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Is it legal to purchase OTF knives according to federal law ?

Discussion in 'Guns, Firearms & Weapons' started by Shaun Yargoff, Jan 29, 2019.

  1. Shaun Yargoff

    Shaun Yargoff Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I'm thinking about purchasing an OTF ( out the front ) knife from a legit site like BladeHQ , however I don't want to inadvertently break the law by doing so , which is why I'm interested in some advice ...

    Now I realize that the Switchblade Knife Act prohibits the shipping of switchblades across state lines , however I've also read that companies like Schrade carry OTF knives that aren't proscribed as switchblades under federal law . Not to mention that as a buyer , I would not be shipping anything across state lines , which makes the issue seem a bit murky IMO ...

    In short my questions are as following :

    Are all OTF knives classified as switchblades under the Switchblade Knife Act ? Or are there some exceptions ? Furthermore would I as a buyer be breaking the law by buying an item which may be prohibited from being shipped across state lines ?

    Thanks ahead of time for any answers by the way .
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    =======> OP is posting from WV <=======

    If you are a convicted felon in WV, some types of knives can cause you to be arrested, in some cases, any type of knife may assist in your being arrested.

    I am NOT saying carrying any type of knife is illegal or legal, as only a judge or jury determines legality.

    Discretion and restraint can eliminate great pain.

    OTF Knife State Laws & Legality - RavenCrest Tactical

    West Virginia does not prohibit the ownership of any type of knife, it is illegal to conceal carry dirks, daggers and other stabbing knives with a blade over 3.5” in length, switchblades, automatic knives, gravity knives and Balisong knives (as in butterfly knives).

    West Virginia Knife Laws
    What is legal to own in West Virginia?

    Dirk, dagger, or other stabbing knives
    Balisong or butterfly knife
    Bowie knife
    Ballistic knife
    What is illegal to own in West Virginia?

    West Virginia law does not prohibit the ownership of any type of knife.

    Restrictions on Carry:

    It is illegal to conceal carry the following:

    Dirk, dagger, or other stabbing knives with a blade over 3 ½ inches
    Switchblade, or any automatic knife, Gravity knife, Balisong = (butterfly knife)

    Any instrument capable of inflicting cutting, stabbing, or tearing wounds
    Any “deadly weapon”

    More info:

  3. flyingron

    flyingron Active Member

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    Illegal to ship accross state lines by Federal law.
    Legal to possess in WV provided he is over 18.
    Illegal to carry concealed there.

    As for neighboring states: completely illegal to possess or carry in PA, legal to possess but not to carry in MD and VA. Concealed carry permit doesn't cover these (doesn't help to have one).
  4. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    15 U.S.C. section 1241(b) states as follows: "The term 'switchblade knife' means any knife having a blade which opens automatically—
    (1) by hand pressure applied to a button or other device in the handle of the knife, or
    (2) by operation of inertia, gravity, or both."

    It appears that the proscriptions in sections 1242 and 1243 do not apply to buyers, but I suggest you read the law yourself.

    Note also that your state may have applicable laws, but you didn't identify your state.
  5. Shaun Yargoff

    Shaun Yargoff Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Yup I'm from WV and thanks for the answers everyone .

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