Repealing the Federal Switchblade Act of 1958

According to Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), this West Side Story-era federal law has become a trap for working Americans in many occupations who use knives caught up under its provisions, and repealing it will leave them freer and safer [American Knife and Tool Institute/; related on gravity-knife laws]


  • Is it common to have prosecutions under this law? If the number is low, which I suspect, I believe that purging our books of these dead letters is a good thing. I would like to see sunset provisions for many laws.

    • They might have been rare in the past, but there is no guarantee it will stay that way.

      It used to be that, with a few exceptions, the commission of a crime had to cross state lines or occur on federal land for federal criminal jurisdiction to attach.

      However, The DOJ’s current stance on federal jurisdiction is that it is enough for any one tool used in the commission of a crime to have at any time in the past traveled in interstate commerce for federal criminal jurisdiction to attach.

      In today’s world, this is enough for every crime to fall under federal jurisdiction.

  • Idiotically, I am prohibited from bringing my pink Swiss Army knife on a plane.

    This is because our “security” is run by idiots.

    At least there’s something of a theme going.

  • I’m guessing Amy was not saying that on 9/12/01. Is it really saw awful for you to lose this knife for you 2 hour flight? My goodness.

    Our airport security is not idiotic and it will remain the same no matter who is in charge of Congress and the White House.

    • It’s idiot, because it can’t stop the next hijacking.

      The 9/11/01 attack may well have put an end to airplane hijackings.


      Well first, because of a change in passenger attitudes.

      It used to be if a plane was hijacked the passengers were being held hostage. The safest thing for the passengers was to wait for a negotiated release or rescue.

      Now, passengers will expect to die if a plane is hijacked. There have been several incidents where other passengers have forcibly subdued an unruly passenger. And one or two incidents where after the plane was on the ground, police had to intervene to prevent the other passengers from killing or seriously injuring the suspect.

      If a plane is hijacked, the passengers will resist, no matter what level of force the hijackers bring.

      Second, the airlines have strengthened the cockpit doors, and changed procedures. Now, the cockpit door is kept locked during the flight. Not even the flight attendants are allowed in the cockpit once the plane leaves the gate.

      The next airline hijacking, if there is a next one, will be done by infiltrating the flight crew, getting their own pilot onto the plane.

      All that security theater that they put passengers through, the flight crews get to bypass all of it.

      • Next one MattS?

        You mean like the Egyptian 767 (EgyptAir 990) pilot that kamikazed their airplane into the Atlantic? Or the nut case German (Gemanwings 9525) that flew his into the mountainside by adjusting the cruise altitude to below mountaintop level?

        They’ve “Been there, done that”.

        And Ron, yes, it is ALL theater to keep the Sheeple feeling safe. Not actually safe, but feeling safe.

        • What I remember reading about the EgyptAir 990 all the evidence pointed to a suicidal nut case, not connected to any terrorist group.

          I don’t remember reading about the German case you mention at all.

          • Mind you, I’m not saying the individuals in question were actors for groups, but merely that what you posited above, that is, crew being the only real threat for deliberate action, has already come to pass.

            Next up for out of cockpit action, and I’m surprised “they” haven’t tried / done it already since it would be easy, as far as these things go: Set up heavy machine gun(s) under the landing pattern and strafe the cockpit as an airliner comes in low n slow to land. 50 BMG or the DsHK’s are undoubedly floating on the black market. Back of a cube van – roll up the door and there you go……strafe, drive away. Far lower tech & likely easier to smuggle than trying to get MANPADS.

            And there is nothing all the pax side “security” theater can do about that.

        • IIRC, the german one was the copilot who locked the pilot out of the cockpit when he went to the bathroom.

  • Just because it will remain the same doesn’t mean it’s not idiotic. Just because some are willing to trade liberty for a sense of security doesn’t mean that I don’t consider them morons. There are actually less invasive means that could accomplish lessening the chances of another 9/11/01, but security theater is what we got.