You’re probably wondering why you’re reading an article about the Virginia switchblade ban repeal on a tactical website. If you are, it’s because a strict interpretation of Virginia’s confusing knife laws reads them as banning automatic knives, which are extremely popular tactical knives.
The Virginia Switchblade Ban Repeal is Good News for Knife Enthusiasts
According to KnifeRights.Org, the big SB 758 passed out of committee unanimously with a 13-0 vote. That bodes well for the bill’s chances in the upcoming legislative session in Virginia. While the Virginia state senate is controlled by Democrats, Republicans control the lower house and of course the Governor’s mansion.
Why it Matters
While most self-defense practitioners focus on self-defense with guns, tactical knives are an extremely common item. But nationwide, knife laws are far more complex and often confusing than gun laws. This is part because there isn’t a strong national lobby for knife laws, and also because many state’s knife laws are relics of various moral panics about certain types of weapons. Many states still prohibit throwing stars, which are by any measure a terribly inefficient weapon.
The Switchblade Panic
In the 1950s, the United States had a bit of a moral panic over “switchblade” knives. The Federal government pass the Federal Switchblade Act, which regulated the interstate trade of switchblades and many automatic knives. Many states passed legislation banning automatic knives and switchblades. Today, while automatic knives are legal in 40 states, the strange patchwork of laws could still land you in hot water. That’s why the Virginia Switchblade Ban repeal is important, even if you don’t live in Virginia. Truth be told, before I wrote this article, I had no idea that my Microtech Trodon could land me in legal trouble in VA.
As self-defense practitioners, it’s important to try and stay on top of issues that affect all aspects of weapons-based self-defense. This definitely includes knife laws.