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Recommendation? It is legal to buy automatic/switchblade knife from outside US?

Discussion in 'Knife Laws' started by Kody77777, Mar 31, 2018.

  1. Kody77777


    Mar 31, 2018
    Hi there. I have a short question for people who know the knives laws very good or had problems in the past when made a purchase. I found a big store from outside US ( located in Europe ) and I want to order from them few knives. In my state, I can own automatic/switchblade knives. The main problem if fedeal law allow me to buy from outside US. Recommendation?
  2. zzyzzogeton

    zzyzzogeton Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 17, 2013
    Switchblade/automatic knives CANNOT be imported by any means per the Federal Switchblade Act of 1958.

    Ordering them would be an attempt to import them. Illegal by the FSA-58. Federal Felony. Jail time.
  3. Kody77777


    Mar 31, 2018
    § 1242.
    "Whoever knowingly introduces, or manufactures for introduction, into interstate commerce, or transports or distributes in interstate commerce, any switchblade knife, shall be fined not more than $2,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both."

    In my point of view, the seller is the person who introduce the knife into interstate commerce, not the buyer. Am I wrong?
  4. glistam


    Dec 27, 2004
    You have to include the definition provided by the statute before that.

    Importation is counted as "introduction" into interstate commerce. As much as I wished that was a reach for the phrasing of the law, it's already happened. While the sale over state lines within the US is almost never enforced, importation is one that has definitely gotten people in trouble. I believe both Spyderco and Benchmade got into hot water for importing their autos from fabrication overseas, which is why all Benchmade autos are US made now and why they have such odd-ball rules on sending in autos for repair. There have also been several cases over the years of small companies getting their product seized or even getting prosecuted when they import crappy Chinese autos.



    One of the reasons is probably because packages coming into the US are not private like domestic mail and are subject to inspection by CBP. CBP are not perfect and obviously miss many incoming autos considering how many are still being circulated by BladeHQ and others. But they do catch them sometimes and the result is not good.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2018
    tom19176 likes this.
  5. needler420

    needler420 Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 29, 2011
    OAKLAND - LAWFUEL - American Law Newswire - United States Attorney Scott N. Schools announced that Spyderco, Inc., a Colorado corporation, pleaded guilty and was sentenced today to mailing butterfly knives, which are nonmailable, to pay a $75,000 criminal fine, a $125 special assessment, and to forfeit all such knives seized by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement from its corporate offices in Golden, Colorado (estimated to be valued at over $400,000). The guilty plea and sentence is the result of an investigation by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE").

    In pleading guilty, Spyderco admitted that from June 2005 through January 2007, it had mailed butterfly knives, after importing the knife components from Taipei, Taiwan, through the Port of San Francisco and the Port of Oakland, to Golden, Colorado. The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol had issued a ruling to Spyderco holding that these knives fit the definition of "switchblade knives" as an imported knife "with a blade which opens automatically by operation of inertia, gravity, or both" and were therefore not allowed into the United States pursuant to the Switchblade Knife Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1241-1245, and were further not to be mailed in the United States.

    Spyderco agreed to issue a Notice of Recall on its internet site for these butterfly knives and to mail this recall notice to reasonably identifiable customers. Spyderco also agreed not to import, transport, distribute, manufacture, sell, introduce, or attempt to introduce into interstate commerce knives defined as switchblades under the Switchblade Knife Act, in violation of the law.

    The sentence was handed down by U.S. Magistrate Judge Wayne D. Brazil following the corporate guilty plea to one violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1716(j)(1), a class A misdemeanor.

    Maureen Bessette is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the case with the assistance of Cynthia Daniel. The prosecution is the result of a one year investigation by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    Further Information:

    Case #: CR0700203WDB

    A copy of this press release may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can.

    Electronic court filings and further procedural and docket information are available at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.

    Judges’ calendars with schedules for upcoming court hearings can be viewed on the court’s website at www.cand.uscourts.gov.

    All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be directed to Natalya LaBauve at (415) 436-7055 or by email at [email protected].

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