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Thread: I don't get it: automatics "restricted"?

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  1. #1
    Spyderco Forum Registered User peacefuljeffrey's Avatar
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    I don't get it: automatics "restricted"?

    On the Spyderco website, the listings for such knives as the Citadel say that they are "federally restricted."

    Automatics restricted?

    I was not under the impression that automatics were universally (federally) illegal for non-law-enforcement people to own, and that it was something more dependent on your local jurisdiction or state law. What's the story?
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  2. #2
    Spyderco Forum Registered User
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    it is federally restricted to ship them across state lines.

    "possession" is governed by local laws.

    (my interpretation of the code cited on the page you linked)

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattman View Post
    it is federally restricted to ship them across state lines.

    "possession" is governed by local laws.

    (my interpretation of the code cited on the page you linked)
    Although many online retailers will in fact ship to wherever with no proof of legal right to own said restricted knives. Big grey area .

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    I've contacted legitimate vendors who are perfectly willing to ship to any state. They say it's the buyer's responsibility to comply with all laws in the state where knife is shipped to. In other words possession is governed by local laws, as you stated. Are you 100% sure it is federally restricted to ship auto's across state lines?

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    Administrator TazKristi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spidero View Post
    I've contacted legitimate vendors who are perfectly willing to ship to any state. They say it's the buyer's responsibility to comply with all laws in the state where knife is shipped to. In other words possession is governed by local laws, as you stated. Are you 100% sure it is federally restricted to ship auto's across state lines?
    Yes, yes we are.

    A good read on the topic can be found here, http://www.spyderco.com/forums/showt...stricted-Items.

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User Detdaddy's Avatar
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    Law enforcement may possess automatics, but they can only carry automatics while on duty. I'm not sure on possession for non-LE.. Carrying an auto by non-LE violates federal law, I believe. Each local and state law may have further limitations.
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    Spyderco Forum Registered User Knivesinedc's Avatar
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    some states actually allow auto's to be carried by citizens but the rules are strict
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knivesinedc View Post
    some states actually allow auto's to be carried by citizens but the rules are strict
    Here in Missouri there is actually a "collector's provision" dealing with automatic (switchblade) knives. If you can make it home from the Gun Show that you buy your Switchblade knife from you are then 100% legal to keep all the automatic knives you desire in a collection. But they can if they want to give you a hard time about carrying them. I carried a Benchmade model 1000 Boguszewski Spike model Auto for years in the work I was doing at the time. I even showed it off to 2 good Police friends of mine and they really could have cared less about it. They both told me that the only time they busted anyone for possessing them is if they also caught them with drugs or drunk driving along with it. One officer told me that he gave all the ones he confiscated to a knife dealer that him and I both knew well in Kansas City.

    But now across the border over in Kansas that's another story>> I've been told you can't own them, collect them, use them without a special permit. No gun show in Kansas is allowed to sell them and so on. But here in Missouri the Switchblade laws have gone the way of the "Spitting On The Sidewalk" laws and horse diapering laws have gone>> in other words they just don't seem to make a big deal about them.

    Truly I believe the Federal Switchblade act of 1958 is one of the most ridiculous pieces of law that was ever put on the books. Because all a Switchblade consists of is a folder that opens on a springloaded action. After I traded my Spike away I sort of lost interest in them all together. But it's just another outrageous, non-productive law that should be eliminated IMO.
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    Spyderco Forum Registered User peacefuljeffrey's Avatar
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    I would love it if the federal law could be quoted here.

    Anyway, it's the epitome of stupid to ban a kind of knife just because of the manner in which it's opened. That is not at all one of the issues that can make a knife more lethal.
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  10. #10
    Spyderco Forum Registered User The Deacon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peacefuljeffrey View Post
    I would love it if the federal law could be quoted here.

    Anyway, it's the epitome of stupid to ban a kind of knife just because of the manner in which it's opened. That is not at all one of the issues that can make a knife more lethal.
    KaliGman's initial post in this thread contains the pertinent portion of the Federal Code, and a darn good explanation of why Spyderco has to market their autos and balisongs the way they do.

    Don't think too many intelligent folks would disagree that the law is one of the prime examples of why attempting to regulate human behavior by controlling "things" is both wrong headed and impossible. Both the Federal law and the many state laws which were enacted around the same time in the mid 50's were a knee jerk reaction to a "problem" of gang violence that was blown out of proportion by the media and seized upon by politicians of both parties eager for an issue which, unlike the threat of nuclear war, they could at claim to have "solved".
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    I feel the need to now ask two questions. 1) what is the difference between "assisted opening" knives and "automatic" knives? Are they the same thing called something else? And 2) what if, say somebody was IN the military and happened to buy one of the, say, citadel models, then was disabled in combat and discharged at 17 yrs instead of staying on and retiring? Is that person, I will call him John, what if John gets caught with his, obtained legally "automatic" knife now?

