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View Full Version : Assisted Openers in Missouri



SCALPHUNTER
05-30-2010, 09:55 PM
Okay guys, Missouri's knife laws state no switchblades, which are defined as any knife that opens by means of a button or switch on the handle, or by the use of centrifugal force, like a butterfly knife. Assisted Openers don't use buttons or switches on the handles, and you don't fling them open either. They obviously are partially opened with your thumb, and then the spring finishes the job. Half the people out there say assisted openers are illegal in Missouri, the other half say they are not. Does anyone out there in Knifedog Land have any first hand knowledge either way?

zappadragon
05-30-2010, 11:09 PM
Check out my post here for full knife laws by state. http://knifedogs.com/showthread.php?t=9447

Now here is Virginia auto knives are not legal at all, unless you are police, rescue or military, etc. Now as long as you are not being a jack a$$ about it you "should" be fine and this is my example.

On day while eating lunch with my little girl Mia she asked me to cut her straw so it was not so long in her cup. So I reach into my pocket and pull out the Microtech Troodon, fire it and cut the straw. Then I retract it and go to put it in my pocket when I hear "can I see that?" I look over at the table next to us and it was 3 police officers. I thought to myself I just lost this knife. He clicked it a few times and they passed it around, then all said how cool it was and handed it back.

Now it was either a case of "cool cops" or they just didn't know or care. I think the fact that I was with my kid and not standing there clicking it and just looking for attention. I think that if you are not "dressed" the part you should be ok. I also think there is a big difference between assisted and auto. Its also something that if you can find it or something like it in your local stores your fine.

I hope this helps

SCALPHUNTER
05-30-2010, 11:28 PM
The description in my first post is what is said in Missouri's knife statute, which mentions switchblades and centrifugal force knives (butterfly knives) only. It hasn't been updated to cover assisted openers. I'm not a beginner when it comes to knives, and I'm not the type to "show off" with my knives either, so it's not that I'm worried about drawing attention to myself, I just can't seem to get a yes or no answer to my question. It's like it is a "gray" area that no one knows the answer to. I have a CCW permit which allows the carrying of most weapons (guns, knives, less-than-lethals, etc.) in this state, but they never covered the assisted opener question. Our local stores (Walmart) do sell assisted openers, but a couple of stores here also sell switchblades too but you can't carry them.

zappadragon
05-30-2010, 11:33 PM
You could always contact your local police department and ask for clarification.

SCALPHUNTER
05-31-2010, 12:12 AM
Our police department isn't real big on handing out info (I've asked questions of them before). They always are too busy, or the "right" person to answer the question isn't in,,,you know the drill, but I'll give it another try. Thanks.

Wayne Coe
05-31-2010, 04:37 AM
You won't get an absolute answer until the question is tried in the appellate courts, and even then the answer can change.

Fubarski
06-03-2010, 08:24 PM
The problem you have is with the "centrifugal force" language. This term doesn't only apply to butterfly knives, but to any knife that can be opened throught the use of gravity or centrifugal force.

The term was originally directed to the "gravity knives" that were the autos of WWI (II?).

The language has been applied to Buck folders that had the pivot loosened so that the knife could be "flicked" open. Big with biker clubs in the day.

IN THEORY, if a LEO can hold your knife, EVEN BY THE BLADE, and "flick it open with wrist action, you could find yourself in possession of a "gravity knife", though I've never encountered this. It would be IMO an abuse of LEO discretion, but it could happen.

I carry a DDR Madd Maxx dagger blade for that reason. No buttons on handle, can be flipped open, or waved, detent won't allow for wrist flick opening, and because of the dagger grind and handle design, you can't get a grip on the blade to do the blade flick.

Then again, you probably don't get searched that often anyway, right?

If you get a MO CCW permit, there is an open question as to whether you can carry flipper knives, etc.

If I figure out the answer to that one, I'll update the thread.

Have fun.

SCALPHUNTER
06-03-2010, 09:50 PM
I've had a CCW permit for quite some time now. I always carry a 9mm and a 6" "straight" blade. Missouri's permit is a "weapons" permit, not just a firearms permit, meaning you can carry any type of weapon you wish as long as it's not federally illegal. That came straight from the one of the CCW/NRA attorneys in Kansas City, as well as the Sheriff's Dept. Just can't get anyone to say yes or no on the assisted opener thing, cause it's such a gray area still. I agree with Wayne Coe, until some type of legislature comes out that plainly says they are absolutely legal, it will remain a gray area. The federal government passed a law last year that says they are not considered switchblades, but the states may have to do the same before everything gets settled.

