Bad time at the Arch in St. Louis Non ccw


New member
I apologize for the length.

So last weekend for the holiday my Mom, Dad, the Wife and I road to St. Louis for the Holiday. Nice ride on the motorcycles except for Illinois. We tried to get up in the arch on the fourth and got hassled by the park rangers.

We stayed at the Hilton in Frontnac (for those familiar with the area) and took the metro to the arch. The metro is off limits for ccw so and so is the arch (until the law gets passed for ccw in National Parks). I left my Glock 23 Locked in my travel safe in the Hotel. I still had the rest of my normal carry, which includes a Gerber multi-tool, flashlight, Smith & Wesson Swat knife, and a Kershaw Scallion. The Line to get in was moving fast I noticed the Sign for illegal weapons on federal property which to my knowledge I wasn't in possession of. The Rangers were there telling people what to remove and put into the baskets. (Belts, watches, the contense of pockets.

My bin was on it's way through the scanner before I noticed the sign. It was an 8 X 11 piece of paper that stated no illegal knives. Such as Switch blades, butterfly knives, knives over 4 inches, and Kershaw knives. There was no law code to refer to like the federal sign 40 ft from the entrance. They proceeded to ask whose bin it was. I told them that It was mine and asked why. They told me that my knife was illegal. I asked if there was someone who could hang on to it till I came out. They said no and it would have to be put in the car. I explained to them that we came on the metro. Then a ranger or police officer came up and asked for my license which I complied. He proceeded to write out a ticket. I asked why and he told me that my Kershaw knife was illegal because it was spring assist, and on any other day I would be allowed to put it in our vehicle, but because it was the 4th of July I would receive a ticket. I tried to get out of it.

I told them that I didn't even see the sign until it was too late and they should but it with the Federal law sign. and that it's B.S. and they're not going to get my money. He looked at me. I told him that we're not going in the arch any more. He asked what I was going to do, and I told him that I'm not coming back. I guess that he went to talk to his supervisor standing at the door and asked if I left would I still receive a ticket. At first the Supervisor said no, but I guess the officer explained the situation that I was out of state and didn't know the "local" law. They eventually let me leave without getting a ticket.

I don't understand how a 2 1/4 in knife that is spring assist is more dangerous than a 3 3/4 in knife that can open quicker than the Kershaw.

To describe the kershaw it's a 2 1/4 knife that has a fairly stiff lock to unlock the blade so it doesn't open in your pocket. then you can use your index finger on the lever that opens the blade.

I couldn't get a pic of the sign, but it didn't look legal. could anyone from the area help me know as to why my SWAT knife isn't illegal but my smaller pocket is. and what is the federal regulation backing it up.

Federal Switchblade Act

United States Code

Section 1241. Definitions

As used in this chapter -
(a) The term ''interstate commerce'' means commerce between any State, Territory, possession of the United States, or the District of Columbia, and any place outside thereof.
(b) The term ''switchblade knife'' means any knife having a blade which opens automatically -
(1) by hand pressure applied to a button or other device in the handle of the knife, or
(2) by operation of inertia, gravity, or both.

Section 1242. Introduction, manufacture for introduction, transportation or distribution in interstate commerce; penalty

Whoever knowingly introduces, or manufactures for introduction, into interstate commerce, or transports or distributes in interstate commerce, any switchblade knife, shall be fined not more than $2,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

Section 1243. Manufacture, sale, or possession within specific jurisdictions; penalty

Whoever, within any Territory or possession of the United States, within Indian country (as defined in section 1151 of title 18), or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States (as defined in section 7 of title 18), manufactures, sells, or possesses any switchblade knife, shall be fined not more than $2,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

Section 1244. Exceptions

Sections 1242 and 1243 of this title shall not apply to -
(1) any common carrier or contract carrier, with respect to any switchblade knife shipped, transported, or delivered for shipment in interstate commerce in the ordinary course of business;
(2) the manufacture, sale, transportation, distribution, possession, or introduction into interstate commerce, of switchblade knives pursuant to contract with the Armed Forces;
(3) the Armed Forces or any member or employee thereof acting in the performance of his duty; or
(4) the possession, and transportation upon his person, of any switchblade knife with a blade three inches or less in length by any individual who has only one arm.

Section 1245. Ballistic knives

(a) Prohibition and penalties for possession, manufacture, sale, or importation
Whoever in or affecting interstate commerce, within any Territory or possession of the United States, within Indian country (as defined in section 1151 of title 18), or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States (as defined in section 7 of title 18), knowingly possesses, manufactures, sells, or imports a ballistic knife shall be fined as provided in title 18, or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
(b) Prohibition and penalties for possession or use during commission of Federal crime of violence
Whoever possesses or uses a ballistic knife in the commission of a Federal crime of violence shall be fined as provided in title 18, or imprisoned not less than five years and not more than ten years, or both.
(c) Exceptions
The exceptions provided in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of section 1244 of this title with respect to switchblade knives shall apply to ballistic knives under subsection (a) of this section.
(d) ''Ballistic knife'' defined
As used in this section, the term ''ballistic knife'' means a knife with a detachable blade that is propelled by a spring-operated mechanism.

Hope this helps. I own several Kershaw "assisted opening" knives. Based on the above definitions, my Kershaw knives are perfectly legal. Only place where you should use caution is the U.S. Post Office and other Federal buildings. There are signs that specifically state that blades over 2" in length are illegal.]


