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  1. #1

    Default Is it Legal to Purchase an OTF Knife (Front Automatic Pocket Knife)

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: West Virginia

    I'm thinking about purchasing an OTF knife or two , which is why I'm curious as to the legality of doing so under federal law ...

    Now I realize that the Federal Switchblade Knife Act prohibits the shipping of switchblades across state lines , what isn't clear to me is whether or not OTF knives are considered to be switchblades under federal law . After all I've read that companies such as Schrade and Smith and Wesson ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sliding_knife ) carry OTF knives that aren't proscribed under federal law . Furthermore I as a purchaser wouldn't be shipping anything across state lines , so the issue of breaking federal law becomes all the more murkier ...

    So in short would I be breaking federal law if I was to purchase an OTF knife from a site like BladeHQ ?

    P.S. I apologize if I'm posting this in the wrong section or if this forum doesn't deal with the issue of federal law at all , I'm just curious and this forum was one of the first ones to pop up when I searched for legal advice forums . Oh and I didn't notice anything about issues concerning federal law being off limits in the " Using The Forum " section either FWIW . I suppose I might have not looked hard enough , but I hope that can be forgiven .

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,269

    Default Re: Some Legal Questions About Purchasing Otf Knives

    You are far less likely to have a problem with the feds than you are with state and local authorities if you own, possess, or transfer a knife that is illegal in a particular jurisdiction.

    https://www.akti.org/federal-switchblade-act/

    I have never once heard of a federal prosecution related to knives. I HAVE heard - and been involved with - crimes for possession and sales in violation of state and/or local laws regarding unlawful knives. So, before you purchase a knife, find out if the type of knife you want to purchase is legal in your state and locale. Chances are if you buy from a reputable dealer, they will not ship to a state where the knife in question is illegal. Some sellers, however, will simply place the onus upon you to understand your state's laws and not care a whit about it.

    Do the local research if owning such a knife is THAT important to you.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    18,827

    Default Re: Some Legal Questions About Purchasing Otf Knives

    Federal law does appear to prohibit shipping OTF knives across state lines. Same with balisongs.
    WV prohibits concealed carry of these knives. Mere possession is not illegal if you are over 18.
    In neighboring states, it's legal to possess in VA or MD but not to carry (openly or concealed). A concealed carry permit doesn't change this. It's illegal to possess them in PA.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Some Legal Questions About Purchasing Otf Knives

    FWIW the reason I'm thinking about purchasing an OTF knife is for home self defense . I'm not a big fan of having a loaded handgun on my desk , so I'd much rather go with a knife that I don't have to pull out of a sheath or possibly cut the side of my hand with ( which could happen with an out the side knife ) if it came to defending myself from an intruder breaking into my room .

    Oh and the reason I started up this thread on another forum was to do a bit of comparing and contrasting if I were to get different answers ...


    Anyways thanks for the answers everyone and have a great day .

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    18,827

    Default Re: Some Legal Questions About Purchasing Otf Knives

    If you're going to keep it in your desk in WV and you're over 18, it's not a problem. Carrying it around is.
    My read on the federal law is that it can't be shipped across state lines but as others pointed out, that's the seller's responsibility to not violate.

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