Laws for Autmatic knives and switchblades

United States

Main article: Knife legislation § United States

Federal law

The Switchblade Knife Act, (Pub.L. 85–623, 72 Stat. 562, aka SWA, enacted on August 12, 1958, and codified in 15 U.S.C. §§ 12411245), prohibits the manufacture, importation, distribution, transportation, and sale of switchblade knives in commercial transactions substantially affecting interstate commerce[46] between any state, territory, possession of the United States, or the District of Columbia, and any place outside that state, territory, U.S. possession, or the District of Columbia. The Act also prohibits possession of such knives on federal or Indian lands or on lands subject to federal jurisdiction. The federal SWA does not prohibit the ownership or carrying of automatic knives or switchblades inside state lines while not on federal property, nor does it prohibit the acquisition or disposition of such knives in an intrastate transaction or an interstate transaction that is noncommercial and/or does not substantially affect interstate commerce (as defined by recent decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court).

U.S. Code Title 15, Sect. 1241 defines switchblade knives as any knives which open “1) by hand pressure applied to a button or other device in the handle of the knife, or any knife having a blade which opens automatically; (2) by operation of inertia, gravity, or both”. The Act also prohibits the manufacture, sale, or possession of switchblade knives on any Federal lands, Indian reservations, military bases, and Federal maritime or territorial jurisdictions including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and other territories.[47][48] The act was amended in 1986 to also prohibit the importation, sale, manufacture, or possession of ballistic knives in interstate commerce.

U.S.C. 1716 prohibits the mailing or transport of switchblades or automatic knives through the U.S. mails (U.S. Postal Service), with a few designated exceptions.[47] The act provides for a fine and/or imprisonment of not more than one year.[47] 18 U.S.C. § 1716(g)(2) provides:

  1. All knives having a blade which opens automatically (1) by hand pressure applied to a button or other device in the handle of the knife, or (2) by operation of inertia, gravity, or both, are nonmailable and shall not be deposited in or carried by the mails or delivered by any officer or employee of the Postal Service. Such knives may be conveyed in the mails, under such regulations as the Postal Service shall prescribe —
    1. to civilian or Armed Forces supply or procurement officers and employees of the Federal Government ordering, procuring, or purchasing such knives in connection with the activities of the Federal Government;
    2. to supply or procurement officers of the National Guard, the Air National guard, or militia of a state, territory or the District of Columbia ordering, procuring, or purchasing such knives in the connection with the activities of such organization;
    3. to supply or procurement officers or employees of the municipal government of the District of Columbia or the government of any State or Territory, or any county, city or other political subdivision of a State or Territory; procuring or purchasing such knives in connection with the activities of such government.
    4. to manufacturers of such knives or bona fide dealers therein in connection with any shipment made pursuant of an order from any person designated in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3).

15 U.S.C. § 1244 provides that the federal Switchblade Knife Act does not apply to: 1) any common carrier or contract carrier, with respect to any switchblade knife shipped, transported, or delivered for shipment in interstate commerce in the ordinary course of business; 2) the manufacture, sale, transportation, distribution, possession, or introduction into interstate commerce of switchblade knives pursuant to contract with the Armed Forces; 3) to the Armed Forces or any member or employee thereof acting in the performance of his duty; 4) the possession and transportation upon his person of any switchblade knife with a blade three inches or less in length by any individual who has only one arm, and 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”.[47]

State laws

In addition to federal law, some U.S. states have laws restricting or prohibiting automatic knives or switchblades, sometimes as part of a catchall category of deadly weapons or prohibited weapons. A number of states prohibit or severely restrict ownership or possession of automatic knives or switchblades as deadly or prohibited weapons, occasionally inserting exceptions to enforcement for short-bladed knives, while others such as New Hampshire and Arizona have no restrictions on sale, ownership, possession, or carry (in most circumstances). An automatic knife or switchblade may be legal or illegal in a given state depending upon the particular blade style, i.e. is patterned after knives designed solely for stabbing or thrusting, such as the dirkdaggerpoignard, or stiletto. A few states even grant individual police officers discretion to determine whether any object with potential offensive capability (switchblade, screwdriver, broken bottle, etc.) is a deadly weapon.

With regard to carrying switchblades on the person, some states allow concealed carry of some or all types of switchblade knives, while others may either authorize only open carry. Still others prohibit anyone from carrying a switchblade on their person, whether concealed or not. In recent years, several states such as Alaska, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin have repealed older laws against possession or purchase of switchblade or automatic knives.

