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Thread: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

  1. #1

    Default What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    Can someone explain what exactly makes a switchblade illegal and a Speedsafe or other assisted knife not?

    Is it because a speedsafe blade isn't pre-loaded with spring waiting for a button to be pushed, since you have to push the blade through some resistance?
    Mike
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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fender View Post
    Is it because a speedsafe blade isn't pre-loaded with spring waiting for a button to be pushed, since you have to push the blade through some resistance?
    That's the meat of the matter. I've heard that they're now trying to outlaw that as well.

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    Flashaholic* kwkarth's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    It's a matter of hot debate.

    Check this site:
    http://home.netcom.com/~brlevine/sta-law.htm
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    Flashaholic* csshih's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    at the moment, speedsafe is getting past regulations because it still requires some force to open the blade; the spring only comes into action when the blade is already half-open.(I believe)

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    Flashaholic* kwkarth's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    I think most assisted opening knives require them to be manually opened 30 degrees before assist kicks in.
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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    Quote Originally Posted by kwkarth View Post
    I think most assisted opening knives require them to be manually opened 30 degrees before assist kicks in.
    An "automatic" knife is opened by pushing a button or lever on the handle. An "assisted" opening knife is only opened by moving the blade, a spring then assist the opening.

    The speedsafe and other AO type knives are safe for now, but it was a close one there for a little while. Let this incident remind us all of how important it is to pay attention to issues that matter to us.

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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    Quote Originally Posted by kwkarth View Post
    I think most assisted opening knives require them to be manually opened 30 degrees before assist kicks in.
    On my SOG Twitch II, the blade only needs to move about 15 degrees before the spring assist takes over; it opens by pressing on a small tab that is part of the blade which protrudes through the back of the handle when closed.

    So in practice it is hardly different from pressing a button to activate the spring, but the important technical point which allows Lowes to sell these knives in PA is that what you are pressing on is the actual blade, and not a separate button mechanism.

    It's a very fine distinction that I could easily see be legislated away, but I hope not.
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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    i thought the difference was that switch blades were spring powered and assisted were cam powered
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    Flashaholic* csshih's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    oops. 1/2 is a bit too much, eh? it probably varies among manufacturers.

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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    Based on expensive experience.......If you live in Australia any spring in any configuration in a knife is enough to get your knife seized by Customs.

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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    what you need is the cold steel ti-lite or the emerson with wave effect.
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    Flashaholic commodorewheeler's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fender View Post
    Is it because a speedsafe blade isn't pre-loaded with spring waiting for a button to be pushed, since you have to push the blade through some resistance?
    That is actually not the reason why SpeedSafe (and other assisted openers) are categorized separately from full automatics. Assisted openers are not considered automatics because the means by which you actuate the opening of the knife (thumbstud or flipper tab) on an assisted opener is part of the blade, whereas an automatic knife uses a separate, detached means of actuation, such as a button or a lever or a scale or bolster.

    However, the resistance that you speak of, along with the detent, does help prevent assisted openers from being classified as gravity knives.
    Last edited by commodorewheeler; 11-15-2009 at 12:56 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    "(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."

    I am considering the purchase of a Boker Magnum Automatic, which opens by depressing a button (button lock) and requires depressing the same button while applying pressure to the blade in order to close it. Could someone tell me if it meets the requirement mentioned in the above statemtent which is from Section 1244 of the new Federal Switchblade Act. Thank you.
    Last edited by Frankiarmz; 11-15-2009 at 05:10 PM.

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    Flashaholic commodorewheeler's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankiarmz View Post
    "(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."

    I am considering the purchase of a Boker Magnum Automatic, which opens by depressing a button (button lock) and requires depressing the same button while applying pressure to the blade in order to close it. Could someone tell me if it meets the requirement mentioned in the above statemtent which is from Section 1244 of the new Federal Switchblade Act. Thank you.
    From what you describe, the knife in question does not meet the above requirement if all it takes is a button press to open it.

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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    Quote Originally Posted by commodorewheeler View Post
    From what you describe, the knife in question does not meet the above requirement if all it takes is a button press to open it.
    Thanks for the reply. I thought it would fit the requirement of exclusion because although the knife opens with a push of a button, it requires a hand and force against the blade to close it again and reload the spring. You can't just hold the knife up and let the blade retract on it's own by gravity. Interesting reading but a little difficult to understand. I'm sure local laws would still supercede the newer Federal regulations.

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    Flashaholic commodorewheeler's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankiarmz View Post
    Thanks for the reply. I thought it would fit the requirement of exclusion because although the knife opens with a push of a button, it requires a hand and force against the blade to close it again and reload the spring. You can't just hold the knife up and let the blade retract on it's own by gravity. Interesting reading but a little difficult to understand. I'm sure local laws would still supercede the newer Federal regulations.
    You're welcome! Actually, most autos do require you to reload the spring when you close the knife, it's fairly typical in just about every type of auto except D/A OTFs.

    The segment of law that you listed has more to do with resistance to opening when a knife is closed rather than resistance to closing when the knife is open.

  17. #17

    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    Changes to Federal Switchblade Act

    AKTI NOTE: Exception (5) to Section 1244 below was passed (as part of a manager’s amendment
    resulting from acceptance of Amendment 1447) by a vote of the full Senate (84-6) on July 9. It is the
    language provided by AKTI that was accepted unanimously by the 2009 Texas Legislature and signed into
    law by Texas Governor Perry on June 18, 2009.

    This agreement was reached in the Senate among the Appropriations committee, the Finance
    Committee, the Commerce, Science and Transportation committee and with Customs and Border
    Protection on July 8. Senators Cornyn, Pryor, Wyden, Crapo, Hatch, Vitter, Risch, Chambliss, Corker,
    Enzi, Barrasso, Graham, Merkley, Thune, Bennett, Collins, Inhofe, Ben Nelson, Tester and Roberts co-
    sponsored this amendment (1447). AKTI thanks them.

