New PA Law Repeals Longstanding Switchblade Ban

After ten years of related work in the Keystone State, the Knife Rights-backed Pennsylvania Switchblade Ban Repeal has been signed into law by governor Tom Wolf.

The PA Switchblade Ban Repeal, or HB 1929, makes it legal to own and carry automatic knives in Pennsylvania – or will make it legal anyway, when it goes into effect on January 2, 2023. As things stand now, the only legally acceptable reason for owning an automatic knife is to have it as a “curio,” and of course carry is prohibited.

According to the official Knife Rights press release, HB 1929’s journey wasn’t a sure thing until penned touched paper, with some unexpected issues nearly scuppering the entire project at the 11th hour. Says Knife Rights founder Doug Ritter:

“I would like to thank all who emailed their legislators to support Knife Rights’ efforts on HB 1929. We worked diligently with our friends in the House and Senate to get HB 1929 bipartisan support resulting in votes of 202-1 in the House and 50-0 in the Senate. I am especially appreciative of Governor Wolf signing this bipartisan bill to advance freedom and criminal justice reform in Pennsylvania. This repeal is the culmination of 10 years of Knife Rights’ efforts in Pennsylvania.”

The release also brings up another important point, which is that the work is not done in Pennsylvania; specifically there is no knife law preemption in place, which means that local ordinances can still override the state law, making it illegal to carry automatic knives within their jurisdictions.

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