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Thread: Legality of Spring Assisted Pocket Knives

  1. #1
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    Legality of Spring Assisted Pocket Knives

    Like all Connecticut laws dealing with self defense..... this one is unclear.
    I've been in South Dakota on business since April 24th. I picked up a great little knife here (Smith & Wesson SWMP1B).
    I'll be returning to liberal land in a week or so and need to know if this spring assisted opening knife is legal.

    It does not meet federal requirements to be classified as a switchblade since the blade is not under constant tension by the spring. The blade needs to be manually opened about a quarter of an inch before the spring kicks in.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    They are not legal to carry in Connecticut.

    Sec. 53-206. Carrying of dangerous weapons prohibited. (a) Any person who carries upon his or her person any BB. gun, blackjack, metal or brass knuckles, or any dirk knife, or any switch knife, or any knife having an automatic spring release device by which a blade is released from the handle, having a blade of over one and one-half inches in length, or stiletto, or any knife the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or over in length, any police baton or nightstick, or any martial arts weapon or electronic defense weapon, as defined in section 53a-3, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than three years or both. Whenever any person is found guilty of a violation of this section, any weapon or other instrument within the provisions of this section, found upon the body of such person, shall be forfeited to the municipality wherein such person was apprehended, notwithstanding any failure of the judgment of conviction to expressly impose such forfeiture.
    Sec.29-38. Weapons in vehicles. (a) Any person who knowingly has, in any vehicle owned, operated or occupied by such person, any weapon, any pistol or revolver for which a proper permit has not been issued as provided in section 29-28 or any machine gun which has not been registered as required by section 53-202, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years or both, and the presence of any such weapon, pistol or revolver, or machine gun in any vehicle shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this section by the owner, operator and each occupant thereof. The word "weapon", as used in this section, means any BB. gun, any blackjack, any metal or brass knuckles, any police baton or nightstick, any dirk knife or switch knife, any knife having an automatic spring release device by which a blade is released from the handle, having a blade of over one and one-half inches in length, any stiletto, any knife the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or over in length, any martial arts weapon or electronic defense weapon, as defined in section 53a-3, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument.
    Connecticut Carry is dedicated to advancing and protecting the fundamental civil rights of the men and women of Connecticut to keep and bear arms for self defense of themselves and the state as guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Constitution of Connecticut.

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    Regular Member FreeInAZ's Avatar
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    Re: Legality of Spring Assisted Pocket Knives

    Gosh I am so glad to live in AZ where I can carry just about any edged weapon legally in addition to most firearms.

    My EDC.
    http://www.amazon.com/Camillus-Heat-...ref=pd_sxp_f_i

    And on those out in the brush days
    http://images.knifecenter.com/thumb/...100511HCnw.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeInAZ View Post
    Gosh I am so glad to live in AZ where I can carry just about any edged weapon legally in addition to most firearms.

    My EDC.
    http://www.amazon.com/Camillus-Heat-...ref=pd_sxp_f_i
    --snip--
    I love this knife - my EDC too. Also have the plain edge version.

    Unfortunately Camillas went out of business Feb. 27, 2007.
    http://www.ebay.com/gds/CAMILLUS-CLO...4421069/g.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich B View Post
    They are not legal to carry in Connecticut.
    Yeeeeeaaaa but it's not considered an automatic spring release device. That implies constant spring tension on the blade which can be released by pressing a button. This is a manual spring release device.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeInAZ View Post
    Gosh I am so glad to live in AZ where I can carry just about any edged weapon legally in addition to most firearms.

    My EDC.
    http://www.amazon.com/Camillus-Heat-...ref=pd_sxp_f_i

    And on those out in the brush days
    http://images.knifecenter.com/thumb/...100511HCnw.jpg
    Nice blades.

  7. #7
    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Cook View Post
    Yeeeeeaaaa but it's not considered an automatic spring release device. That implies constant spring tension on the blade which can be released by pressing a button. This is a manual spring release device.
    How much are you willing to bet on that in court or with a LEO?

    Especially when it specifically enumerates switch blades or any automatic spring release.
    Connecticut Carry is dedicated to advancing and protecting the fundamental civil rights of the men and women of Connecticut to keep and bear arms for self defense of themselves and the state as guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Constitution of Connecticut.

