Purchasing Switchblades in Ca

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Mar 20, 2021
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Apologies if this has been answered, but I couldn't figure out the legality when it comes to purchasing (not just possessing) switchblades over 2" in Ca. I understand it's illegal across the board to carry a switchblade, but what about purchasing? I see there's online knife stores here in Ca that sell autos/otfs, yet I thought it's a crime to sell them?

So to be clear the knife I'm interested in is a Microtech Dirac Delta. Can I legally purchase this and have it shipped to me, and does it matter where I buy it from? I'm not in LE/military, and the knife is just for my collection (i.e. wouldn't leave my property).
 
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Sep 24, 2002
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Technically, there is nothing in California law that says it's illegal for a person in the state of California to purchase switchblades.

It is illegal in California to sell switchblades with blades longer than 2", but I don't believe that much effort is put into enforcing that law. Switchblades aren't exactly a high priority for law enforcement. Still, I wouldn't lay out a bunch of switchblades for sale at a swap meet.

I live in California and have purchased switchblades from a few reputable vendors, including one of Bladeforums supporting vendors. I've also purchased them from Amazon. I received all of my orders without any difficulty, and without any legal issues.

I wouldn't hesitate to order more if I wanted.
 
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Joined
Mar 20, 2021
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39
Yeah I figured it might be technically illegal but not something they enforce. Haven't heard of anyone getting caught up for buying a knife online. Guess I'll just test my luck. Thanks.
 
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Some vendors may reject your purchase due to a CA address but many won't.

On the Military/LEO thing everyone seems to get hung up on - whether in "reading" the law (which they don't) and the selling companies asking a question about it ---- the military/LEO exception section of the FEDERAL law refers to ORGANIZATION PURCHASING agents. It does NOT refer to INDIVIDUALS trying to purchase the knives.

IF I am the purchasing officer for a military organization or if I am the Department Purchasing Agent (pick your civilian LEO term) bent on purchasing some switchblades for my department, then I fall under the FEDERAL law exception.

Some company asking about the purchaser being LEO or military is just corporate butt covering.

I've never worried about my answer to those questions.
A) the law exemption doesn't apply to me in terms of exempting me
B) militia is a quasi-military term
C) technically, all able-bodied males 16 to 65 constitute a "militia" (whether they can legally own/carry a gun is a different ball of wax) so I still consider myself quasi-military.

Since I can legally own AND carry switchblades in public (Texas), if I want one, I buy it. If company "X" balked about selling to me because of where I lived, I'd move on to the next company who did. Since you CAN legally own them in California, go for it.

If I still lived in San Diego and had stuff I wanted to buy that was illegal to sell in California but not illegal to own and were not illegal to ship through the USPS? I'd go get a $40 PO Box in Yuma and have my purchases sent to the PO box and have my knives sent there. And make a road trip every 2 weeks or as needed.
 
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Mar 20, 2021
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Thanks for the clarification on the exemption, or lack thereof. I'm only half a days drive from Yuma so the PO box isn't a bad idea :thumbsup:
 
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Sep 24, 2002
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I live in San Diego. When I ordered my switchblades, they were delivered to my door, in San Diego. I never had to drive to Arizona and back. It's not like San Diego has it's own law against buying or ordering switchblades.

Paying for a USPS box (one big enough to accommodate packages), plus gas, both ways (I'm paying $3.70 a gallon for regular right now), is going to add to the cost of your purchase. Not to mention the extra mileage on your vehicle.

If I were inclined to buy anther switchblade (and I might) I would place my order just the same as if I were ordering any other knife. And I wouldn't give it any more thought than that. There's no reason to make it any more complicated than it needs to be.
 
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Apr 12, 2014
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Not to name names of specific shops, but I know of a handful of shops that sell high end switchblades in CA, you just have to ask and they'll pull them out from behind the counter.
 
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Mar 20, 2021
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I was thinking the PO box mostly for other things, I definitely wouldn't make the drive just for an otf. Speaking hypothetically of course
 
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