FINAL BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
C 179 L 12
Synopsis as Enacted
Brief Description: Concerning the possession of spring blade knives.
Sponsors: House Committee on Judiciary (originally sponsored by Representatives Dammeier, Kelley, Wilcox, Van De Wege, Pearson, Hurst, Zeiger, Seaquist, Rodne, Ladenburg, Hope, Green, Klippert and Moscoso).
House Committee on Judiciary
Senate Committee on Judiciary
There is a general prohibition against manufacturing, selling, or possessing certain weapons, including:
spring blade knives;
knives with blades that are automatically released by a spring or other mechanism; and
knives with blades that open by the force of gravity or by a downward, outward, or centrifugal movement of the knife.
It is a gross misdemeanor to violate this prohibition. However, law enforcement officers may possess spring blade knives while on official duty, and may not be prosecuted for possession of a spring blade knife when transporting the knife to and from its place of storage.
The exemption allowing law enforcement officers to possess, transfer, and store spring blade knives for purposes of official duty is expanded to include firefighters and other rescue members, Washington State Patrol officers, and military members, and to facilitate actual use of spring blade knives. Spring blade knives may also be manufactured, sold, transported, transferred, distributed, or possessed pursuant to contracts with these actors' agencies. Manufacturer contracts with other manufacturers and commercial distributors are exempt from the prohibition against spring blade knives. Trials, testing, and other uses related to evaluation and assessment of spring blade knives by permitted users, companies, and agencies are also exempt.
The general term "spring blade knife" is used to describe the various kinds of knives prohibited in the dangerous weapons statute. Knives with a mechanism designed to create a bias toward closure of the blade that must be overcome by physical exertion are not spring blade knives.
Votes on Final Passage:
June 7, 2012