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Thread: Spring blade knife. Off topic a bit, but a question..

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    RCW 9.41.250:

    "(1) Every person who:

    (a) Manufactures, sells, or disposes of or possesses any instrument or weapon of the kind usually known as slung shot, sand club, or metal knuckles, or spring blade knife, or any knife the blade of which is automatically released by a spring mechanism or other mechanical device, or any knife having a blade which opens, or falls, or is ejected into position by the force of gravity, or by an outward, downward, or centrifugal thrust or movement;"

    Does this mean it's strictly illegal to *carry* these sort of weapons on you while you're in public, or does it mean you can't even own or possess them at your own private residence?

    Also, when an RCW refers to a "Dangerous Weapon" do they consider folding pocket knives as "Dangerous weapons"? I ask because an RCW forbids carrying concealed any "dangerous weapon". I couldn't seem to find a definition of a dangerous weapon.

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    I'm not 100% but I would think they mean to carry them since you can buy assisted knives at Excaliber in Northgate or Southcenter mall.

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    The law means just what it says. ILLEGAL TO POSSESS- PERIOD.

    What you need to understand is that the popular, and very legal spring "assisted" knives are different than what is described by RCW. A legal spring assisted knife is opened by pressure being exerted on the blade. As such it is not "automatically released" by a spring mechanism such as the common "switchblade" where you push a button and the spring opens the blade.

    Many legal knives also open with a flick of the wrist, but also require pressure on the blade via a thumb stud or cutout to start the action, so they too are legal.

    So long as they don't violate local ordinance, such knives are legal to carry and possess. There is no state preemption for knives.

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    911Boss wrote:
    The law means just what it says. ILLEGAL TO POSSESS- PERIOD.

    What you need to understand is that the popular, and very legal spring "assisted" knives are different than what is described by RCW. A legal spring assisted knife is opened by pressure being exerted on the blade. As such it is not "automatically released" by a spring mechanism such as the common "switchblade" where you push a button and the spring opens the blade.

    Many legal knives also open with a flick of the wrist, but also require pressure on the blade via a thumb stud or cutout to start the action, so they too are legal.

    So long as they don't violate local ordinance, such knives are legal to carry and possess. There is no state preemption for knives.
    I don't think this is true, but I also don't think you'll ever be prosecuted (in most cases). The fact is, most people with blades have ones that can be "ejected into position by force of gravity, or by an outward, downward, or centrifugal thrust or movement".

    I know how to, in a very specific manner, open my knife using only centrifugal thrusting. Many others know the same, and mine was a fifteen dollar big 5 special. The point being that most knives can be activated using such an action if you know how, thus falling under this law, but most people won't get convicted without an obviously designed knife.

    "If we were to ever consider citizenship as the least bit matter of merit instead of birthright, imagine who should be selected as deserved representation of our democracy: someone who would risk their daily livelihood to cast an individually statistically insignificant vote, or those who wrap themselves in the flag against slightest slights." - agenthex

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    Let's take a closer look at the section you quoted. It is RCW 9.41.250. Here it is as written:

    (1)Every person who:

    (a) Manufactures, sells, or disposes of or possesses any instrument or weapon of the kind usually known as slung shot, sand club, or metal knuckles, or spring blade knife, or any knife the blade of which is automatically released by a spring mechanism or other mechanical device, or any knife having a blade which opens, or falls, or is ejected into position by the force of gravity, or by an outward, downward, or centrifugal thrust or movement;

    (b) Furtively carries with intent to conceal any dagger, dirk, pistol, or other dangerous weapon; or

    (c) Uses any contrivance or device for suppressing the noise of any firearm,

    is guilty of a gross misdemeanor punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.

