"He bought a knife at Walmart. Now he's in York County prison", read the popular York Daily that morning. Mark Lawrence had strolled into Walmart trying to find a sharp tool for his DIY. He needed to install drywall and something sharp to cut the tiles. He found a top recommended tool from a reputed manufacturer that would land him in prison. Like many, Mark didn't learn the strict knife laws that cripple PA. He bought a Kershaw assisted opening knife with a tanto style, semi-serrated blade - a quality EDC pocket knife you'd expect people to carry around for day-to-day DIY.
Next, Mark was facing a prison sentence of 7 to 23 months. A long sentence for carrying a tool. Admittedly Mark's history with the law wasn't clean and he was caught DUI - sleeping behind the wheel in possession of a tool that can cause bodily harm to others.
In a nutshell, Pennsylvania laws banned carrying all spring assisted and automatic knives. Period. One could not manufacture, sell, or own any of these knives. So, how did Mark buy a knife that couldn't be legally sold? Because Pennsylvania knife laws come with loopholes that allow assisted opening knives to be readily sold in stores. Confused? Most are, even the judges and lawyers. In Mark's case, his past criminal record and drunk driving conspired against him. At the end of the day, it depends on how a police officer, prosecutor, or judge interprets the law.
New Pennsylvania Bill Changes The GameRecently Pennsylvania saw a piece of legislation introduced in their knife laws that will decriminalize automatic knives. This will come as a huge relief to many including manufacturers and outdoor enthusiasts, many of whom have been actively participating in changing the old legislation.
So What Does It Mean In Layman's Terms?
The new bill is set to decriminalize the possession of automatic knives. In the past, possession of any automatic knife could be seen as a criminal offense. Now, the new law is set to remove these restrictions.
"By removing automatic knives from Pennsylvania’s definition of ‘offensive weapons,’ HB 1929 would: (1) allow Pennsylvania retailers and manufacturers to sell these knives like their competitors do in neighboring states, benefiting the state’s economy; and (2) allow residents of Pennsylvania to use and own these knives, including outdoors enthusiasts like hikers, hunters, and boaters, as well as tradespeople like contractors, roofers, landscapers, and mechanics, who in 44 other states, use these knives daily for their jobs and outdoor activities."
The Knife Pennsylvanians Have Been Waiting For
For the first time, residents of Pennsylvania will have legal access to a new world of knives. Outdoor enthusiasts and tradesmen can now enjoy the same best automatic knives as their neighboring states. Here's one of the most outstanding automatic knives to add to your collection if you're from PA.
Amber Out the Front (OTF) Automatic Knife
A stunning beauty with a silky-smooth action that deploys a razor-sharp chrome blade. The knife comes with a beautifully carved rosewood handle - the mark of top-quality craftsmanship. It's a dream knife for anyone looking to carry a menacing blade within a gentle artistic framework. An army-grade automatic knife that's also a true work of art.