OTF Knives: Are OTF Switchblades Illegal?

Are you looking at a new hunting knife? Perhaps your current ones are manual and take time to open. An automatic knife might be just what you need.

OTF switchblades are some of the best hunting knives the market can offer. With just a click of a button, you are ready to perform tasks such as filleting fish, deer, or any other animal that you caught. Not only is it a great tool, but it can also protect you against the dangers nature often throws in your path.

But are switchblades legal? Keep reading to find out!

What Are OTF Switchblades?

A switchblade is a knife that deploys automatically. With an OTF switchblade, it simply means that it comes “Out the Front.” There are two types of OTF knives.

The first type is a single-action knife. Single action knives only deploy with the press of a button, while double-action knives are fully automatic. They deploy and retract automatically with the press of a button.

The best OTF knives come in many shapes and sizes. You’re sure to have so much fun searching for the right one for your collection.

How are they different from butterfly knives?

There is a distinction between a butterfly knife, a balisong, and an OTF switchblade.

The first distinction is that it is a folding knife instead of a retractable blade. When closed, the butterfly knife is held together by a latch and is concealed by the handles.

Secondly, the knife is not automatic but works with gravity. You do not press a button to open the knife. Instead, you open the latch and maneuver the blade to open.

Where Are Switchblades Illegal

Now that we know what a switchblade is, we need to know where it is illegal.

In the following states, it is illegal to possess an OTF switchblade

  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Montana*
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Pennsylvania*

*Possessing a switchblade in Montana and Pennsylvania is only permitted if used as a collector’s item.

In the above list, an OTF switchblade is not permitted to be sold or possessed under any circumstances, with the exception of Montana and Pennsylvania.

Where Are Switchblades Legal

If you do not see your state in the above-mentioned list, you can purchase and possess an OTF knife. However, there are some exceptions in select states, where the restrictions are a bit tighter.

For example, in California, a blade can only be purchased and owned if it is less than 2″, while in New York, it can only be possessed with a Hunting and Fishing License.

There is no legal age limit, except in West Virginia, where the owner of the knife needs to be at least 18 years old.

The Federal Switchblade Act

In 1958 the Federal Switchblade Act was passed, allowing each state to set its own laws for the OTF switchblades. As you can see, the majority of states allow for the possession and sale of OTF knives.

The one thing that the Federal Switchblade Act regulates is the manufacturing and introduction into interstate and international commerce.

Are You Ready to Buy Your Own OTF Knife?

If you live in the 40 states where it is legal for you to own OTF switchblades, then you can start shopping today!

We’d love to see which ones you ended up going with in the comments section down below.

And, for more great tips on choosing only the best in life, keep coming back for more!

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