or not you need to look up the law for your state instead of just assuming it's against the law to have it as a curio, relic or keepsake. Most people in this country either incorrectly assume that it's illegal to have a switchblade or it's perfectly legal to have them (and everything in between). Don't assume anything about switchblade laws on the state or local level, look them up.
  19. Harley Rider 55

    Harley Rider 55 Well-Known Member

    Automatic knives are legal to carry in Florida. In Texas, first responders and military folks during the course of duty mat carry.

    It's dumb, I know. I can legally carry (openly or concealed) a machine gun down the street, but not a knife.
  20. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    TX law doesn't appear to have any exceptions for carrying a switchblade. Keep in mind that the fact that we see LE and first responder personnel carrying them doesn't mean there's a state exemption to the law permitting to. It only means that an informal "professional courtesy" may be extended to them.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010

Share This Page