    (2) Subsection (1)(a) of this section does not apply to:

    (a) The possession of a spring blade knife by a law enforcement officer while the officer:
    (i) Is on official duty; or
    (ii) Is transporting the knife to or from the place where the knife is stored when the officer is not on official duty; or

    (b) The storage of a spring blade knife by a law enforcement officer.
    Let's look at it again and I'm going to try to translate it as we go. I've leaving out the 1 b and c as they don't apply to the conversation directly. I am not a lawyer, but I like to do my best to sound like one
    If you make, sell, get rid of, or possess the following items, you are guilty of a gross misdemeanor
    1. A slung shot (metal slung in a sack, generally leather, like a bar of soap in a sock)
    2. A sand club (a sack of sand, like a bar of soap in a sock)
    3. Metal knuckles (brass knuckles)
    4. A spring blade knife (like a switchblade, which opens like a regular knife, except automatically by the push of a button)
    5. Any knife where the blade is automatically released by a spring mechanism or other mechanical device (like a stiletto, where the blade is pushed outward from the front of the knife by a spring)
    6. Any knife where you use gravity or "flip" it to expose or open the blade (like a butterfly knife)

    If you are a cop, don't worry about that switchblade thing so long as you are on duty, taking it to or from work, or are storing it between shifts.
    Based on that very last section, it seems to me that even having a switchblade in a box in your closet is illegal unless you are a cop. Doesn't matter if you are carrying it. If it did depend on you carrying it, then it wouldn't matter if a cop was storing it and they wouldn't have put in that exception. Further, knife shops still couldn't sell them as selling them would still be a gross misdemeanor.

    warhammerjr seems to be referring to assisted opening knives. Let me try to explain the difference.

    A switchblade or spring knife has it's blade under constant tension of the spring while the knife is closed. It requires no force by the user on the blade for it to open. It opens automatically when button is pushed.

    An assisted opening knife is kept close by a torsion bar (like what keeps a swiss army knife closed) so that it doesn't open by gravity by accident. The user must apply sufficient pressure to overcome the torsion bar, just like opening any other folding knife, before the torsion bar or another torsion bar then helps swing the blade into the fully open position.

    Assisted opening knives, as far as I can find in law, are not illegal in this state although there is an effort by US Customs and Border Protection to redefine switchblades to include any knife that can be opened with one hand, such as assisted opening knives. While this would in and of itself only prohibit such knives crossing the border, many states look to CBP's definition of switchblade for their own and consequently assisted opening knives may become illegal if they change the definition.

    Check out http://www.kniferights.org to keep up with the CBP issue.

    Like I said before, I am not a lawyer. I do my best to understand the laws but I make no guarantees that my understanding is the same one a cop, prosecutor, or anyone else will have.

    "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good" - George Washington
    "Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest." - Mahatma Gandhi

    As always, insert standard IANAL disclaimer here.

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    Tawnos wrote:
    911Boss wrote:
    The law means just what it says. ILLEGAL TO POSSESS- PERIOD.

    What you need to understand is that the popular, and very legal spring "assisted" knives are different than what is described by RCW. A legal spring assisted knife is opened by pressure being exerted on the blade. As such it is not "automatically released" by a spring mechanism such as the common "switchblade" where you push a button and the spring opens the blade.

    Many legal knives also open with a flick of the wrist, but also require pressure on the blade via a thumb stud or cutout to start the action, so they too are legal.

    So long as they don't violate local ordinance, such knives are legal to carry and possess. There is no state preemption for knives.
    I don't think this is true, but I also don't think you'll ever be prosecuted (in most cases). The fact is, most people with blades have ones that can be "ejected into position by force of gravity, or by an outward, downward, or centrifugal thrust or movement".

    I know how to, in a very specific manner, open my knife using only centrifugal thrusting. Many others know the same, and mine was a fifteen dollar big 5 special. The point being that most knives can be activated using such an action if you know how, thus falling under this law, but most people won't get convicted without an obviously designed knife.
    Using ONLY centrifugal thrusting? Or that along with fingering or thumbing the blade to help it along? Even if you are doing it with the downward snapping motion that will open some older, worn, or loose knives, it is not a design feature of the knife and while it may be coaxed into opening in such fashion it would not be the normal operation.

    If the knives being sold were illegal in this state (as they are in some others), they would not be sold here for one of two reasons. A) The govt would put a stop to it as it would be a violation of law, and B) The stores wouldn't sell them for liability concerns of being sued by the victim of someone using an illegal knife they sold.

    Do some research, and you will find that the key point is the required manipulation of the blade in opening these knives.