SCALPHUNTER
06-13-2010, 09:36 PM
Okay guys, got another Email fired off to the Attorney General's Office regarding the Assisted Openers. If they decide to answer the very direct questions I put to them, I'll fill you all in.

David Wesner
06-14-2010, 07:22 AM
I've been wrong many times in the past , :o so this could be another "one of those times"...... I thought the issue with assisted openers had already been decided in the courts :confused:

This was a very HOT issue last year, with many of us calling & writing their Congressman & Representatives. I thought we won ....... :confused: :)

If you go to the Knife Rights home page http://www.kniferights.org/ in the upper RH corner you'll find a link to a story titled :

Congress Amends Federal Switchblade Act to Protect Assisted and One-Hand Openers

Here is the ammendment, copied via Knife Rights

Sec. 562 . Section 4 of the Act entitled `An Act to prohibit the introduction, or manufacture for introduction, into interstate commerce of switchblade knives, and for other purposes' (commonly known as the Federal Switchblade Act) (15 U.S.C. 1244) is amended--

(1) by striking `or' at the end of paragraph (3);

(2) by striking the period at the end of paragraph (4) and inserting `; or' and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

`(5) a knife that contains a spring, detent, or other mechanism designed to create a bias toward closure of the blade and that requires exertion applied to the blade by hand, wrist, or arm to overcome the bias toward closure to assist in opening the knife.'.

Edited to add : Without the Federal Switchblade Act in front of you the ammendments shown mean little to the reader.

Again, per the Knife Rights website, basically .........

"The President signed into law the FY2010 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill on October 28, 2009, protecting our pocket knives. The bill included our amendment to the Federal Switchblade Act that clearly exempts assisted and one-hand opening knives"

I hope this helps ease your minds ;)




cool 1

SCALPHUNTER
06-14-2010, 10:53 AM
Hey David... you are correct in that the Federal government decided in October of last year that "Assisted Openers" are not switchblades as they must be manually "started" using your thumb rather than a "push button" on the handle. This decision allowed them to be imported, sold, and "possibly" carried. The problem is this does not overide "State" laws and their individual definitions of what a switchblade is. So, long story short, some states allow them to be carried and others do not, it just depends on how their knife ordinances are written and interpreted. Missouri for instance, considers a switchblade as a knife with a push button on the handle, or a knife using centrifugal force to open the blade, or knife using mechanical means to open the blade. This isn't the exact wording, but you get the idea. Basically the statute is considered a "gray area" as far as assisted openers go, so any Officer that catches you with one can interpret the law as he sees fit. In other words, if he's having a rotten day, he can arrest you for it and the court will back him up. If he's having a good day, he might just let you go. It's a crap shoot...could go either way. I mean lets get real, they sell these knives in Walmart, Basspro, Cabelas, etc. so most people think they're legal til they get caught with one. I sent off an Email to the Attorney General's Office here in Missouri asking them for a"final" Yes or No, are they legal or not, and I'm awaiting an answer.

David Wesner
06-15-2010, 06:28 AM
Yeah, Sorry SCALPHUNTER, after reading your OP I realized what is going on.

This issue, IMO, is total B.S. ! huh1



:(

SCALPHUNTER
06-15-2010, 11:12 AM
[QUOTE=David Wesner;94199]Yeah, Sorry SCALPHUNTER, after reading your OP I realized what is going on.

This issue, IMO, is total B.S. ! huh1



Agreed...

SCALPHUNTER
06-16-2010, 04:07 PM
Okay guys, I have received the "FINAL" word that the different "agencies" are going to give regarding Missouri "Assisted Openers." Until the statute is specifically changed to include the assisted openers, if you are caught carrying one, you do so at the risk of being prosecuted. This will be determined individually by what jurisdiction you are in, and by who catches you with it. They did not say "for sure" this would happen, but it was a possibility. Ted Bruce at the Attorney General's Office informed me their office will not "advise or interpret" the law for regular citizens, and if we wanted answers to our questions we have to contact our State Representative for our individual districts, and have them forward a request to the Attorney General's Office. Basically, they aren't going to give any definitive answers. Sheriff's Office is now saying they don't know for sure, and advised against carrying them until the state statute is amended to include them. This was also the answer form the "Knife Rights Group." So, there you are, their advise is don't risk carrying them until the statute is amended, and no one has a clue when that will be.

KCSteve
06-16-2010, 08:41 PM
And that is why we need to be members of http://www.kniferights.org and work to get both the knife-law premption and the NH 'No bad knives' laws passed here.

SCALPHUNTER
06-17-2010, 06:02 AM
And that is why we need to be members of http://www.kniferights.org and work to get both the knife-law premption and the NH 'No bad knives' laws passed here.

