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Thread: spring assisted knives are not allowed for carry in virginia according to an opinion

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    spring assisted knives are not allowed for carry in virginia according to an opinion

    hello world! welcome to the open carry forum!
    Last edited by opencarrypalmtrees; 04-26-2012 at 09:11 PM. Reason: added some information

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    Regular Member Jay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by opencarrypalmtrees View Post
    hey everyone,

    my friend just got a response from contacting the virginia state police regarding spring assisted knives. The legal office stated these knives are not legal for carry because they could be considered of the like kind to switchblades and can be interpreted as such.
    so here it is, the response that was received by a fellow blogger



    """Virginia State Police employees cannot give legal advice or interpret the law for members of the public or other agencies. The information provided below is for general guidance purposes only and may not apply to all factual situations. Persons needing legal advice should contact the Virginia State Bar, their own legal advisor or the Virginia Lawyer’s Referral Service at 1-800-552-7977. The Virginia Department of State Police has no authority to issue binding advisory opinions regarding the application of the law


    With the above information regarding legal advice in mind, please find below some general statutes, which may be helpful, as well as some cases attached, which may be of some assistance.

    Unfortunately, you are correct in your analysis below that the issue is what constitutes “weapons of like kind” and this agency has no authority to issue a legal opinion on that specific question. In addition to the above resources, you may want to contact your local Commonwealth’s Attorney and/or have your legislator introduce legislation defining whether a spring assisted or semi auto knife fit the definition of weapon of like kind and/or request that your legislator and/or Commonwealth’s Attorney ask for an opinion from the Attorney General."



    I hope that this information is of some assistance.

    Legal Office

    Bureau of Administrative & Support Services


    So if it quacks like a duck and looks like it its a duck and you can maybe get a hefty fined. So heads up! Also this is a good chance to bring to our legislators that we would like to legalize once again automatic knives since automatic knives don't have any effect on crime and the law only affects law abiding citizens.
    Automatic Knifes are illegal for the general public to possess does not matter what the state says.

    Before anyone asks here is the cite:

    Federal regulations (see below) restrict the sale of automatic knives to anyone other than United States Military, Federal Law Enforcement, Law Enforcement, Fire, Rescue and EMT personnel with acceptance of the "Auto Knife Opening Acknowledgement Form".

    FEDERAL CODES-
    18 USC 1716 (G) (2) (1-4) provides this summary: Switchblade knives can be shipped to civilian and armed forces supply or procurement officers and employees of the Federal government ordering or procuring or purchasing such knives in connection with activities in the Federal government; to supply or procurement officers in the National Guard, the Air National Guard or militia of the state or territory of the District of Columbia ordering, procuring or purchasing such knives in connection with the activities of such organizations; to supply or procurement officers or employees of the municipal government of the District of Columbia or the government of any state or territory of any county, city, or other political subdivision of a state or territory ordering, procuring or purchasing such knives in connection with the activities of such government.
    15 USC 1244 provides in summary: Knives can be shipped by common carrier, that sale, transportation or distribution, possession or introduction into interstate commerce of switchblade knives is authorized if it is pursuant to a contract with the armed forces or any member or employee thereof acting in the performance of his or her duty may possess switchblade knives any may have them shipped to him and sold to him or her. The possession and transportation upon his or her person of a switchblade knife or a blade 3 inches or less is authorized to any handicapped individual who has the use of only one arm.
    Last edited by Jay; 01-26-2012 at 11:28 AM.
    "Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again"

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    Regular Member Jay's Avatar
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    Secondly, I personally do not care what the "State Police" say because 99% of the time they are going to give you an interpretation that best serves them. I also believe that there was a case in Virginia down near Virginia Beach where someone was arrested for carrying an assisted opening knife, and it was thrown out because the judge said it is "not" like kind. Third, You can buy assisted opening knifes at your local Walmart and Dick's Sporting goods.
    Last edited by Jay; 01-26-2012 at 11:38 AM.
    "Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again"

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Isn't it beddy bye time Palm trees. Mommy will be mad if you play on her puter and get a virus!

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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay View Post
    Secondly, I personally do not care what the "State Police" say because 99% of the time they are going to give you an interpretation that best serves them. I also believe that there was a case in Virginia down near Virginia Beach where someone was arrested for carrying an assisted opening knife, and it was thrown out because the judge said it is "not" like kind. Third, You can buy assisted opening knifes at your local Walmart and Dick's Sporting goods.
    +1. They sell spring-assisted knives in buckets at the gun shows with the State Police five feet away. The police are not a reliable source for legal information.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

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    Regular Member riverrat10k's Avatar
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    My little spring assist Kershaw's and Gerber's do not have a "switch". Ergo, they are not "switchblades." My arguement, and I'm sticking to it.
    Is a knife where you push on part of the blade a "switchblade"? I say no.

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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Ok, so I've read what you posted three times, and I fail to see where they said that the knives were illegal.
    James Reynolds

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    Regular Member Jay's Avatar
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    @Proshooter is this what you are missing??


    Quote Originally Posted by opencarrypalmtrees View Post
    The legal office stated these knives are "not legal" for carry because they could be considered of the like kind to switchblades and can be interpreted as such.
    "Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again"

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riverrat10k View Post
    My little spring assist Kershaw's and Gerber's do not have a "switch". Ergo, they are not "switchblades." My arguement, and I'm sticking to it.
    Is a knife where you push on part of the blade a "switchblade"? I say no.
    While I'm inclined to agree, I simply see no reason to ever tread these waters.

