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U.S. Customs Set to Classify All Folding Knives as Switchblades

June 12, 2009  | 

United States Customs and Border Protection plans to classify assisted-opening knives and all one-hand-opening knives as switchblades, which are banned.

On May 21, Customs proposed a revision of what constitutes a switchblade. This new interpretation would consider multi-tools, traditional pocket knives, one-hand openers, and assisted-openers illegal per the U.S. Switchblade Act of 1958.

If U.S. Customs succeeds, it could lead to effectively banning all folding knives from interstate commerce.

If you're interested in voicing your opposition to the U.S. Customs' plan (19 CFR Part 177) to re-classify assisted openers and all folding knives, you must send a letter by regular mail to arrive at Customs by June 20, 2009 to the following address:

19 CFR Part 177

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Office of International Trade, Regulations and Rulings

Attention: Intellectual Property and Restricted Merchandise Branch

Mint Annex, 799 Ninth St. N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20229


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Comments (5)

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

sgtjosh @ 6/12/2009 6:55 PM

That is absolutely ridiculous. A switchblade is a switchblade. CBP has lost its flippin' mind.

Morning Eagle @ 6/12/2009 10:08 PM

This proposed re-interpretation of the switch blade is ridiculous and will only serve to make criminals out of literally millions of law abiding citizens who carry knives as tools with absolutely no intention of ever using one offensively against another person. These federal agencies that are allowed to make up their own regulations then change them at will are run by unelected, faceless bureaucrats who don't have lick of common sense and are letting their power to create laws adversely affect their immitaton brains. They are out of control. How many of you carry a knife that can be opened with one hand? I'll bet most of us do.

arahaim @ 6/13/2009 3:17 PM

First - I work for CBP, and we have NOT heard of this, and most of us carry knives like this too.

Second - it's Customs & Border Protection, NOT Border Patrol. BP is one component of CBP.

Third - CBP does not regulate interstate commerce. It enforces international trade and travel, as well as interdiction efforts.

Therefore, this would only apply to the importation of knives, not the sale of once they have legally entered the commerce of the US.

Part of this is due to the large influx of cheaply made knives that get illegally imported and usually find their way to flea markets and or gun show type events.

This article should be objectively looked at by the organization that published it. Consider the fact that it might be propaganda to rally folks to their organization.

Please review the facts, and by all means, comment. Don't forget to write your legislators too. or

jpashley @ 6/14/2009 10:46 AM

Switch blades are actually controlled by Dept of Commerce under Title 15 U.S. Code not by Customs law. But CBP does enforce commerce law as well as many others as it relates to things crossing the border.

jpashley @ 6/14/2009 10:51 AM

I hit enter too soon. The Code of Federal Regulations involved are 19 CFR 12.95 - 103. The CBP proposal can be found here: . It appears that CBP is clarifying conflicting rulings over the years, unfortunately it also appears they intend to call spring assisted knives "switchblades".

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