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Old February 11, 2020, 18:14   #1
MACV
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Auto openers

We used to call them switch blades and they were illegal in some states and cities. How are knife manufacturers able to sell these now? And yes I have a couple.
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Old February 11, 2020, 18:40   #2
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Dont think the legal bit is between the mfg and seller more likely between the buyer and the leos that will cart you azz off to the hoose gow if yas are found in possession of one.
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Old February 11, 2020, 19:39   #3
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Here in Oregon they are legal.
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Old February 11, 2020, 19:58   #4
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I've always heard that switchblades were illegal, but I've never seen that documented or heard of an arrest for one. I have one I picked up somewhere that sits on my gun bench and is used to open packages.

The grandkids think it is "cool", but I'm not sure what other purpose it has or why it would be illegal???
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Old February 12, 2020, 02:45   #5
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I mean like these
https://www.benchmade.com/casbah-family.html
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Old February 12, 2020, 08:19   #6
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I think its a local ordinance thing. Pretty sure there is no federal law against them. I got one of these for Chrismas in the 90's you slide the scales to open them. Its pretty fun.

https://www.netknives.com/0-/39-the-...l0bph1jl2orir5
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Old February 12, 2020, 20:11   #7
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I did a innerwebz search, the info is confusing. Some web sites are older and a lot of states have repealed their knife laws in the last ten years. From what I've found switch blades are illegal in, Minn, NM, Hawaii, La, Pa, NY, NJ, Md, Va, De. But Illinois and Ohio seems to be grey areas. Also some states have restrictions on certain knives and blade lengths. My list could be wrong because of recent changing laws. YMMV
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Old February 13, 2020, 10:42   #8
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Originally Posted by MACV View Post
I did a innerwebz search, the info is confusing. Some web sites are older and a lot of states have repealed their knife laws in the last ten years. From what I've found switch blades are illegal in, Minn, NM, Hawaii, La, Pa, NY, NJ, Md, Va, De. But Illinois and Ohio seems to be grey areas. Also some states have restrictions on certain knives and blade lengths. My list could be wrong because of recent changing laws. YMMV
There is plenty of confusion over this.

Again, there are two tiers of law involved here.
Federally spring loaded knives were 1st regulated back in the 50s
While Congress was unable to outright ban them they restricted their movement in interstate commerce with exemptions for law enforcement, the military and certain classes of handicapped.
This was due to Hollywood movies, not an actual crime problem

Many States mirrored the Federal regulation

The inane part of all this is there was little Federal enforcement outside of US Customs...for example there was no license to be a "dealer" in switchblades nor was there any agency assigned enforcement so no real regulations were established for the most part.

Back in the 80s in a rare move DoJ did jump in. That was over the so-called Spetnaz knives that shot their blades. The springs were banned on those

Oregon was one of the few States that never had an anti Switchblade law in effect. Benchmade was one of the early modern makers. To qualify as a dealer it was a simple one page form from the factory, I did all that in the late 80s ?
Sold a mess to LE, EMTs, some mil and well yes ordinary folks
ATF had no interest in them
They were beneath FBI interests
that said they continue to be Federally "regulated" as well as prohibited in many States and under local ordinance.

people get popped for them all the time
I went to court for one in like 82', a German inline stilletto a local pigger found in my glove box. Cost me a $50 fine back then and the County Judge pocketed my knife over the objection of the portly pigger who I guess that he was going to keep his prize

Wisconsin was terrible on them along with gravity knives, etc. Watched a vendor get cuffed and stuffed over a copy of a German pantiograph knife by several badges while he was set up at a show in Eau Claire

These days many States have legalized them but that just puts them kinda in the same class as buying legal weed from a store in States that allow that
Anyone who wants to debate this here's a couple links:

This one is the original Federal Act on 1958:

https://kniferights.org/resources/fe...itchblade-act/

in 2009 Obama signed an expansion of it:

https://kniferights.org/legislative-...-amended-2009/

The main change was expanding definitions to now include:
"(5) a knife that contains a spring, detent, or other mechanism designed to create a bias toward closure of the blade and that requires exertion applied to the blade by hand, wrist or arm to overcome the bias toward closure to assist in opening the knife."
In other words if you can open a folder with one hand it is now basically regulated Federally the same as a springer

Remember what I have always stated about most folks violate law all the time and most of the time are utterly ignorant of their crimes
this is an example
We see Federal felonies regularly in our marketplace here over folks offering silly damn' knives and nobody seems even aware of it if this thread is the judge of that
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Old February 13, 2020, 22:12   #9
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Years ago, Oregon Supreme Court said that automatics were just pocket knives. Back in the day I was wearing a badge, the only thing that was banned was dirks and daggers in concealed carry, they could still be carried openly.
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Old February 14, 2020, 00:07   #10
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Years ago, Oregon Supreme Court said that automatics were just pocket knives. Back in the day I was wearing a badge, the only thing that was banned was dirks and daggers in concealed carry, they could still be carried openly.
curious mike

how were dirks/daggers defined ?

anything double edged I assume...
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Old February 14, 2020, 09:20   #11
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curious mike

how were dirks/daggers defined ?

anything double edged I assume...
Yep, double edged!
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Old February 14, 2020, 17:01   #12
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Yep, double edged!
I never got the logic in all that mike

didja' know that started in Boston in the 1830s ?
The City banned even the possession of dirks & other "Tools of the Assassin"
The ordinance spread to Philadelphia, Providence, etc and was expanded to include derringers.

