Knives Out: Lawsuit Claims Stores Illegally Selling "Switchblades"

If you're a "tactical knife enthusiast," then you'll take particular interest in a federal class-action lawsuit filed yesterday against Wal-Mart, Cabela's, Academy Sports & Outdoors, Dicks Sporting Goods and others retailers. Four folks, including one from Mesquite, are represented by Dallas attorney Allen Stewart, and in court documents they claim that the sporting goods stores are knowingly and illegally selling Kershaw's so-called "SpeedSafe® Knives," which "incorporat[e] torsion bar technology for assisted opening." In other words, they claim, they're "switchblade knives," the sale of which is prohibited by state law.

Says the suit, "Texas residents have been arrested, indicted and convicted for possessing" the knives -- and that the retailers know this but continue to sell them anyway. Which is why the plaintiffs want their money back for buying the knives and an injunction preventing any further sale in Texas. And, no, the suit doesn't say why the plaintiffs purchased the knives (in some cases, several) in the first place; I will update when Stewart returns a call placed to his office this morning. Incidentally, on its Web site, Kershaw insists the knives are not switchblades, because "unlike a switchblade, SpeedSafe blades DO NOT deploy with the push of a button in the handle or by gravity alone." --Robert Wilonsky

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