Legality of assisted opening knives

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Aug 16, 2016
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First time knife buyer here so I'm pretty new to all this but I'm trying to learn. I want to get a knife to carry in my pocket, so concealed I guess the law would have it. I'm in Oregon and the section dealing with concealment reads as follows:

Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, any person who carries concealed upon the person any knife having a blade that projects or swings into position by force of a spring or by centrifugal force, any dirk, dagger, ice pick, slungshot, metal knuckles, or any similar instrument by the use of which injury could be inflicted upon the person or property of any other person, commits a Class B misdemeanor.

I'm trying to determine if knives listed as being assisted opening fall under the bold part, since according to Wikipedia it sounds like they would:

As the user applies manual pressure to the thumbstud to open the knife, a mechanism such as a torsion spring moves along a track in the liner and rapidly rotates the blade into the open and locked position.

Is this what they mean in the law by a spring? Initially I thought it just meant knives you push a button to open, but even with the thumb stud to get it started it seems like an awful lot of knives fall back on this assisted method which may drastically cut down my options on what I can get.
 
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Yes, Arrachio, that is exactly what is meant. The spring that is found in "autos" or in "assisted" folders -- makes the respective knife illegal in your state.

An Emerson wave-opening feature, such as found on some Spyderco's and Emerson's, is not a spring -- so that feature would be legal in your state.

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tom19176

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It would seem that you can open carry it if this is all of the law....The Emerson can be flicked open too so the centrifugal force wording would make it just as illegal for concealed carry. Not sure if a visible pocket clip would be open carry or if it needs to be in a sheath?
 

Yalius

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State v. Ramer, Oregon Supreme Court decision 65 Or. App. 480

"Defendant points out that Webster's Third New International Dictionary (1976), defines a switchblade as "a pocket knife having the blade spring operated so that pressure on a release catch causes it to fly open." Because a switchblade is a type of pocket knife and it is not illegal under ORS 166.240 to carry a concealed pocket knife, we hold that it cannot be illegal under that statute to carry a concealed switchblade. Defendant's conviction of carrying a concealed weapon is therefore reversed."

So assisted or switchblade knives are not illegal to carry concealed in Oregon.
 
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The Emerson can be flicked open too so the centrifugal force wording would make it just as illegal for concealed carry.

The "centrifugal force" wording of the statute is referring to a 'rotating reference frame.'

In other words, movement such as found in the operation of a balisong, not a folder with an Emerson wave.

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tom19176

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Indiana Joe while I would like to go along with your view on this,the same wording exactly is used in NY and a flickable knife has been allowed to be included. Back when this term was used in old knife laws, balisong knives were not considered in most states. In the NY law with the exact term Centrifugal force, the knife also has to lock open automatically and case law has determined that a Balisong knife is not a pre se banned knife due to this. I hope someone can step in and inform us of the courts understanding in this state as to their view of the wording used here? I hope if differs from NY's view....
 
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