Agreed. Like I said, when I spoke with "Knife Rights," and the Sheriff's Dept. they both said at this time no action was being taken to amend the Missouri knife statute so far, and recommending against carrying the assisted openers until the law was amended. So, until the "knife community" starts raising "cain" about changing the statute to specifically allow assisted openers, if you carry one, you do so at the risk of being prosecuted. They didn't say "for sure" you would be if caught with one, but they advised it was a possibility. So folks, join "Knife Rights," and also start complaining to your State Representative's to amend the knife statute to allow assisted openers like most of the other states already do, and let's get the ball rolling. If the people don't stand up and be counted, then the government has no incentive to fix the law.

bubba-san
06-17-2010, 06:09 AM
I have been watching this post with some interest , as I live in missouri and have lived here for 63 years . Back in the late 80S and early nineties I was a deputy sheriff for child support enforcement and I was also an inside court deputy . Upon reading some of the posts I decided to call the Attorney generals office and also the St Louis police dept. I know an assignee who works for the State prosecuters office 'Sherry". Here is what I was told on the QT. As long as its not over 4" and does not have a button on handle , the State of missouri will not prosecute these cases because of the weakness of the current law , also the ambiguity of the law itself. But they will lock you up for carrying a real pusbutton knife . Does anyone know of a particular individual who was locked up in MO for carrying an assisted opener under 4" ??? curious

SCALPHUNTER
06-17-2010, 06:27 AM
I have been watching this post with some interest , as I live in missouri and have lived here for 63 years . Back in the late 80S and early nineties I was a deputy sheriff for child support enforcement and I was also an inside court deputy . Upon reading some of the posts I decided to call the Attorney generals office and also the St Louis police dept. I know an assignee who works for the State prosecuters office 'Sherry". Here is what I was told on the QT. As long as its not over 4" and does not have a button on handle , the State of missouri will not prosecute these cases because of the weakness of the current law , also the ambiguity of the law itself. But they will lock you up for carrying a real pusbutton knife . Does anyone know of a particular individual who was locked up in MO for carrying an assisted opener under 4" ??? curious

That is what I originally thought as well, and I sure haven't heard of anyone being arrested for carrying one, and that's why I began this quest for knowledge. I spoke with our Sheriff's Dept and they didn't say you would "for sure" be prosecuted, but it was a "possibility," and recommended not carrying them until the matter of "legality" was settled, one way or another. "Knife Rights" advised the same. I spoke via Email with Ted Bruce of the Attorney General's Office and he acted as if they didn't even know what an assisted opener was, and said "We don't advise private citizens regarding legal matters, contact your State Representative," and would not give a definite answer, one way or another. So, it's being treated as the perverbial "gray area" at this point. I hope your info is right bubba, because that would be the first positive answer I've heard since beginning this search for answers, but the three or four "agencies" I've contacted all "recommended" against it for the time being. I guess it's a "crap shoot," depending on which agencies you speak with, until it's spelled out by statute.

bubba-san
06-17-2010, 07:07 AM
One of the reasons they wont give you an answer is they know the law is ambiguous and not real clear. At some point in time it will be challenged on that premise. My understanding from talking to several old friends who still work for the Circuit courts. They seemed to be more concerned about length ! of blade . However if no one gets arrested for carrying assisted openers there is no " cause for action". I regularly go fishin with 2 of my old buds ( sheriff deputies) both of these guys carry kershaw Blur assisted openers ( I sold them to both fellas). They Claim the boilerplate for prosecution is , blade has to meet both criteria , assisted and over 4" in missouri. Even though the law says something a little different , He says a memo from the state courts , who didnt want courts to be overburdened by overzelous prosecuters going after every guy who carrys a knife . Sounds like someone has a little common sense , which is refreshing in these days . I love Missouri . You can have anything you want provided your record is relativly clean no weapons charges

SCALPHUNTER
06-17-2010, 07:12 AM
Yes, that's one thing I'll say about Missouri, they are a lot more respectful of folks individual rights here than other places are. I just wish they would get around to spelling things out in the knife statute so this issue wouldn't keep popping up.

bubba-san
06-17-2010, 07:55 AM
I agree on that . There is a bright side ! even if they come and take all our stuff Knives , guns , we can just go out to the shop and make another and have a dam good time in the process:D

SCALPHUNTER
06-17-2010, 09:08 AM
I agree on that . There is a bright side ! even if they come and take all our stuff Knives , guns , we can just go out to the shop and make another and have a dam good time in the process:D

You bet...:D