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why are switchblades illegal?


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Old 06-22-2010, 10:03 PM   #41
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In VA a Switchblade knife is ANY knife whose opening mechanism utilizes a spring. Sure they sell auto Kershaws and others in the mall, but to actually put one in your pocket and carry it, you better be a card carrying 'conservator of the peace' (this means a state authorized cop of some kind). In actuality there has been one or two court rulings that like many other prohibited things in VA, you can have one in your home, but you just can't ever bring it outside.
NOT WRONG BUT REALLY WRONG....


18.2-311. Prohibiting the selling or having in possession blackjacks, etc.

If any person sells or barters, or exhibits for sale or for barter, or gives or furnishes, or causes to be sold, bartered, given or furnished, or has in his possession, or under his control, with the intent of selling, bartering, giving or furnishing, any blackjack, brass or metal knucks, any disc of whatever configuration having at least two points or pointed blades which is designed to be thrown or propelled and which may be known as a throwing star or oriental dart, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, or like weapons, such person shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor. The having in one's possession of any such weapon shall be prima facie evidence, except in the case of a conservator of the peace, of his intent to sell, barter, give or furnish the same.

(Code 1950, 18.1-271; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1985, c. 394; 1988, c. 359.)

Ballistic knife - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Switchblade - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I have 3 knives that are spring assessed. They are fully legal in VA. How do I know this? Well I hang out with 4 or 5 Sheriff deputy's and have asked them they all say ASSESSED OPENING knives are legal automatic knives are not.
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Old 06-22-2010, 10:23 PM   #42
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Automatic knives are illegal because legislators are fargin' idiots. No folding or collapsing knife is as fast as a fixed-blade knife, yet fixed-blade knives are legal to own and carry (in most places, anyway).

Whether a knife is legal or not depends on your local or state laws. In most places in New York, for example, you may own an automatic knife if one of your hands is disabled (i.e. missing an arm, had a stroke, etc.), if you are a firefighter, cop, or EMT, or if you have a hunting or fishing license. Whether or not you may carry an auto depends on the circumstances.

One story I've heard from a few sources is that switchblades (automatic) knives were deemed "the weapon of the hoodlum" back in the 1950's/1960's when a bunch of movies came out and the eeeeeevil switchblade was made a villain.
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Old 06-22-2010, 11:12 PM   #43
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Wow,it's been a long time since I opened this thread,I even forgot I did.I just ordered a bunch of knives so I was reading my state's laws again here in MI.And while switchblades are illegal,anything else pretty much is legal as it is exposed,or if concealed the blade must be 3" or less.But the funny thing is,that during hunting season,a hunter may conceal carry any sized "hunting"knife or "knife adapted for hunting or used as such".I think that's funny.If I got a 15" bowie with a guthook on it I can conceal carry it but a 4" tactical folder is illegal to conceal carry.
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Old 06-23-2010, 08:15 AM   #44
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[/QUOTE]I have 3 knives that are spring assessed. They are fully legal in VA. How do I know this? Well I hang out with 4 or 5 Sheriff deputy's and have asked them they all say ASSESSED OPENING knives are legal automatic knives are not.[/QUOTE]

Try:
" 18.2-308. Personal protection; carrying concealed weapons; when lawful to carry.

A. If any person carries about his person, hidden from common observation, (i) any pistol, revolver, or other weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind by action of an explosion of any combustible material; (ii) any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, machete, razor, slingshot, spring stick, metal knucks, or blackjack; (iii) any flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts connected in such a manner as to allow them to swing freely, which may be known as a nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku, shuriken, or fighting chain; (iv) any disc, of whatever configuration, having at least two points or pointed blades which is designed to be thrown or propelled and which may be known as a throwing star or oriental dart; or (v) any weapon of like kind as those enumerated in this subsection, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. A second violation of this section or a conviction under this section subsequent to any conviction under any substantially similar ordinance of any county, city, or town shall be punishable as a Class 6 felony, and a third or subsequent such violation shall be punishable as a Class 5 felony. For the purpose of this section, a weapon shall be deemed to be hidden from common observation when it is observable but is of such deceptive appearance as to disguise the weapon's true nature.

