N.M. court upholds ban on switchblades - THR

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Old January 23, 2015, 10:10 PM   #1
Join Date: March 17, 2012
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N.M. court upholds ban on switchblades

Hey pallies. I thought this might be of interest: N.M. court upholds ban on switchblades, suggests broader knife bans might be constitutional, too
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Old January 23, 2015, 10:48 PM   #2
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And it's all James Dean's fault to begin with in 1955!

Hope no one tells them about assisted openers, Spyde Holes, Axis-Locks, and flippers that are faster & more bullet proof then any switchblade ever made!

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Or all your primers in a glass jar!

Last edited by rcmodel; January 23, 2015 at 10:58 PM.
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Old January 24, 2015, 08:50 AM   #3
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Looks like NM is going to get the attention of Knife Rights and AKTI.
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Old January 25, 2015, 11:07 AM   #4
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I'm not a lawyer but I follow these cases with interest. The big fights will be won in the courts now, rather than in the legislatures.

And switchblades are designed for uses that are remote from the core of the right to keep and bear arms. Cf. id. at 635 (“[The Second Amendment] elevates above all other interests the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.”). Switchblades are specifically “designed for quick use in a knife fight.” “[T]hey are more readily concealable [than regular knives] and hence more suitable for criminal use.” Congress passed a statute in 1958, still in effect, that prohibits the transportation or distribution of switchblade knives in interstate commerce and possession within territories of the United States. The need for this law was “[t]he problem of the use of switchblade and other quick-opening knives for criminal purposes[.]”
Putting aside for a moment the essentially meaningless distinction between assisted opening knives and automatic knifes, the court is explicitly asserting that concealability and speed of access of a personal weapon excludes them from legitimate defensive use, and thus from the protection of the 2nd amendment.

This is a pretty thin reed upon which to hang a legal argument - this same approach was used to justify handgun bans, and it clearly failed.

I expect this ruling is ripe for appeal, and may kick open the door to freeing other states from similar prohibitions.

The earlier point regarding assisted-opening knives offers another legal attack as well. The distinction (as I understand it) is that assisted opening knives allow the blade to spring open once a button on the blade itself is touched by the user, but automatic knives only open once a button elsewhere on the knife is touched. This distinction would struggle to clear even a 'rational basis' hurdle, much less the higher level of scrutiny required to infringe on fundamental civil right.

Years ago there was a legitimate argument to be made that the RKBA was not, in fact, a fundamental, individual right, but that was settled unambiguously by the Heller decision. (Heller left a lot of unanswered questions, but it was pretty clear about that).

With any luck, the court's ruling here will turn out to not to be a loss for knife rights, but a nice opportunity to expand them.

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