Comical part of it was they also singled out "Bowie" knives however in that period Bowies would be what is known as a Arkansas Toothpick today
Single edged blades were largely unrestricted

most Dirks were smaller, almost dainty little knives that poured in from Sheffield. What we think of as a Gamblers blade or something a Dance hall girl packed in her garter. They were not really something a street criminal carried which was typically a butchers knife

after all these years those who make laws still express their hoplophobia in rather predictable ways

The 2009 Obama expansion of the Federal Switchblade Act was typical
think on it some
under it a typical Spyderco folder is now Federally regulated under Interstate Commerce.
Had an interesting convo with a USADA a few years ago
He agreed with my premise that Federal code has no teeth as there is no Federal taxation nexus involved...Federals can only really regulate items via tax collection as a revenue measure. His opinion this is a factor in why DoJ don't enforce these laws.

I got my start collecting automatics as a kid
as Dad was Federal LE there were always cops at shows selling, swapping, even giving me confiscated switches

Only Federal convictions I am aware of occurred back in the late 70s
At least two different guys were popped by US Customs importing quantities of blades out of Italy.
Years ago in the 70s I subscribed to a Newsletter, think it was called the Switchblade Times. Bunch of East Coast collectors buying & selling automatics

These days automatics are just flooding in Stateside
it's all serious felony level crime but nobody in Government seems to have any shits given
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Old February 14, 2020, 17:14   #13
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When I think of auto opener, I think blade opening from the side. They are single edge so you can close them. Switch blades eject from the middle and are double edged.

Texas repealed switchblade laws per my definition above last year along with brass knuckles.

My auto opener is wicked sharp. Got down to digging in my pocket one day and found out the hard way. Forgot to put in on safe.
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Old February 14, 2020, 18:09   #14
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This is a good quick reference, but for your own state, read up on the regs there. I live in Florida and auto knives are not illegal to own, but you need a concealed weapons permit to carry one.

https://www.akti.org/state-laws-regarding-automatics/
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Old February 14, 2020, 19:11   #15
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When I think of auto opener, I think blade opening from the side. They are single edge so you can close them. Switch blades eject from the middle and are double edged.

Texas repealed switchblade laws per my definition above last year along with brass knuckles.

My auto opener is wicked sharp. Got down to digging in my pocket one day and found out the hard way. Forgot to put in on safe.
Okay MB, there are no real established definitions on form vs function

years ago in the 70s here were how things were generally defined by collectors:

the two basic forms were side springers & in lines

In lines were further broken into safety springers and stilettos
What you currently see in in lines are all safety springers meaning that if you put your hand in front of the blade it stops
Stilettos are fully sprung through travel until lock up
meaning if I trigger one pressed up over your heart it will sink right into that organ. That's real old school and damn dangerous to carry. Stuck one through an ass cheek when the lock disengaged and it triggered in my waistband

Many refer to the classic Italian pattern gangster side swinger as a "Stiletto"
deal there is one of the popular makers in Italy marked their product resutto es stiletto Millano on the base of the blade
Those started getting imported back in the 20s
scales were either horn, mother of pearl or in rare cases elephant Ivory
by the 50s these were also coming in unsprung as lockblades

Stiletto was just a marketing model name however as usual dumb Americans adopted the term and applied it to one basic form
sort of like the term "Luger"
Worse yet, many apply Stiletto to any in line springer

kind of wild historically
remains of springers have been found in ancient Roman digs and the tech likely predates that even

another interesting form are butterfly knives
no, Flips didn't invent them. They just copied examples carried by Spanish
there are bits and pieces of butterfly knives that date into the bronze ages

I have been slowly selling off most of my springers
pretty sure I have my spike stiletto sold to a French collector
rough guess it's 1500s in vintage
tapered cuniform blade with a triangular cross section that's fully sprung
assassins shit, walk up behind your target, press it against the back and hole out a liver. Target is dead in under a minute or two from the massive bleed out. It's likely made in Turin, that seems to be where those originated
Spring is busted, you can hear it rattling around when you shake it
thing is once used you never get the gore out of the internals so most just dissolved over the centuries
Good wrist snap I can still get the spike to deploy and lock though

There were a good number of double edged side swingers by the way
maybe you already know this but most don't so I'll explain the mech.
The classic Italian blades have a bolster lock
most folks press down the external lock on the forward part of the liner to fold them
Actually you pull right side of the front bolster towards you which then pivots releasing the liner lock so you can close it
I am constantly having to school folks at shows how these things work

Double edged examples were closed against a wall or boot heel
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Old February 15, 2020, 22:39   #16
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Whatever federal laws exist about selling these retail via internet / mail order, they seem to be univerally ignored as literally dozens of online retailers are willing to sell side and out the front autos to anyone, anywhere in the country. Only part that seems to be obeyed is not shipping them USPS. Its all bullshit as I have a few manual flippers that can be opened just as quickly as any rotary autos, even when pointing upwards.
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