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    Thanks eBratt. Yeah I always just avoided them thinking that they were illegal. But yeah that makes sense that they wouldn't be selling them if they were illegal.

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    If it's being sold anywhere in the State, then it would appear to fall under the law.

    Using my great interpretation skills, I would say it's illegal to possess them, even inside your own home, in the state of Washington, considering the reference made to Law Enforcement Officers being able to "store them" while off duty and carry them while on duty.

    Not sure why they're illegal, but they are.

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    Bader wrote:
    If it's being sold anywhere in the State, then it would appear to fall under the law.

    Using my great interpretation skills, I would say it's illegal to possess them, even inside your own home, in the state of Washington, considering the reference made to Law Enforcement Officers being able to "store them" while off duty and carry them while on duty.

    Not sure why they're illegal, but they are.
    Not always a good rule of thumb.

    I know it's California and not Washington, but the principal remains: There was a store in my local Mall, that was selling all kinds of "oriental imports" from large elephant sculptures to Buddhas to cane swords. In California, anyone who Manufactures or causes to be manufactured, imports into the state, keeps for sale, or offers or exposes for sale, or who gives, lends, or possesses, any of a large list of items including cane swords, can go to county jail or state prison for up to one year.

    So, while a particular object may be on sale, it does not necessarily mean that it is legal to possess, or even legal to sell.

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    Right. What I meant was "If it's *legally* being sold.

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    911Boss wrote:
    Tawnos wrote:
    911Boss wrote:
    The law means just what it says. ILLEGAL TO POSSESS- PERIOD.

    What you need to understand is that the popular, and very legal spring "assisted" knives are different than what is described by RCW. A legal spring assisted knife is opened by pressure being exerted on the blade. As such it is not "automatically released" by a spring mechanism such as the common "switchblade" where you push a button and the spring opens the blade.

    Many legal knives also open with a flick of the wrist, but also require pressure on the blade via a thumb stud or cutout to start the action, so they too are legal.

    So long as they don't violate local ordinance, such knives are legal to carry and possess. There is no state preemption for knives.
    I don't think this is true, but I also don't think you'll ever be prosecuted (in most cases). The fact is, most people with blades have ones that can be "ejected into position by force of gravity, or by an outward, downward, or centrifugal thrust or movement".

    I know how to, in a very specific manner, open my knife using only centrifugal thrusting. Many others know the same, and mine was a fifteen dollar big 5 special. The point being that most knives can be activated using such an action if you know how, thus falling under this law, but most people won't get convicted without an obviously designed knife.
    Using ONLY centrifugal thrusting? Or that along with fingering or thumbing the blade to help it along? Even if you are doing it with the downward snapping motion that will open some older, worn, or loose knives, it is not a design feature of the knife and while it may be coaxed into opening in such fashion it would not be the normal operation.

    If the knives being sold were illegal in this state (as they are in some others), they would not be sold here for one of two reasons. A) The govt would put a stop to it as it would be a violation of law, and B) The stores wouldn't sell them for liability concerns of being sued by the victim of someone using an illegal knife they sold.

    Do some research, and you will find that the key point is the required manipulation of the blade in opening these knives.
    Yeah, using only centrifugal thrusting. The law says nothing about "design features" of the knife, and simply states "any knife which opens, or falls, or is ejected into position by the force of gravity, or by an outward, downward, or centrifugal thrust or movement." The one I can do it with is this cheapy from big5 or some such store: http://www.outdoorpros.com/Prod/Winc...d/17498/Cat/20

    When I first got it, about 15 minutes of playing around and I figured out how to open it using only a flick of the wrist. Technically, I think that makes it in violation of the law. Realistically, I doubt it would be punished, because it's a commonly available knife without an obvious purpose as such, but it is something to consider.
    "If we were to ever consider citizenship as the least bit matter of merit instead of birthright, imagine who should be selected as deserved representation of our democracy: someone who would risk their daily livelihood to cast an individually statistically insignificant vote, or those who wrap themselves in the flag against slightest slights." - agenthex

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    Tawnos wrote:
    911Boss wrote:
    Tawnos wrote:
    911Boss wrote:
    The law means just what it says. ILLEGAL TO POSSESS- PERIOD.

