Carrying spring assisted knife in PA - your thoughts

Carrying spring assisted knife in PA - your thoughts

This is a discussion on Carrying spring assisted knife in PA - your thoughts within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've done some searching in this forum for this specific topic. PA has got a lot of things right in regards to self defense but ...

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Thread: Carrying spring assisted knife in PA - your thoughts

  1. #1
    Member Array Tangolima600's Avatar
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    Carrying spring assisted knife in PA - your thoughts

    I've done some searching in this forum for this specific topic. PA has got a lot of things right in regards to self defense but their knife law seems to be subjective to whoever reads it. I'm considering purchasing a Benchmade 580S that has a spring assisted mechanism (580-583 Barrage® AXIS®-Assist | Benchmade) yet is not a full auto push button like a Gerber (Gerber 06 Automatic Knife w/ G-10 Handle S30V Steel (Tanto SER) - Blade HQ).

    Just to refresh the legalese that the PA knife law is..

    "Offensive weapons." dagger, knife, razor or cutting instrument, the blade of which is exposed in an automatic way by
    switch, pushbutton,
    spring mechanism, or otherwise, or other implement for the infliction of serious bodily injury
    which serves no common lawful purpose"


    The law seems pretty clear that the Benchmade I'm interested in doesn't sit well with this law but I also have heard there are exceptions (not even considering Philly) that may put this knife in the clear. There are also old wives tales about being able to carry auto knifes if you are/have served in the military (which I currently am) and/or law enforcement. Any thoughts/comments?
    Last edited by Tangolima600; June 27th, 2011 at 02:28 AM. Reason: Fail at proofreading for grammar


  2. #2
    RKM
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    Spring assisted knives are legal. Springs assist knives are legal because it's required that you physically touch the blade and must manually start the opening motion. Then, a spring takes over and assists the opening of the blade. It's not operated by a switch as a switchblade or a button. Even saying it's opened by a spring mechanism isn't accurate.

    As far as I know, LE and Military is ok to carry auto knives, but I don't know for sure.

    I carry a spring assisted knives on occasion. But I much prefer my Benchmade Griptilian. Think of it as the Barrage, but 100% manually operated.

    Even better than spring assist and switchblades are blades with a "wave" feature. And you can make almost any knife a "wave" knife with a zip-tie. And, no laws against it.

  3. #3
    Ex Member Array William Hill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RKM View Post
    As far as I know, LE and Military is ok to carry auto knives, but I don't know for sure.
    .
    This isn't true. There are no legal exceptions provided for LEO or military allowing them to carry autos, whether on duty or off.

    Knife law in PA is ambiguous at best. There's no state preemption, so knife laws are pretty much up to each local government. Some municipalities have no laws regulating knife carry, others, like Philadelphia, don't allow knife carry at all. For example, in Scranton, only "martial arts" type weapons are banned, like nunchuks, throwing stars, and manriki gusari (sickle chains). It's legal to carry any other knife.

    For what it's worth, it's legal to carry a balisong/butterfly knife in any area that allows knife carry. The court decision Commonwealth vs. Miles found that balisongs were not prohibited offensive weapons, and therefore legal in PA.

    Even better than spring assist and switchblades are blades with a "wave" feature. And you can make almost any knife a "wave" knife with a zip-tie. And, no laws against it
    I agree. I carry a Kershaw Leek, because it's convenient, but I always equip my Spydercos with zip-tie nibs, and they open faster than any auto or assisted opener i have.

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    Member Array gilliland87's Avatar
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    I never had a problem

    I spent 18 years growing up in pa and never once had an issue with carrying a spring assisted knife, full auto will gum you up but assist is perfectly legal.

  5. #5
    TVJ
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    I can open my manual knives within a half second of an auto/assist, either hand.

    That "disadvantage" is irrelevant to me tactically. I am a sticker for efficient tactics.

    Train and set your knife set screw to support your technique....flick, twist, etc....
    The United States Constitution © 1791. All Rights Reserved.

    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."
    - Frederic Bastiat

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    The knife laws in PA seem to be intentionally incongruous, murky, "spooky grey" & cloudy.
    I guess that is so the "powers that be" can hold you for a possible knife violation if they really need to hold you for SOMETHING and don't have anything else to immediately cuff you up over.
    But, I've not ever heard tell of any person in Pennsylvania that was busted just for being in possession of an assisted opening knife.
    I'm decently tuned in to the PA grapevine but, I'm not a lawyer so take the above for what its worth.
    William Hill likes this.

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