Knife Rights Victory: Automatic Knives Now Legal in Michigan

Knife Rights fights to end switchblade ban in Michigan

A ban on the possession of automatic or mechanical knives (usually referred to as “switchblades”) in Michigan recently changed when Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed Senate Bill 245 into law.

According to a press release issued by the organization Knife Rights, the new law “repeals Section 226a (switchblade ban) of the Michigan penal code originally enacted in 1952. SB245 is the culmination of years of effort by Knife Rights and our friends in Michigan including Sen. Mike Green, the original sponsor of the bill. SB245 becomes effective in 90 days on October 10, 2017. Switchblade (automatic) knives remain illegal in Michigan until then.”

MichiganLive.com reported that Senate Bill 245, “was introduced by Sen. Rick Jones, (R-Grand Ledge), and passed the Senate Judiciary Committee he chairs in March. Both the House and Senate passed the legislation, and the legislation was sent to the governor in June.”

Sen. Jones pointed out there was a good deal of confusing language in the state statute banning mechanical knives. So much so, law-enforcement officials told his committee that police themselves were unsure about how to interpret the law. The result was some people found carrying these knives were cited, while others were not.

“For years we’ve had on the books [that] it’s a violation to have a knife with a mechanical way of opening it,” said Sen. Jones. “And this has led to a lot of people being charged with a one-year, high misdemeanor, and it really isn’t necessary.”

Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter said, “This is a great day for Michigan knife owners, but there is still plenty of work to be done to rid Michigan of its remaining archaic and vague knife restrictions. Knife Rights will keep working until Michigan’s law-abiding knife owners are free to carry any blade they want.”

Knife Rights has worked to repeal switchblade bans in Alaska, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.

—By Brian McCombie, Texas & U.S. Law Shield blog contributor