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    Regular Member brk913's Avatar
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    Spring assisted knives are not illegal in CT and can be purchased in numerous stores right here in CT. From what I was told if the knife can be opened by pushing a button it's illegal, otherwise it's OK as long as it's under 4".
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  9. #9
    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brk913 View Post
    Spring assisted knives are not illegal in CT and can be purchased in numerous stores right here in CT. From what I was told if the knife can be opened by pushing a button it's illegal, otherwise it's OK as long as it's under 4".
    Whether they can be purchased and possessed is not the same as whether they can be carried. The two statutes cited talk about carry and possession in a motor vehicle.
    Connecticut Carry is dedicated to advancing and protecting the fundamental civil rights of the men and women of Connecticut to keep and bear arms for self defense of themselves and the state as guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Constitution of Connecticut.

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  10. #10
    Regular Member brk913's Avatar
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    They are legal to carry as well, they do not fall under the definition in the statute, "any switch knife, or any knife having an automatic spring release device by which a blade is released from the handle". By definition it is not a switch knife nor does it have an automatic spring device (read button) that causes a blade to release.
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  11. #11
    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brk913 View Post
    nor does it have an automatic spring device (read button) that causes a blade to release.
    Good luck with that. Every assisted opening knife I have seen and used would easily fall under that definition and I have yet to see anyone prevail in arguing that it is not.

    I don't think the difference would be appreciated by law enforcement or a court.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich B View Post
    Good luck with that. Every assisted opening knife I have seen and used would easily fall under that definition and I have yet to see anyone prevail in arguing that it is not.

    I don't think the difference would be appreciated by law enforcement or a court.

    If we don't push these issues, where the law is as clear as mud the, grabbers win.

    I'm definitely willing to jump in front of the bus on this one.
    I'll let you guys know the extent of my injuries when all is said and done.

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    No springs, still my switchblade, CRKT M16-01Z, 8Cr15MoV alloy blade.

    941.24 Possession of switchblade knife. (1) Whoever manufactures, sells or offers to sell, transports, purchases, possesses or goes armed with any knife having a blade which opens by pressing a button, spring or other device in the handle or by gravity or by a thrust or movement is guilty of a Class A misde-
    meanor.
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

  14. #14
    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Cook View Post
    If we don't push these issues, where the law is as clear as mud the, grabbers win.
    Well, you don't have to tell me/us to 'push' the issues, but there are fights that are strategically worth having and there are ones that are not.

    What is your proposal?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich B View Post
    Well, you don't have to tell me/us to 'push' the issues, but there are fights that are strategically worth having and there are ones that are not.

    What is your proposal?
    Don't really have a proposal, but here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to fly home on Thursday and sleep for 3 days as I've been working 13-17 hour days without a day off since mid April.

    When I do get up and go out, I'm going to holster my P229 and pocket my sweet new knife.
    I've had plenty of experience trying to educate LEOs in the past and don't expect to get anywhere talking.
    If it comes down to it, I'll argue that the statute is vague and that since CT doesn't define their use of the word "automatic" I'm going by the federal definition which does not cover my specific knife model.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich B View Post
    They are not legal to carry in Connecticut.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EngidH_dF6k video showing knife


    Sec. 53-206. Carrying of dangerous weapons prohibited. (a) Any person who carries upon his or her person any BB. gun, blackjack, metal or brass knuckles, or any dirk knife, or any switch knife, or any knife having an automatic spring release device by which a blade is released from the handle,

    and the old 29-38

    Sec. 29-38. Weapons in vehicles. Penalty. Exceptions. (a) Any person who knowingly has, in any vehicle owned, operated or occupied by such person, any weapon, any pistol or revolver for which a proper permit has not been issued as provided in section 29-28 or any machine gun which has not been registered as required by section 53-202, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years or both, and the presence of any such weapon, pistol or revolver, or machine gun in any vehicle shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this section by the owner, operator and each occupant thereof. The word “weapon”, as used in this section, means any BB. gun, any blackjack, any metal or brass knuckles, any police baton or nightstick, any dirk knife or switch knife, any knife having an automatic spring release device by which a blade is released from the handle, having a blade of over one and one-half inches in length, any stiletto, any knife the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or more in length, any martial arts weapon or electronic defense weapon, as defined in section 53a-3, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument.


