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Old February 6th, 2017, 01:35 PM #1
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Help me understand legality of OTF knives

So I've always carried a folder and still do. My folders never had any spring assists etc. Now as many say the Microtech OTF is considered illegal for Joe Public to carry but not to own within the confines of his home.

Typically these are called Automatics. Here lies the question: why are they considered as such? The use a spring for deployment like many Kershaw knives do?

Reason I'm asking is that a dealer at the Harrisburg outdoor show was selling a Microtech knockoff ( looked damn good to be honest... ) But touted it as MD legal. He said it's considered legal and NOT a automatic because of its spring assist design and the fact that of something obstructs it's path when being deployed, it won't deploy. So if your hand is in front of it and it's deployed, it'll essentially just bounce off your skin and not deploy. It'll just sit there loose until you lock it closed and then deploy again.


What's the thought on this? Any hard yay or nay evidence?
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Old February 6th, 2017, 02:14 PM #2
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I've always been told that as long as the handle doesn't have a button then it's considered legal. All of the Kershaw knives I have just have the thumb stud with the spring assisted opening. Once you have a button or device on the handle to open the knife it becomes an automatic. I could be wrong but that's what I was taught.
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Old February 6th, 2017, 02:18 PM #3
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I don't know about that specific knife, but MD considers any knife that opens by mechanical action, by push button or lever, to be a switchblade. Switchblades are legal to own and to carry(open carry). I believe they're legal to buy but not to sell. Spring assisted openers are not switchblades because you must begin to open the knife yourself by pushing on the blade, the spring only assists. Gravity knives, I'm actually not sure what category they fall into, but would be a knife that opens by gravity alone or centrifugal force after locking mechanism is released. Whether it's a side folder or "out the front" type knife doesn't make any difference, only how it works.
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Old February 6th, 2017, 02:22 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blkhawk870 View Post
I've always been told that as long as the handle doesn't have a button then it's considered legal. All of the Kershaw knives I have just have the thumb stud with the spring assisted opening. Once you have a button or device on the handle to open the knife it becomes an automatic. I could be wrong but that's what I was taught.
I was taught a lot of funny stuff about knife laws too. Then I went and looked up the actual laws myself and realized that pretty much everything that everyone told me was either made up or those folks must've believed the Boyscout's rules on knives was actual law.
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Old February 6th, 2017, 02:23 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendigo View Post
I don't know about that specific knife, but MD considers any knife that opens by mechanical action, by push button or lever, to be a switchblade. Switchblades are legal to own and to carry(open carry). I believe they're legal to buy but not to sell. Spring assisted openers are not switchblades because you must begin to open the knife yourself by pushing on the blade, the spring only assists. Gravity knives, I'm actually not sure what category they fall into, but would be a knife that opens by gravity alone or centrifugal force after locking mechanism is released. Whether it's a side folder or "out the front" type knife doesn't make any difference, only how it works.
I think this is generally correct, but as usual, be careful of where you are. IIRC, spring assist knives are not allowed in Baltimore and Howard counties.
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Old February 6th, 2017, 02:40 PM #6
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Thanks. All.
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Old February 6th, 2017, 02:41 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendigo View Post
I don't know about that specific knife, but MD considers any knife that opens by mechanical action, by push button or lever, to be a switchblade. Switchblades are legal to own and to carry(open carry). I believe they're legal to buy but not to sell. Spring assisted openers are not switchblades because you must begin to open the knife yourself by pushing on the blade, the spring only assists. Gravity knives, I'm actually not sure what category they fall into, but would be a knife that opens by gravity alone or centrifugal force after locking mechanism is released. Whether it's a side folder or "out the front" type knife doesn't make any difference, only how it works.
What's considered open carry, the pocket clip showing?

Do you have a copy of that law? Or a link I should say
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Old February 6th, 2017, 04:00 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NattyBoh View Post
What's considered open carry, the pocket clip showing?

Do you have a copy of that law? Or a link I should say
http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/fr...S&tab=subject5

My understanding of open carry is that a reasonable person would recognize it as a knife and/or you are making no attempt to conceal it. I don't think MD has a definition of "open carry" so you would have to go by case law. I carry a fixed blade every day, and have for years, and have never had any issue. I also don't make any attempt to conceal it and it's obvious that it's a knife.

If I was to carry the knife your talking about, I would clip it to my belt or pocket with the knife on the outside and feel confident about being within the law.
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Old February 7th, 2017, 07:54 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendigo View Post
http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/fr...S&tab=subject5

My understanding of open carry is that a reasonable person would recognize it as a knife and/or you are making no attempt to conceal it. I don't think MD has a definition of "open carry" so you would have to go by case law. I carry a fixed blade every day, and have for years, and have never had any issue. I also don't make any attempt to conceal it and it's obvious that it's a knife.

If I was to carry the knife your talking about, I would clip it to my belt or pocket with the knife on the outside and feel confident about being within the law.
Switchblades are defined under 4-105, which is also the [mostly unenforced] sale ban:
http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/fr...S&tab=subject5
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Old February 7th, 2017, 08:02 PM #10
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Originally Posted by navycraig View Post
I think this is generally correct, but as usual, be careful of where you are. IIRC, spring assist knives are not allowed in Baltimore and Howard counties.
I was told that spring-assist were legal for carry all over Maryland except in Baltimore City.
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