Last edited:


New member
That sucks and Kershaw is not the only company that makes an assisted open knife. I carry a CRKT My Tighe which is also an assisted open knife. Sorry your 4th of July weekend didn't turn out better.
Sounds like the folks at the Arch are overstepping their authority. Kershaw does not make a "switchblade" knife, and as KimberPB noted, there are other manufacturers that make an assisted opening knife. I'd suggest having a copy of the knife law handy for any future encounters.



Charter Member
So much for visiting some of our nations land marks. I reckon we will stay home. They apparently don't trust us "Americans"


New member
Thanks for the info. show's that even if you think you know the law there can be ones that negate others. We went back the next day. Took the bikes and I locked everything but my multi-tool up. Had no problems. I understand the law about switchblades and think they should include assisted opening in the signs. And definatly put it in a more open area on a much noticable sign.

On a side note does the National Parks ban include national monuments? If the ban is lifted would it include these monuments or are there different rules for them?
I don't think that "assisted opening" knives should be banned. I understand that there is current laws against switchblade knives. We all know how well banning anything works. After all, didn't it work wonderfully with firearms in DC?

All kidding aside, I don't see any good reason why I can have a 3.5" pocket knife, but my 3.5" "assisted opening" knife is prohibited. If they're going to make laws, rules, etc., they should have logical reasoning behind them.



New member
+1 on that Glock Fan

I ment that they shouldn't ban them but if they're going to ban them they should tell the people sooner. Not after it's too late to doo anything.


New member
I got both of mine at wallmart. This is bs and I would not have gone back. Dont like pizza hut either.


Thank God I'm alive!
Pardon my French, but you gotta be shittin' me! Why should the manner in which a knife is opened determine whether or not it is legal? Then again, the term "switchblade," much like the term "assault rifle," sounds like some semantic wordplay that was developed by antis to make them seem worse than they really are, in order to get them outlawed.


New member
Aparently they have tried...

Kershaw should nail them for discrimination. They're specifically targeting Kershaw"s product.


So I emailed Kershaw and they've said that the NPS has been doing this and that they've tried to get them to change the sign.

May be "we" need to do something.

Urgency.........: Normal
Subject.......: Undefined (Kershaw)
To Whom it may concern:
My name is , I am writing to inform you that your knives are being descriminated against at our national monuments.
I own a few of your "assisted opening" type knives that I love. I recently took a trip to the Arch In St. Louis. Not thinking that a 2 1/2 inch pocket knife would be a problem at a national monument I took along my Scallion. As it turns out the national park service consider ALL your knives to be switchblades. There is a sign on the door that describes "illegal" knives, such as switchblades, butterfly knives, knives with blades over 4 in, and KERSHAW knives. It doesn't mention any other brands that have "assisted Opening" only Kershaw. I understand about the others but to single out only one brand of knife is crazy in my mind. Needless to say I didn't enter the arch.
Someone needs to inform them that there are other manufactures out there with the same style of knives and to change the sign to more general wording. I guess I figgure that the National Pars service would rather hear about it from a company suck as yourselves rather than a regular ol Joe like myself. I will alyways carry my kershaw and nothing will change that.

Kershaw Knife‏
From: Jeff Goddard ([email protected])
You may not know this sender.Mark as safe|Mark as unsafe
Sent: Mon 7/14/08 2:48 PM

Mr. ,

Yes we are aware of this sign. It has been going on for several years now.

We have tried and tried to contest this with no luck. I cannot even get a response from them. They are not worried about knives in general, just with speed of opening, I guess there is an intent to kill.


We have had people get tickets. Some have paid. Others have not and have asked for a court hearing, which they will not grant. It is basically like a parking ticket I have been told.

Actually it may be better from you, since you said that you did not enter because of this. I would love to be able to educate them on the fact that others make assisted knives.

Jeff Goddard

Director of Sales & Marketing-Sport Division

Kai USA, Ltd.

Kershaw Knives, ZT Knives, Shun Cutlery

18600 SW Teton Ave

Tualatin, OR 97062



[email protected] NEW EMAIL ADDRESS
I wouldn't waste my effort writing to the government agency. If Kersha was serious about fighting the feds, they would have done something already.

Be careful on educating the government. Doing so may lead to future restrictions.



New member
My Take On It

Here's what I think about this can carry, can't carry, state parks, federal this and federal that, state this and state that BS..............A law abiding American citizen with a license to CARRY should be allowed in ALL states and ALL PLACES and also on domestic airline flights, ON UNITED STATES OF AMERICA SOIL. PERIOD.............................No ands, ifs, or buts about it


New member
IMO any ban on any weapon is a violation of 2A but last time I checked my opinion is irrelevant
A law abiding American citizen with a license to CARRY should be allowed in ALL states and ALL PLACES and also on domestic airline flights, ON UNITED STATES OF AMERICA SOIL. PERIOD.............................No ands, ifs, or buts about it
IMO the unconstitutional ban on weapons on planes is what made 9/11 possible. Gun control, Weapon control AKA Anti Self Defense laws aid and abet terrorists, rapists, thieves, robbers murders and criminals of all kinds. Not one has ever benefited a single law abiding citizens. They have never ever stopped a single crime. Not once. The only verifiable consequence of any of these laws is that they get the law abiding raped robbed assaulted murdered and terrorized
Last edited:

New Threads

Members online

No members online now.

Forum statistics

Latest member