United States

Main article: Knife legislation § United States

Federal law

The Switchblade Knife Act, (Pub.L. 85–623, 72 Stat. 562, aka SWA, enacted on August 12, 1958, and codified in 15 U.S.C. §§ 12411245), prohibits the manufacture, importation, distribution, transportation, and sale of switchblade knives in commercial transactions substantially affecting interstate commerce[46] between any state, territory, possession of the United States, or the District of Columbia, and any place outside that state, territory, U.S. possession, or the District of Columbia. The Act also prohibits possession of such knives on federal or Indian lands or on lands subject to federal jurisdiction. The federal SWA does not prohibit the ownership or carrying of automatic knives or switchblades inside state lines while not on federal property, nor does it prohibit the acquisition or disposition of such knives in an intrastate transaction or an interstate transaction that is noncommercial and/or does not substantially affect interstate commerce (as defined by recent decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court).

U.S. Code Title 15, Sect. 1241 defines switchblade knives as any knives which open “1) by hand pressure applied to a button or other device in the handle of the knife, or any knife having a blade which opens automatically; (2) by operation of inertia, gravity, or both”. The Act also prohibits the manufacture, sale, or possession of switchblade knives on any Federal lands, Indian reservations, military bases, and Federal maritime or territorial jurisdictions including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and other territories.[47][48] The act was amended in 1986 to also prohibit the importation, sale, manufacture, or possession of ballistic knives in interstate commerce.

U.S.C. 1716 prohibits the mailing or transport of switchblades or automatic knives through the U.S. mails (U.S. Postal Service), with a few designated exceptions.[47] The act provides for a fine and/or imprisonment of not more than one year.[47] 18 U.S.C. § 1716(g)(2) provides:

  1. All knives having a blade which opens automatically (1) by hand pressure applied to a button or other device in the handle of the knife, or (2) by operation of inertia, gravity, or both, are nonmailable and shall not be deposited in or carried by the mails or delivered by any officer or employee of the Postal Service. Such knives may be conveyed in the mails, under such regulations as the Postal Service shall prescribe —
    1. to civilian or Armed Forces supply or procurement officers and employees of the Federal Government ordering, procuring, or purchasing such knives in connection with the activities of the Federal Government;
    2. to supply or procurement officers of the National Guard, the Air National guard, or militia of a state, territory or the District of Columbia ordering, procuring, or purchasing such knives in the connection with the activities of such organization;
    3. to supply or procurement officers or employees of the municipal government of the District of Columbia or the government of any State or Territory, or any county, city or other political subdivision of a State or Territory; procuring or purchasing such knives in connection with the activities of such government.
    4. to manufacturers of such knives or bona fide dealers therein in connection with any shipment made pursuant of an order from any person designated in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3).

15 U.S.C. § 1244 provides that the federal Switchblade Knife Act does not apply to: 1) any common carrier or contract carrier, with respect to any switchblade knife shipped, transported, or delivered for shipment in interstate commerce in the ordinary course of business; 2) the manufacture, sale, transportation, distribution, possession, or introduction into interstate commerce of switchblade knives pursuant to contract with the Armed Forces; 3) to the Armed Forces or any member or employee thereof acting in the performance of his duty; 4) the possession and transportation upon his person of any switchblade knife with a blade three inches or less in length by any individual who has only one arm, and 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”.[47]

State laws

In addition to federal law, some U.S. states have laws restricting or prohibiting automatic knives or switchblades, sometimes as part of a catchall category of deadly weapons or prohibited weapons. A number of states prohibit or severely restrict ownership or possession of automatic knives or switchblades as deadly or prohibited weapons, occasionally inserting exceptions to enforcement for short-bladed knives, while others such as New Hampshire and Arizona have no restrictions on sale, ownership, possession, or carry (in most circumstances). An automatic knife or switchblade may be legal or illegal in a given state depending upon the particular blade style, i.e. is patterned after knives designed solely for stabbing or thrusting, such as the dirkdaggerpoignard, or stiletto. A few states even grant individual police officers discretion to determine whether any object with potential offensive capability (switchblade, screwdriver, broken bottle, etc.) is a deadly weapon.

With regard to carrying switchblades on the person, some states allow concealed carry of some or all types of switchblade knives, while others may either authorize only open carry. Still others prohibit anyone from carrying a switchblade on their person, whether concealed or not. In recent years, several states such as Alaska, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin have repealed older laws against possession or purchase of switchblade or automatic knives.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.