    While I'd support a repeal of these laws as utterly pointless, I see no reason not to advise following them while they exist, as there is simply no need for a spring-assisted knife for most people (the few with a disability who would genuinely benefit from one are a main reason to advocate a repeal of such laws. If this applies to you, what I say here does not).

    There are a number of lock mechanism (I prefer the Axis lock) for completely manual knives, which are equally-fast or faster than a spring-assist, including one-handed closing, no matter what kind of crap you've got on your hands.

    With that said, I've never been one for criticizing even intentional violation of malum prohibitum laws, so if taking this tiny risk is best in your personal judgement, then more power to you.
    Last edited by marshaul; 01-26-2012 at 04:11 PM.

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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay View Post
    @Proshooter is this what you are missing??
    That's the OP's view of what was said. I'm talking about the quoted section from the VSP.
    James Reynolds

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    Regular Member Jay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProShooter View Post
    That's the OP's view of what was said. I'm talking about the quoted section from the VSP.

    Good Catch I did not pick up on that actually now that I have re-read about three times like you.. The VSP has no opinion on the matter what so ever.


    So OP as Proshooter has asked and now I am curious as well. What gave you the idea that the VSP opinion is that an assisted knife "is" of "like kind"?
    Last edited by Jay; 01-26-2012 at 07:17 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay View Post
    Good Catch I did not pick up on that actually now that I have re-read about three times like you.. The VSP has no opinion on the matter what so ever.


    So OP as Proshooter has asked and now I am curious as well. What gave you the idea that the VSP opinion is that an assisted knife "is" of "like kind"?
    This is also what it looked like to me, unless part was missing. As an aside, I was once detained for a short time (it was a legal detention) here in VA by local police, and a Trooper also showed up for a moment they did a quick pat down on me and I made it clear I had a knife in my pocket, they took it out - even opened it but had no issues with the fact that it was spring assisted. When I was released everything, including the knife was returned to me without incident.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sangre View Post
    This is also what it looked like to me, unless part was missing. As an aside, I was once detained for a short time (it was a legal detention) here in VA by local police, and a Trooper also showed up for a moment they did a quick pat down on me and I made it clear I had a knife in my pocket, they took it out - even opened it but had no issues with the fact that it was spring assisted. When I was released everything, including the knife was returned to me without incident.
    Look at his post Guys...Look at all his posts.
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    Regular Member Jay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by opencarrypalmtrees View Post
    NOTE: if anyone can help talk to our representatives here in Virginia to change the automatic knife laws it would be appreciated. Me and my colleagues are going to try to contact the legislature for the change but its going to take time on our end if you can get to this problem faster it would be much appreciated! : )

    I noticed that you want a lot of legislation changes which there is nothing wrong with. However we all have our own legislation's that we want changed. Me personally I am not writing other peoples legislation nor am I going to speak to change something because "you" say so. My advice which I have learned from everyone here. Write your legislation change down and then find a patron. If it gets introduced then we all will decide if we are for it, against it, or could care less either way.

    Do you actually no the process for introducing/changing legislation?
    Last edited by Jay; 01-26-2012 at 09:09 PM.
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    The question, as I read it, is whether spring assisted folding knives are "of like kind" to switchblades. If you follow the VSP's advice you'll be safer with respect to the possibility of arrest, but that's because they can't guarantee that some cop isn't going to pull a bone-headed stunt. They don't want to give you a good legal opinion because (1) they are afraid someone will sue them and (2) they're afraid what they say may be used against them in a court of law. So what they give you is what I call, "dust in the eyes".

    The description of a "switchblade" that has been adopted in numerous opinions of the Virginia Supreme Court is a pocket knife that has "the blade spring-operated so that pressure on a release catch causes it to fly open." I would add that the blade on a switchblade locks into a fixed position when opened, I see that as an essential characteristic, though no case opinion says that. Never been an issue, I reckon.

    So any knife that requires a person to use finger pressure to open the knife, locking or not, is not a switchblade. A spring-assisted knife is not like a switchblade. The only difference between an assisted-opening knife and a Boy Scout knife is the amount of pressure the fingers must impart to the blade - the means of opening the knife is the same, and it is that means of opening that defines a switchblade.

    Note that federal law does not prohibit possession of a switchblade in Virginia; you can have problems if you transfer it to someone else, cross state lines (including entry into an Indian reservation), or enter a federal enclave, park, territory, facility or reservation. Virginia law has similar provisions, though possession of a switchblade is prima facie evidence, according to a statute, that you have the switchblade for the purpose of an illegal transfer. It is specifically authorized to have a concealed switchblade within your own home or the curtilage thereof.
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Look very carefully at what's being said:

    Originally Posted by opencarrypalmtrees
    The legal office stated these knives are "not legal" for carry because they could be considered of the like kind to switchblades and can be interpreted as such.


    I get this in my mail all the time - "You could be a winner", "You may have already won" and the like are just as absolute as "they could be considered." Instead of taking up time and energy dealing with what "could" be, how about we look at what "is"? I say it's time for the OP and the VSP to cite case law where spring assisted knives were considered to be "of like kind" to switchblades.

    To close - on top of everything else the VSP seems to be violating their own rules by offering speculation on what the law could be and how it could be interpreted. Except that there wwas nothing of value exchanged for that, it sure sounds and looks to me like legal advice. I say if you cannot trust them to follow their own rules you should not trust what could be like kind to legal advice.

    stay safe.
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    Campaign Veteran Dutch Uncle's Avatar
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    Spring assisted knives are displayed by the bucket-full in any sporting goods store and even places like Wal-Mart. If they were known to be illegal, I doubt corporate for Wal-Mart would allow them to be sold at all. I don't think they have a section for sawed-off rifles and shotguns, however.

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