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automatic legality

Discussion in 'The Cutting Edge' started by onadraw, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. onadraw


    Feb 1, 2010
    I was under the impression that a knife that is spring assisted would be illegal. I'm thinking switchblades from the 60s/70s is where this thought came from. Can any of our LEOs on the board tell me if there is an issue with modern assisted open type knives? I'm in Jacksonville, Florida so I'm particularly interested in laws/ordinances from this state.

    Below is a picture of a knife that I was given but I don't know if I can carry it. I do have a CCW.

  2. What do you mean by "assisted"? Spring? Flick of your wrist? Gravity? Thumb stud/hole in/on blade?

    IIRC there are one or two states (perhaps more) that allow the carry of automatic knives. IIIRC it is illegal to ship, via USPS, a constructed AK unless it is being shipped to a police or military type personage. There are a few knife type forums that you could check out for an answer.

  3. bobbman


    Sep 23, 2007
    You'd be OK in KY...or most anywhere if you only have one hand
  4. onadraw


    Feb 1, 2010
    The knife in the picture is a Boker Automatic Kalashnikov. It is described as a side opening automatic. You push a button and the blade swings out under its own spring assisted power. No flick of the wrist is needed.
  5. Jon_R


    May 3, 2009
    Central Florida
    Since it is assisted opening it is considered a weapon in FL. Carrying it with your concealed weapons permit is fine. If you wanted to carry it in another state on your FL permit check those rules out first. A lot of states reciprocity is only for firearms but FLs permit is Weapons permit and covers allows a lot more.

    If it was not assisted opening and blade under 4" and basic features it would be considered a "Common Pocket Knife" and would not be considered a weapon. A "Common Pocket Knife" can be carried without a permit even by a minor with permission of a parent. This does not include at school, bus stop, etc.
  6. Mr. Blandings

    Mr. Blandings

    Jun 20, 2001

    FSS 790.225 speaks to switchblades - under Florida law they are not illegal. The law was specifically amended in 2003 to remove language that was being used to regulate switchblades.

    A switchblade, or the more modern term "automatic knife", probably would not be considered a "common pocketkinfe" so you better have a valid CCW if you plan on carrying one.

    A switchblade/automatic knife is not what most folks describe as an "assisted opener". Assisted opener knives require that the user begin the motion of opening the blade from the closed position then a spring driven mechanism opens the blade the rest of the way. Assisted opener knives have a bias to remain closed. Switchblades have a bias to spring open. All that is required is to operate the release (button, lever, catch) to release the blade.

    It is true that even an assisted opener may be considered to be a weapon versus a "common pocketknife". Much may be determined by the circumstances, the LEO, etc... Florida's law regarding "common pocketknives" remains open to interpretation. Thus far, the courts have ruled that it is up to the "trier of the fact" (i.e., the judge or jury) to determine if a particular folding knife is, or is not, a common pocketknife.

    Hope this helps.
  7. onadraw


    Feb 1, 2010
    Thanks for the input guys. I'm not going to cause any trouble with the knife and I just don't want to have problems simply because I possess it. Interestingly enough, I have several LEO friends/Acquaintances and I was given this knife by a retired JSO Officer. He told me it was legal but when I spoke to other Officers about this knife they warned me that I better not get caught carrying it. Thus the confusion.
  8. You can carry any almost bladed weapon in Florida.
  9. polizei1

    polizei1 It WAS Quack

    Feb 3, 2009
    Cincinnati, OH
    I honestly don't even see the point...I think the law is stupid in regards to autos, at least in Ohio. What difference does it make really? If you want to deploy the knife, you can do so with one hand in either setup, nearly at the same speed.

    I would just double check your laws. Or maybe call a local PD and check?

  10. Mr. Blandings

    Mr. Blandings

    Jun 20, 2001
    Yes, thus the confusion... that's exactly the problem with the vagueness of Florida's law where a "common pocketknife" is concerned.

    Now this is only a concern if you do not have a CCW. With a CCW there are no problems.

    Otherwise, what one LEO feels is a "common pocketknife" another LEO may arrest for... or what a 40 y/o fellow on the way home from work can carry is totally different from a 20 y/o walking through the bar district.
  11. twolabman73


    Apr 13, 2009
    I am a LEO in mo. Do not carry here, it is a class D felony if it opens fully automatically not spring assist. The knife pictured is full automatic. In Mo it can only be carried by LEO and active military.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2010
  12. w4004p


    Nov 17, 2002
    YEP :D FL has NO state statute targeting switchblades or balisongs, the old "ballistic knife" statute used to be misinterpreted to apply to switchblades, but (as already explained) it was got a re-write. FL, also has NO state statute regarding the open carry of edged weapons (some municipalities may have ordinances). HOWEVER, FL has leaves the definition of "a common pocket knife" up to the individual officer (to an extent). any knife OTHER than "a common pocket knife" is a WEAPON and concealing one without a permit is a misdemeanor. i spoken to fellow LEO's who ONLY consider a small slip joint "a common pocket knife" and feel comfortable charging people with one handed folders like my Benchmade 710. i doubt this would be agreed with by the judge, but it wouldn't prevent being charged :( i've spoken with other officers who agree with me that a (non auto) clipped folder that can be opened with one hand is VERY "common". i've never spoken to ANY LEO that cosiders an auto (not to be confused with spring assisted) a "common pocket knife" and, as much as i love the blades, i do NOT either. i'm not saying i would charge someone for simply carry a switchblade, but i would feel justified in doing so (if it was concealed)

    so... short answer: if you want to carry an auto opening knife in FL, either carry it EXPOSED or get your permit. FL permits apply to non firearm weapons.