Automatic Knives


Well-Known Member
Like a lot of people I have several automatic knives I never carry.
The laws are so crazy, you can buy and sell but not carry them.

The law has changed and I was asleep and did not hear about it.
Is this the case?



Well-Known Member
I had a great website with some nice auto. knives, but, 'puter crashed and I lost the address...I love them...I usually buy a cheap one at the gun shows...

I just hate to spend much money on something that I can't use...

I hope someone knows and will add to the post, if the law has been changed...


Red Hat

Well-Known Member
There is a federal law that covers automatic knives but they are not covered by SC law. The 2" or less requirement was changed and only applies to schools. When they changed the law it left it wide open for knives. I carry a Kershaw Blur that's spring assisted and could be considered an automatic knife. I have no problem carrying an automatic knife in our state but wouldn't carry one out of state because of the federal law.

SECTION 16-23-460. Carrying concealed weapons; forfeiture of weapons.

(A) A person carrying a deadly weapon usually used for the infliction of personal injury concealed about his person is guilty of a misdemeanor, must forfeit to the county, or, if convicted in a municipal court, to the municipality, the concealed weapon, and must be fined not less than two hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not less than thirty days nor more than ninety days.

(B) The provisions of this section do not apply to:

(1) A person carrying a concealed weapon upon his own premises or pursuant to and in compliance with Article 4, Chapter 31 of Title 23; or

(2) peace officers in the actual discharge of their duties.

(C) The provisions of this section also do not apply to rifles, shotguns, dirks, slingshots, metal knuckles, knives, or razors unless they are used with the intent to commit a crime or in furtherance of a crime.

Federal law

The Switchblade Act, (Pub.L. 85-623, 72 Stat. 562, enacted on August 12, 1958, and codified in 15 U.S.C. ? 1241?1245), prohibits possession on Federal lands, Indian reservations, military bases, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and other protectorates. It prohibits manufacture and sale of switchblades in interstate commerce.[15] The act was amended in 1986 to also restrict ballistic knives. Federal law controls Federal aspects only, and does not mandate prohibition within an individual state. It does say specified knives can not be mailed through the U.S.Postal Service, and provides penalty exceptions for other common carriers/shipping companies doing normal business.[15]

18 U.S.C. ? 1716(g)(2) provides this summary:

Federal law prohibits shipment of automatic knives across state lines, with the following exceptions: Switchblade knives can be shipped: (1) to civilian or Armed Forces supply or procurement officers and employees of the Federal Government ordering, procuring, or purchasing such knives in connection with the activities of the Federal Government; (2) to supply or procurement officers of the National Guard, the Air National guard, or militia of a state, territory or the District of Columbia ordering, procuring, or purchasing such knives in the connection with the activities of such organization; (3) to supply or procurement officers or employees of the municipal government of the District of Columbia or the government of any State or Territory, or any county, city or other political subdivision of a State or Territory; procuring or purchasing such knives in connection with the activities of such government. (4) to manufacturers of such knives or bona fide dealers therein in connection with any shipment made pursuant of an order from any person designated in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3).

15 U.S.C. ? 1244 provides, in summary: Knives can be shipped by common carrier, that sale, transportation or distribution, possession or introduction into interstate commerce of switchblade knives is authorized if it is pursuant to a contract with the armed forces or any member or employee thereof acting in the performance of his or her duty may possess switchblade knives and may have them shipped to him and sold to him or her. The possession and transportation upon his or her person of a switchblade knife or a blade 3 inches or less is authorized to any handicap individual who has the use of only one arm.


Well-Known Member
Seems as though it might be up to interpretation of the LEO who discovered you had one.

Interpretation is a scary word.

Please convince me...

HHB Guns

Well-Known Member
As a deputy sheriff for Dorchester county I can tell you I have much bigger problems on the street to deal with besides an auto opening knife. I dont know of any state law that makes them illegal. I know when my wife bought mine she brought the box home and a picture of it cause the shop said you had to be military or police and I had to go back with her with my LE crendentials to pick it up.


Well-Known Member
Unless the have amended the laws here, you can have an "assisted" opening knife, just not a ballistic or butterfly knife. For any that do not know what a Ballistic Knife is, it is the type that the blade comes straight out (it also can shoot the blade for about 20 feet or so) and does not fold. It is also "spring loaded" What they are "afraid" of is that some enterprising young man, will modify a knife so that it will shoot the blade out. But an assisted folding type knife is not illeagal.

Red Hat

Well-Known Member
There is nothing in the law now that specifies any specific type of knife. If you look at the law don't use the one on SLED's site. It's way out of date. SLED is notorious about failing to update their site. Here is the current law. If you search for knife you'll see that the wording has changed. The only thing you have to worry about is several major cities in SC have implemented their own ordinances on knives. Most of them state that any knife with a blade over 3" is illegal to carry. I don't know if this is current but it shows city laws on knives. Scroll down to SC. If there is no law then there is no charge applicable. The best thing to do is call SLED or try to get an AG's opinion.


Well-Known Member
In North Carolina you can only carry an automatic knife if you are a one-armed man.and then it can only be a 2" blade.
I've seen some real nice ones at the gun shows and have been tempted to buy one. They have a lifetime guarantee.
The only problem is that they are $60 to start and if I can't carry it with me I don't want to have it just laying around the house so I can "say I have one".

I like the automatic knives, though, I think the spring assisted ones are my preference over the ones that shoot out the end of the handle.



Well-Known Member
I've never owned an automatic nife but I got this one for my last deployment. Mainly because it fit well in the molle straps on my body armor so easy to get to for seatbelt cutting or whatever. It has a double hild so just a touch with my index finger and it's open in a fraction of a second. Ony a 4" blade but since I'm not a knife-fighter, anything bigger might be a waste. Unless we do a bayonette charge of course. :mrgreen:

M16-13SFG by CRKT. Mine is older than this one and the sarated portion has more tips.