    This new language [(5) below], as part of the Homeland Security Appropriations for FY 2010, it was
    passed in the House, approved by Conference and signed by the President on October 28, 2009.

    Attorneys who have reviewed this language on AKTI’s behalf or on behalf of AKTI member companies
    conclude that this new language protects the importation of one-hand openers and assisted-openers
    because both belong to a broad class of knives with a bias toward closure. Under their own regulations, if
    this amendment becomes law, Customs can no longer argue that importing such knives is contrary to the
    law. U.S. Customs cannot ban products for which there is no statutory support.

    Commodorewheeler, the above statement, specifically the last paragraph is what lead me to believe the law had changed. I understand even if US Customs is alright with their import, local laws probably still prevent carry of such knives. I appreciate your input. Frank

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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    If our elected representatives don't hear from us occasionally, eventually we'll be left with only plastic sporks and plastic non-serrated knives. Everything else is too dangerous...

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    Flashaholic* PhantomPhoton's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    Quote Originally Posted by tsmith35 View Post
    If our elected representatives don't hear from us occasionally, eventually we'll be left with only plastic sporks and plastic non-serrated knives. Everything else is too dangerous...
    Actually they make it illegal to have many plastic and other non-metalic blades already in some places. But thats another topic for another place.

    Technically a "speedsafe" or other assisted opening knife types can be construed as illegal according to the very general language of knife laws in many states and municipalities.
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  20. #20

    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    I think, in today's world, the laws need to be changed. What difference does it make how fast a knife can be opened? I always thought the law for switchblades was rediculous, and with the technologies we have developed and use everyday, it seems very archaic.

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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    The switchblades being prohibited is nonsense. Not like it takes any longer to open any other knife in skilled hands.

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    Flashaholic commodorewheeler's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    Quote Originally Posted by T0RN4D0 View Post
    The switchblades being prohibited is nonsense. Not like it takes any longer to open any other knife in skilled hands.
    Exactly. Fixed blades are the fastest to deploy out of all knives out there. There is no good or even logical reason other than image and tradition for switchblades to still be outlawed.

  23. #23

    Party Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    Quote Originally Posted by michaelmcgo View Post
    An "automatic" knife is opened by pushing a button or lever on the handle. An "assisted" opening knife is only opened by moving the blade, a spring then assist the opening.

    The speedsafe and other AO type knives are safe for now, but it was a close one there for a little while. Let this incident remind us all of how important it is to pay attention to issues that matter to us.
    Michael hit it right on the nose.

    because you touch the actually blade to open the knife makes it legal

    switch blades and balisongs can be opened without touching the blade which makes it illegal.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic commodorewheeler's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankiarmz View Post
    Changes to Federal Switchblade Act

    AKTI NOTE: Exception (5) to Section 1244 below was passed (as part of a manager’s amendment
    resulting from acceptance of Amendment 1447) by a vote of the full Senate (84-6) on July 9. It is the
    language provided by AKTI that was accepted unanimously by the 2009 Texas Legislature and signed into
    law by Texas Governor Perry on June 18, 2009.

    This agreement was reached in the Senate among the Appropriations committee, the Finance
    Committee, the Commerce, Science and Transportation committee and with Customs and Border
    Protection on July 8. Senators Cornyn, Pryor, Wyden, Crapo, Hatch, Vitter, Risch, Chambliss, Corker,
    Enzi, Barrasso, Graham, Merkley, Thune, Bennett, Collins, Inhofe, Ben Nelson, Tester and Roberts co-
    sponsored this amendment (1447). AKTI thanks them.

    This new language [(5) below], as part of the Homeland Security Appropriations for FY 2010, it was
    passed in the House, approved by Conference and signed by the President on October 28, 2009.

    Attorneys who have reviewed this language on AKTI’s behalf or on behalf of AKTI member companies
    conclude that this new language protects the importation of one-hand openers and assisted-openers
    because both belong to a broad class of knives with a bias toward closure. Under their own regulations, if
    this amendment becomes law, Customs can no longer argue that importing such knives is contrary to the
    law. U.S. Customs cannot ban products for which there is no statutory support.

    Commodorewheeler, the above statement, specifically the last paragraph is what lead me to believe the law had changed. I understand even if US Customs is alright with their import, local laws probably still prevent carry of such knives. I appreciate your input. Frank
    Frank, somehow I missed your post until now, sorry for the delayed response.

    I read that statement over pretty carefully just now, and I'm not seeing any changes to actual knife laws in it. The only thing that it seems to say that is new is that customs cannot create their own policies to ban the importation of one-handed manual openers and assisted openers, since those types of knives are already legal to possess and distribute in the US under federal law.

    I don't see anything in there that has to do with full automatic knives at all.

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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    People tend to forget that the federal laws usually don't make something legal, they make things illegal.

    State or local laws may make a federally legal knife illegal. Or be vaguely worded. Or the locals may simply decide to prosecute people based on incorrect interpretation of the law.

    Some cities, for instance, prohibit lockback knives, even if they have no opening spring at all.
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    Flashaholic Per-Sev's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

    That is a tough question it all depends on the cop that day and what the blade length laws are in your state. In some states you can carry a switchblade some require a concealed weapons permit and you can carry what ever you want then. I have a permit to carry a gun in Michigan and that permit is only good for the gun and if I get caught carrying a knife with a blade over 3'' I could lose my permit. You have to check your local laws and your state laws where you live. Some might consider that a gravity knife if you can flick it open also. So all those easy opening liner locks could fall into that category.

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