Switchblades are illegal, right? Obviously, you can’t walk around in public with one; but is it illegal for a person to simply possess a switchblade in his or her knife collection? (i.e., can a person legally have a switchblade in his or her own home?)

As always, the answer will depend on the jurisdiction. For example, in Canada a switchblade is a “prohibited weapon”, and possession is illegal without a permit.

Depends on where you live


Supposedly possession is legal in Caifornia.


That web page sells switchblades (which are legal in your state). The model called “Do-It-Yourself”, i think it is legal in all 50 states because when you buy it and have it shipped it isn’t a functioning switchblade although it looks like one.

keep in mind i have no idea if there is a federal law against switchblades though. but state laws vary.

As always, ‘is this illegal’ is a matter of national, state/province, and possibly county or city law. In the US, there is a Federal law prohibiting interstate traffic in switchblades unless they’re being sold to LEOs or the military. States generally regulate switchblades as a deadly weapon, so with few exceptions they’re treated pretty much like a large fixed-blade knife. In most of the US they’re legal to own in your own home, and for the most part they’re legal to carry either openly or in an inaccessible manner, but are illegal to carry concealed. A number of states let someone with only one arm or a similar handicap carry a switchblade as if it were a pocket knife. In an interesting quirk, a lot of states offer a way to legally carry a concealed handgun (concealed carry permit, or in the car, or something similar) but no way to legally carry a concealed switchblade.

As always, check your local laws before risking prison time.

One more thing - I mentioned ‘large, fixed-blade knife’ because all general concealed carry laws that I’m aware of exempt ‘pocketknives’, which are usually defined as something like non-powered folding knives where the handle completely covers the blade, possibly with a maximum blade length.

They’re illegal in Cincinnati, though if the cop is in a good mood, he’ll just make you snap the blade against the ground. He also might only give you a ticket for being in a city park after hours, and look the other way at the fact that you’re only eighteen, splitting a twelve pack of beer with a 17-year-old girl.

YMMV, natch.

Mr. L.A., if you are interested in a good, legal knife that is not a switchblade but can be made ready to use quickly, I suggest you take a look at one of the many “spring assisted” knives that are available. Some knives of this style are very impressive in quality and made by well-known manufacturers. Since many knives of this style are liner-lock knives, the locking bar is one of the things to pay special attention to; for heavy use, a thick locking bar is desirable. Be sure to check the frame where the back of the blade will be impacting the handle - it must be strong enough to withstand the considerable force of the blade opening action. This extra strength is lacking on most pocket knives, and that’s why I counsel against the popular trend of “blade flipping.”

I’m not actually looking for a knife to carry. I just have a little collection.

Oh - sorry. I am not sure, but there may be one knife that you can probably add to you collection that works like a switchblade knife, but the blade isn’t a normal blade. That would be the shroud cutter. Mine had international orange scales. The blade is shaped a lot like a “gut hook” blade found on hunting knives. If you would like to start a thread about knife collecting on one of theses forums (maybe MPSIMS), I would be pleased to discuss your collection with you and others. I know there are a lot of collectors here; maybe some of them are interested in knives.

The “gut hook” is not spring-loaded. You have to open it like a normal knife. But the 3-inch clip-point knife blade is. (You knew there was a reason I started this thread! :wink: ) Other shroud cutters just have the fixed hook.

We may get moved or shut down by one of the moderators, but I have a question for you: have you seen any Farber military knives available? This is an older knife that has a rather large profile, sorta like some of the big military bowies.

No, I haven’t seen any. (But then, I’m a rather casual collector.)

Ek? Angle-blade Gerber? F-S? I would think there is a large trade in these items on the West Coast.