B. This section shall not apply to any person while in his own place of abode or the curtilage thereof. "

I wouldn't go with the opinion of some deputies or local officers (no insult intended to them). Try asking someone in your local Commonwealth Attorneys office instead, or better yet hire an attorney and ask them to research it. Ask them also just how much weight a wikipedia definition carries

Granted that open carry in a place other than an abode, or the curtilage thereof, of a switchblade (if a way could be found to do so while not disguising the true nature of the switch or spring) might be legal.

Regarding the debate between automatic and assisted and whether or not it is, or is not, a weapon of like kind as per part (v), good luck with that in a court situation. If I may be allegorical the issues before the court will be, 'does it look like a duck and quack like a duck? If so, then it is a duck.' Specifically we see in 'Richards v. Commonwealth, 18 Va. App. 242, 245, 246 n.2, 443 S.E.2d 177, 179, 179 n.2 (1994) the court defined "switchblade knife" as "a knife with a blade that opens automatically by operation of inertia, gravity, or both upon the release of a spring mechanism.." Ooops, so much for protection by Wikipedia. The court will will look at if the knife was being carried concealed, then decide is this a weapon type of knife, or is it an instrument type of knife (i.e., a legal common steak knife or Swiss Army knife), to do this they will look for physical features in common with the specified prohibited knives, such as one handed opening, blade locks, springs, handguard (in the case of dirks, bowies, etc.), then they will rule if it is, or isn't, a 308 'mala prohibidar' weapon. If you find something contrary to this in Opinions Search – Supreme Court of Virginia and Court of Appeals of Virginia , please let us know.

Regarding the sale of switchblades, blackjacks, etc. in VA, I suspect the many gun stores selling such items may be operating on an unwritten extension of 303 which allows gun shops to stock and sell sawed off shotguns and otherwise prohibited firearms to police officers, sheriffs, etc. I suspect also they would be up the creek without a paddle should one in a non-law enforcement officers hands be used in a crime and traced back to them.

Last edited by superc; 06-23-2010 at 08:37 AM. Reason: adjusted a sentence
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Old 06-23-2010, 08:31 AM   #45
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You know what is even stupider, a lock-back knife, of any type, is illegal to carry in San Antonio, even for Law Enforcement. Almost had a Spyderco taken from me down there.
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:32 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Glasshartt View Post
You know what is even stupider, a lock-back knife, of any type, is illegal to carry in San Antonio, even for Law Enforcement. Almost had a Spyderco taken from me down there.
Wow. That IS stupid. That's like outlawing cars that have electric windows...

My dad (LEO) can carry class III weapons and explosives, but it's a felony for him to carry a double edged knife ...
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Old 07-07-2010, 02:46 AM   #47
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Wow we have some stupid laws like where I live i can carry a ruger 357 magnum on my hip and go to jail for having a unconcealed butterfly knife.
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:06 AM   #48
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I have one but it stays at the house cause idk what thetx laws about them are?
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:26 AM   #49
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Let's hypothetically live in "Dumbville" which has a gang problem. The local gang starts using pepper-spray when they assault and rob people. Several of these incidents make the news. The mayor and the city council of Dumbville quickly respond by passing city ordinance that carrying pepperspray is illegal. Gang members start getting arrested for having pepperspray. After one month, the gang decides to not use pepperspray and will now use nunchucks in their assaults because it's the new cool weapon and there is no law against it yet.

100 years later, somebody wonders why they can carry a light sabre, but it is illegal to carry pepperspray.
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Old 01-01-2012, 01:04 PM   #50
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They were made illegal because they were politically incorrect. They had the reputation of being a criminal's weapon.

They were originally built for amputees. Before "safety" became an issue in the work place, many men lost hands and arms in mills and factories.

They are not illegal to own or sale where I am. Our gunshows and flea markets are full of them. It is interesting how they get here, because, as I understand it, it is against Federal law to transport them across state lines.

I carried one to work with for years. It is damn convient to be able to open a knife with one hand while the other hand is busy. I got away from them and went to spring assist as they, are more dependable, last a lot longer and do the same thing.
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