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User Blerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZtanker View Post
    I feel the need to now ask two questions. 1) what is the difference between "assisted opening" knives and "automatic" knives? Are they the same thing called something else? And 2) what if, say somebody was IN the military and happened to buy one of the, say, citadel models, then was disabled in combat and discharged at 17 yrs instead of staying on and retiring? Is that person, I will call him John, what if John gets caught with his, obtained legally "automatic" knife now?
    1.
    assisted = blade action is activated when pressing on part of the blade.
    automatic = blade action is activated when pressing on part of the handle (button)
    double-action automatic = blade action is activated for opening and closing

    2. Your guess is as good as mine. At 17 this person has 1 more year of legal pillows, at 18 most jurisdictions wouldn't treat the person very well. At least for publicly carrying without a justifiable license. It's certainly not worth the risk given the "advantage" they offer.
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    Spyderco Forum Registered User demoncase's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blerv View Post
    1.
    assisted = blade action is activated when pressing on part of the blade.
    automatic = blade action is activated when pressing on part of the handle (button)
    double-action automatic = blade action is activated for opening and closing
    .
    Hate to say it out loud, but AOs only exist as a direct result of the widespread prohibition on automatics......Considering the 'logic' that was applied in the 1950s, had AOs existed at the time, I suspect they would have been captured in the same legislation.

    Hell, I expect if thumbstuds and Spyderholes existed in the 1950s, the rabid paranoid lobbyists would have had those lumped in too!

    What a horrible thought.
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  14. #14
    Spyderco Forum Registered User The Deacon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZtanker View Post
    what if, say somebody was IN the military and happened to buy one of the, say, citadel models, then was disabled in combat and discharged at 17 yrs instead of staying on and retiring? Is that person, I will call him John, what if John gets caught with his, obtained legally "automatic" knife now?
    Depends a lot on where John lives and, to some extent, on who is interpreting the law. At one extreme, you have the informal opinion I was given by someone in the Appeals & Opinions Division of the New York State Attorney General's Office, that the only folks who can legally possess a Citadel or other automatic in New York State are active duty military and police and that even they can only possess knives issued to them by their agencies and only during the course of assignments that require them. At the other extreme, there are states where anyone can legally purchase, own, and carry an automatic. However, as with most knife related laws, in most cases it would depend more on the circumstances under which the knife came to an LEO's attention than on the letter of the written law.
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    Spyderco Forum Registered User Evil D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZtanker View Post
    I feel the need to now ask two questions. 1) what is the difference between "assisted opening" knives and "automatic" knives? Are they the same thing called something else? And 2) what if, say somebody was IN the military and happened to buy one of the, say, citadel models, then was disabled in combat and discharged at 17 yrs instead of staying on and retiring? Is that person, I will call him John, what if John gets caught with his, obtained legally "automatic" knife now?
    This is sort of like saying that John had a concealed carry permit 17 years ago, but still carries a concealed handgun now...he bought the gun while he had the permit but still carries the gun now 17 years after having the permit...is it still ok?

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User xceptnl's Avatar
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    Assisted openers are similar to automatics however you must move part of the blade to initiate the auto movement and therefore circumvent the auto restriction jargin!
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  17. #17
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Evil D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xceptnl View Post
    Assisted openers are similar to automatics however you must move part of the blade to initiate the auto movement and therefore circumvent the auto restriction jargin!
    And with the exception of the straight out of the handle type automatics (not sure the proper term), I have held true autos and AO's in both hands and can't see any speed difference between the two. If a person is so in love with having an automatic, just check out some of the Kershaws that are readily available almost anywhere and they should be just as happy performance wise.

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  18. #18
    Spyderco Forum Registered User xceptnl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil D View Post
    And with the exception of the straight out of the handle type automatics (not sure the proper term), I have held true autos and AO's in both hands and can't see any speed difference between the two. If a person is so in love with having an automatic, just check out some of the Kershaws that are readily available almost anywhere and they should be just as happy performance wise.
    Not to mention that a quality assisted will likely be close to half (if not more) the price of the automatic. I just sold off my last auto a few weeks ago. They were nice to have and fun to play with (knifesturbate) on occasions, yet one handed opening features make the extra cost for the auto seem like a waste. That being said, I still want a citadel before I stop buying knives.... whenever that day comes.
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  19. #19
    Spyderco Forum Registered User racer88's Avatar
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    With a CCW license, we (non-LE) can carry auto knives in Florida. :-D

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by racer88 View Post
    With a CCW license, we (non-LE) can carry auto knives in Florida. :-D
    Where did you find this? I was curious about the law in Florida with a CCW and carrying an automatic or whatever knife.

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