Hearing Held in Knife Rights' California Switchblade Ban Challenge

The very first hearing on one of our post-Bruen lawsuits challenging a knife ban on Second Amendment grounds was held yesterday before District Court Judge James E. Simmons, Jr., in San Diego. The lawsuit challenges California’s ban on switchblade (automatic) knives with a blade 2-inches and greater.

The court had clearly given significant thought to the voluminous filings in the case. The state continued to hammer their position that switchblades were not not arms under the plain text of the Second Amendment because they were "not commonly used for self-defense."

For our part, our attorney explained how the "used for self-defense" argument has no basis in the "plain text of the Second Amendment," despite a few courts inventing it out of whole cloth. It appeared that the court picked up on the inconsistency of the state's arguments when they tried to use a broad category of so-called "analogous" weapons restrictions to historically justify their ban in the second prong of the two-step process for determining constitutionality, while narrowly constricting their concern just to switchblades in the plain text analysis. Either the switchblade should be considered as just another knife that is clearly covered by the Second Amendment and to which bans on them are not historically justified, or it is some oddball weapon that is both not common and uniquely dangerous.

It was telling, perhaps, that the court asked the state if it was okay to ban possession of any particular pistol while allowing possession of all others. The state really had no rational answer to that question.

Knife Rights' attorney John Dillon said, "it is clear under the binding authority of the Supreme Court that knives, including switchblades, are arms under the Second Amendment's plain text. That being said, it was clear the court agreed with Plaintiffs that the historical record offered by the state was significantly lacking. We hope for a favorable decision which faithfully applies the standards set forth by the Supreme Court."

What the district courts decides will not change the course of the litigation since it is certain to be appealed. This is just the first step in a long process. However, it would be nice to go forward with a win. Stay tuned!

Please support Knife Rights’ lawsuit with a tax-deductible donation to the Knife Rights Foundation at: www.KnifeRights.org/donate (select Knife Rights Foundation)

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