Baltimore, MD Code
(May 15, 2015) – Current events have raised questions regarding the City of Baltimore, Maryland Code regarding “switch-blade” knives (automatics). Here is the Code:
§ 59-22. Switch-blade knives.
(a) Possession or sale, etc., prohibited.
It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, carry, or possess any knife with an automatic spring or other device for opening and/or closing the blade, commonly known as a switch-blade knife.
Any person violating the provisions of this section, shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not more than $500 or be imprisoned for not more than 1 year, or both, in the discretion of the court. (City Code, 1950, art. 24, §155; 1966, art. 19, §160; 1976/83, art. 19, §185.) (Ord. 44-057.)
Reference: ARTICLE 19 POLICE ORDINANCES (As Last Amended by Ord. 14-307) Published by BALTIMORE CITY DEPARTMENT OF LEGISLATIVE REFERENCE
Federal Switchblade Law
In 2009 Congress revised the 1958 Federal Switchblade Act by adding Exception (5) to Section 1244. This exception was included to protect one-hand opening, or assisted opening, knives, from being incorrectly considered automatic knives (switchblades) or gravity knives. The exception language includes AKTI’s bias toward closure language enacted in several states.
For purposes of the Federal Switchblade Act (that prohibits interstate transport of switchblades), a switchblade is NOT
(5) a knife that contains a spring, detent, or other mechanism designed to create a bias toward closure of the blade and that requires exertion applied to the blade by hand, wrist or arm to overcome the bias toward closure to assist in opening the knife.
State Knife Laws can be reviewed at www.stateknifelaw.com.