Santa Ana, California (November 15, 2012) – Once again the appellate courts of California have upheld the American Knife & Tool’s signature legislation introduced in 2001 protecting one-hand opening knives. In the most recent case, The People v. Gilbert, R. the court overturned a juvenile court case decision that had given Mr. Gilbert supervised probation for misdemeanor possession of a switchblade knife for a knife that could be “wrist-flicked” open.
Thankfully, the Fourth Appellate District Court of Appeals, on reviewing former 653k (now codified at Section 17235), interpreted the legislation’s clear intent that a “Switchblade knife” does not include a knife that opens with one hand utilizing thumb pressure applied solely to the blade of the knife or the thumb stud attached to the blade, provided that the knife has a detent or other mechanism that provides resistance that must be overcome in opening the blade, or that biases the blade back toward its closed position.”
The legislation introduced in California in 2001 by the American Knife & Tool Institute as SB 274 was the organization’s first success incorporating language regarding resistance or bias and protected many law-abiding knife owners of one-hand opening knives. The Appellate Court’s opinion took judicial notice of AKTI’s website article entitled Understanding Bias Toward Closure and Knife Mechanisms.
This exemption language keeping one-hand opening and assisted opening knives from being considered illegal switchblades is what AKTI has continued to successfully introduce in other states including Texas, Kansas, Louisiana, and other states, and added to the Federal Switchblade Act in 2009 to clarify the federal definition.
You may read the entire very well-written Court of Appeals decision here as a PDF file.
Also of interest may be the 2008 Decision The People v. Fernando Lopez, a previous case upholding 653k.