    Smith & Wesson site: http://search.smith-wesson.com/searc...um=48&filter=p

    Has link to product sheet (sorry could not link the pdf directly - its first one) "assisted opening system" is how they describe it.

    I agree with Rich ... watch the video and decide folks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Cook View Post
    Don't really have a proposal, but here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to fly home on Thursday and sleep for 3 days as I've been working 13-17 hour days without a day off since mid April.

    When I do get up and go out, I'm going to holster my P229 and pocket my sweet new knife.
    I've had plenty of experience trying to educate LEOs in the past and don't expect to get anywhere talking.
    If it comes down to it, I'll argue that the statute is vague and that since CT doesn't define their use of the word "automatic" I'm going by the federal definition which does not cover my specific knife model.
    You can argue .. it will cost you at least $500 to make the argument. Automatic spring = a spring that does not have to be used manually.

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    I've always been under the impression that spring assisted knives are legal.
    All my Google searching said they were, there are a couple knife specifics sites.
    They have been sold in CT for over 10 years.
    But then again I'm not a lawyer, but I wouldn't think twice about carrying it.
    If my memory serves me right RI only allows 3" blades and MA is 3.5", that's why my blade is 2.9" but I've talked to RI cops before and surprise they didn't know the law they go by the width of your hand.

    And another spot don't carry on NY subways, surprise knives are illegal.
    I found out the hard way. Not to hard I was on my way home to CT undercover cops stopped us made us put them in out bag.

    I've had a few assisted knives just about everyone I know has or still has one. I don't like them as I had a couple open in my pocket. Some have a safety but that defeats the purpose.

    I moved to a higher quality knife Benchmade 10 years in my pocket and still tight and smooth enough to flick out, most people think it is assisted.
    I like the upside down design the hinge is deeper in the pocket.

    If you can flick your wrist right you can get just about any knife to flick out. Without a spring


    That has always been one of my arguments the only legal way to defend yourself is with a gun they made every other self defense tool illegal.

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    RI and MA laws don't matter in CT regarding this subject matter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    RI and MA laws don't matter in CT regarding this subject matter.
    no, but you cannot travel very far before your out of the state.
    I know you can buy assisted knives in MA never tried in RI

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    Quote Originally Posted by customcreationllc View Post
    no, but you cannot travel very far before your out of the state.
    I know you can buy assisted knives in MA never tried in RI
    Well, you won't be able to if you are behind bars, right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    Well, you won't be able to if you are behind bars, right?
    You can buy, sell, rent, trade vitually anything on the inside.........for a price.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    You can buy, sell, rent, trade vitually anything on the inside.........for a price.
    Except for ... (you know)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    You can buy, sell, rent, trade vitually anything on the inside.........for a price.
    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    Except for ... (you know)
    Given enough time (they have an abundance) even that.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Cook View Post
    Like all Connecticut laws dealing with self defense..... this one is unclear.
    I've been in South Dakota on business since April 24th. I picked up a great little knife here (Smith & Wesson SWMP1B).
    I'll be returning to liberal land in a week or so and need to know if this spring assisted opening knife is legal.

    It does not meet federal requirements to be classified as a switchblade since the blade is not under constant tension by the spring. The blade needs to be manually opened about a quarter of an inch before the spring kicks in.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'm leaning towards Rich's opinion on this. I own a handful of assisted opening folders (a couple of Kershaw Blurs, Benchmade assists, SOG Flash I & IIs, & some CRKTs) which I purchased before I read the statutes Rich cites below. Once I had read the statutes, I shelved the knives for non-carry use (I just use them around the house).

    You may or may not successfully make the argument in court that these are a switchblade or not given what the CT law states (and if you're willing to go this route per your below comments, I'm very interested in what happens). IANAL, but if you do decide to carry an assisted folder you're probably best off carrying one which has a detent hole/ball bearing which provide bias towards closure (like the Kershaw Blur for instance) - I'm not sure if the SWMP1B has this or not. Maybe this could possibly help your argument in court...(or not). Rather than fight the charge on the tail-end it may behoove you to pay a lawyer up front to have have him/her weigh in before you start carrying. I guess you could also contact Knife Rights to see if they can assist you in any way (http://www.kniferights.org/). At any rate, good luck and let us know how it all works out...
    Minds are like parachutes. Just because you lost yours doesn't mean you can borrow mine...

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