    What you need to understand is that the popular, and very legal spring "assisted" knives are different than what is described by RCW. A legal spring assisted knife is opened by pressure being exerted on the blade. As such it is not "automatically released" by a spring mechanism such as the common "switchblade" where you push a button and the spring opens the blade.

    Many legal knives also open with a flick of the wrist, but also require pressure on the blade via a thumb stud or cutout to start the action, so they too are legal.

    So long as they don't violate local ordinance, such knives are legal to carry and possess. There is no state preemption for knives.
    I don't think this is true, but I also don't think you'll ever be prosecuted (in most cases). The fact is, most people with blades have ones that can be "ejected into position by force of gravity, or by an outward, downward, or centrifugal thrust or movement".

    I know how to, in a very specific manner, open my knife using only centrifugal thrusting. Many others know the same, and mine was a fifteen dollar big 5 special. The point being that most knives can be activated using such an action if you know how, thus falling under this law, but most people won't get convicted without an obviously designed knife.
    Using ONLY centrifugal thrusting? Or that along with fingering or thumbing the blade to help it along? Even if you are doing it with the downward snapping motion that will open some older, worn, or loose knives, it is not a design feature of the knife and while it may be coaxed into opening in such fashion it would not be the normal operation.

    If the knives being sold were illegal in this state (as they are in some others), they would not be sold here for one of two reasons. A) The govt would put a stop to it as it would be a violation of law, and B) The stores wouldn't sell them for liability concerns of being sued by the victim of someone using an illegal knife they sold.

    Do some research, and you will find that the key point is the required manipulation of the blade in opening these knives.
    Yeah, using only centrifugal thrusting. The law says nothing about "design features" of the knife, and simply states "any knife which opens, or falls, or is ejected into position by the force of gravity, or by an outward, downward, or centrifugal thrust or movement." The one I can do it with is this cheapy from big5 or some such store: http://www.outdoorpros.com/Prod/Winc...d/17498/Cat/20

    When I first got it, about 15 minutes of playing around and I figured out how to open it using only a flick of the wrist. Technically, I think that makes it in violation of the law. Realistically, I doubt it would be punished, because it's a commonly available knife without an obvious purpose as such, but it is something to consider.
    If it some special trick you figured out and someone else picking it up and giving it a basic flick is not going to get it to open, then I would say the knife is legal.



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    On some folding knives, all you have to do is loosen the bolt that connects the blade to the knife, and it will make it open by a "thrust" or "flick" of the knife. Tighten the bolt back up, and it stays in place during the "thrust" or "flick".

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    I knew a guy who got arrested for having a set of brass knuckles in his pocket while in his house. However, they were searching the house for him.

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    Also, I've considered whether a butterfly knife fit into the centrifugal force category, since the law mentions a movement, singular, of centrifugal force, and a buttefly can not be flicked into position with only one movement.
    I haven't had one since the cops took mine when I was 14, but if I get one, I think I'll use that defense.

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    911Boss wrote:
    The law means just what it says. ILLEGAL TO POSSESS- PERIOD.

    What you need to understand is that the popular, and very legal spring "assisted" knives are different than what is described by RCW. A legal spring assisted knife is opened by pressure being exerted on the blade. As such it is not "automatically released" by a spring mechanism such as the common "switchblade" where you push a button and the spring opens the blade.

    Many legal knives also open with a flick of the wrist, but also require pressure on the blade via a thumb stud or cutout to start the action, so they too are legal.*

    So long as they don't violate local ordinance, such knives are legal to carry and possess. There is no state preemption for knives.
    +1. Bingo.

    The Buck Rush is a good example of a legal spring-assisted knife under state law.

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    cynicist wrote:
    Also, I've considered whether a butterfly knife fit into the centrifugal force category, since the law mentions a movement, singular, of centrifugal force, and a buttefly can not be flicked into position with only one movement.
    I haven't had one since the cops took mine when I was 14, but if I get one, I think I'll use that defense.
    I think this is the part that will get you in trouble with a butterfly knife...

    "...a blade which opens, or falls, or is ejected into position by the force of gravity..."

    Everyone I've ever seen, the blade drops out by gravity once the lock is released. No real centrifugal force necessary.

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